It turns out, when you have a dog, you need a fence. DJ and I weren’t about to try the whole “let the dog out on a leash” thing, so before we could move the dog into the house, we had to get a fence built. No problem! A few posts, some chain link, good to go! Except you must…
So we did that! DJ went down to the city, let them know we were going to dig and they said “Great! We’ll swing by in a couple of days and mark the lines” and then they gave DJ a guide to what each marking meant. I.E. Blue lines are water, etc. The water lines were of course what we were mostly worried about, and the city doesn’t charge for this so we figured no harm no foul.
Except when we got to the house, they marked everywhere except where we actually needed to know. To appropriately depict this, I must draw you a picture. Please excuse the simpleness, I am NO graphics designer :
Okay, So now that you have the wonderful visual, you may notice that every line (Blue red and green) is in the alley way. NEVER do these markings go into our property. All this tells us is where it is hooked up to the main line (especially the water). So BASICALLY we need to guess which, out of the thousands of possible angles, direction the water line actually goes. We guessed diagonally from where it hooked up, since all our plumbing is on the right side of the above drawing. We guessed wrong.
The moral of this part of the story, do not expect the “call before you dig” to actually help YOU with anything. The city seems to just want to make sure that they are covering their own property, not yours.
I digress… Back to the actual WORK of the fence. It turns out there is a lot more to fencing then you may originally think. We needed:
- 15 posts
- 2 bundles of chain link fencing
- several bags of concrete
- something to mix the concrete in (wheelbarrow perhaps)
- a hole digger (thanks grandpa paul!)
- connectors for the fencing to connect to the posts
- rounded tops for the posts
- weather that did not include rain or snow
- tension cables
DJ and his father were taking on this project. Which I much appreciated since my parents and I were still working on the walls on the inside of the house. I was pretty separated from the majority of this project until one defining moment. Mom and Dad and I were inside the house finishing up one of the last walls to wash, I believe , and we had just been talking about how terrible it would be to spill anything on the unfinished wood flooring that we have. (Note to self, pull up carpet AFTER painting). Then a bucket of water got knocked over and went over the entire floor, seeped through the flooring, and began dripping through the roof of downstairs. PANIC!! With no huge damage done, my parents left to run some errands and to pick up a few things.
No sooner had they left do I hear screaming from the back yard. I poke my head out the window and see Jeff (DJ’s dad) elbow deep in water and DJ running towards the house. Turns out, the water main did NOT run in the most direct manner possible. It actually ran within inches of the entire fence they had just built, and JUST SO HAPPENED to get hit on the last post being dug. Jeff told me afterwards that he thought it was just another rock, because there were tons in the ground.
They shut off the main water, and were luckily able to just replace the piece that had gotten damaged. It was fixed within half an hour.GO TEAM!
This project took them a couple of days to allow for the concrete to set properly. They installed one post at a time, until they were all up, and then came back the next day and ran the fencing right up to the side of the house. It was interesting to us that only one side of the yard was fenced when we moved in, but since we didn’t have to fence the entire yard, we were pretty ok with it.
Fencing is expensive. For 2 sides of the yard, we spent a little over $600. The photos above were taken recently, since we didn’t think to take any at the time. We got a wider gate then is standard because it just seems easier for us. The only thing I may have done differently is that there are sections that are not tension cabled at the bottom, and the dogs seem to know it so they try to dig under it. Especially the longer section towards the back that you see. We are going to add a decorative rock wall soon to avoid any dog trouble. The side on the left that you see above was already done.And yes, the paths in the grass are created by the OCD dogs we have. GRASS IS KILLED BY FEET! GROWS BY INCHES PUPS! oh well..
What was interesting to me was that it didn’t take as long as I expected. When I was a kid my parents did a huge wooden fence that, in a child’s mind, took FOREVER to get up, but this was relatively easy once we had the supplies and all the water under control.
DO’s of fencing
- Call before you dig, You are required to, but try to get them to mark the lines in the yard
- get all of your supplies up front. There is nothing more frustrating then having to stop and get more
- Let the concrete set long enough. If you don’t then you’ll probably have a crooked fence
- Expect the city to do anything for you when you call before you dig
- hit a water main
- panic if you hit a water main, it should be easy to fix.
- think you can do this project in one day. Take your time and do it right.
Cost and time:
Around $600 plus a weekend of time. If you want a fancier and bigger fence, then I would put it off for an extended weekend or even 2 weekends of hard work.
Thanks for reading everyone! Sorry about the delay in time since the last post! We are currently working on our bathroom still and I promise to post some progress on that (if we ever make any). That will definitely be a more than one blog project. Keep checking in and don’t freak on DIY! If I can do it, so can you.