Saturday, 11 September 2010
Shorty after we purchased our house we were told by our home insurance company that we would have to tear down the fence between the front yard and the backyard because it was molding and crumbling and generally unsafe. So we did. Well, we left the 4×4 posts in place because they were fine. But the rest of it came right out!
And that was fine and dandy… until we got a dog.
Since then we’ve had this problem: sometimes when we let Suki out in the backyard to do her bidness, she doesn’t really stay in the backyard. She’ll go to the front yard. And from there it’s just a couple of steps to the sidewalk. And from there just a couple more steps to the street.
See where I’m going with this? A handful of times when we’ve opened the backdoor to call her back inside she has not responded because she’s a few houses down on the other side of the street. That’s not okay!
So it’s always been a plan to re-build the fence and build a brand-new gate. Finally this summer my dad & I got around to that project, and here are the results:
The fence was the easy part. The fence was simple. It was just a matter of stringing up a couple of 2×4s between the 4×4 posts, then attaching the 1×6 boards to the front of ’em with a couple of screws each. Get a big level to make sure they’re all even and what-not. Simple! My dad got the idea of beveling the tops of them for a nice visual interest. Which he did by hand with a hand-powered saw. In fact, my 79-year-old dad insisted on cutting ALL of the lumber for this project by hand the old-fashioned way.
The gate was another story. We both knew how to build a gate… in theory. But neither of us had either done it before. So that was a fascinating project. We hit upon the idea early on of using hook-and-eye hinges so that we could build the gate and attach the hinges on the ground and then just lift it into place and drop it down over the hooks on the 4×4 post. And it worked! The only problem we came across was that our hinges weren’t rated for the weight that our gate ended up being. So we just bought another set of ’em and that’s why the gate has 4 hinges instead of the usual 2.
I’m actually really proud of this project. The gate is rock-solid, and it looks frikkin’ great. I even used maths to figure out how far apart to space the boards so they would be even! Can you believe it? Maths!
It took us several days to complete the project, when I know it would have taken professionals just a few hours. But total cost for materials was probably less than 100 bucks. And now we can let Suki run around in the backyard all we (and she) want without having to worry about her!