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Old 12-28-2009, 10:20 AM   #1
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


This has been an ongoing project, but we adoped Rosco, a rescue dog in September, and I got started fencing in the back yard. Things got held up when the effluent pump in our septic tank started acting up, and eventually failed. I went from DIY fencing one week to DIY septic repair the next several. Needless to say, I enjoyed the fence building a bit more!

My yard was already fenced in on 2 sides when we bought the house. Behind us is a 6' privacy fence, and to the east a 4' chain link. My neighbors with the chain link also have a 6' privacy fence that connects their house to the chain link. I've never been a big fan of the 6' pickets, but since it is what is already there, I decided to just match it, and add a nice gate with an arbor to dress it up a little. I still don't like the privacy fence, but I am proud of my gate and arbor, and I think the fence will look better once it has been stained to match the neighbor's.

The gate was one of my first serious carpentry project's using P.T. lumber. Ask me again in 5 years how I feel about the techniques, but I think it will hold. The door rails and stiles are joined with mortise and tenon joints locked with dowels. I think the whole business would stay together without any glue, but I did use gorilla glue for its ability to bond to a moist surface.

I was also concerned about the fence panels wanting to warp over time (just from my observations driving around and seeing them in other places), so I doubled up the 2x4's in a "T" configuration behind the pickets.

I've still got to build a connecting fence on the other side of the house, as well as a chain link down the west side of the property connecting to the fence behind us. I'm not going to do a privacy fence there, probably like a 4' decorative picket or something, still working on it. I'll only do the chain link on the west side because that is what is on the east side alread (again, I don't really like them, but I'd rather it match what is existing)

Still need some landcaping, but I'd love to get some feedback!

-J
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Last edited by biggidybankston; 12-28-2009 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:31 PM   #2
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Excellent. What I'd probably do is to consider planting a climbing vine of some sort on a trellis which you could place next to the fence and in a couple of years it'd be a showpiece.

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Old 12-29-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Thanks...thats exactly what I had in mind, I just have to find something compatible with our west-ga climate. I'm thinking Clematis.

-J
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Old 04-20-2010, 11:34 AM   #4
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Or maybe part 3...but the chain-link section I finished a few months ago seemed rather inconsequential and undeserving of a post.

Finally little Roscoe can run and play unsupervised. Occaisionally he finds a stray neighborhood cat to "play" with, although I doubt the cat enjoys it so much!

These pictures were actually taken before finished. I've since added some decorative caps to all of the fence posts.

Anyway, glad this project is done (minus some landscaping, but I'll wait 'till fall to plant shrubs), I'm filing for my permits to begin the basement remodel tomorrow.

-J
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)-picture-006.jpg   Backyard Fence (Part 1)-picture-007.jpg   Backyard Fence (Part 1)-picture-008.jpg   Backyard Fence (Part 1)-picture-009.jpg   Backyard Fence (Part 1)-picture-011.jpg  

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Old 04-20-2010, 03:08 PM   #5
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Looks really nice
I like the arbor & door/gate - great for a DIY
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


I also like the arbor and gate!
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:07 PM   #7
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


I'm building a similar gate and have a few questions I hope someone can answer.

1. In the bottom panel, should the boards be glued together as a single panel and then allow for expansion/contraction on the sides or should all the panel boards be loose? The panel boards on my fence are tongue and grooved, so if i were to leave them loose, should I put a brad in the center of each board (top and bottom) to allow each one the expand and contract?

2. How are the 2X2 slats in the top attached? I was thinking of using dowels on mine, but it seems like alot of work. Better solution?
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:34 PM   #8
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Great looking fence! I'm soon to start building mine as well. Can you (or anyone else) recommend a good book or website to use for instruction / ideas?
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:06 PM   #9
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


your fence looks really well built. strong, straight, nice detail work. i copied some pictures because i thought them really good ideas. the gate with the stretch cable is a good idea to give support without the weight. i like how the gate stakes look like they are set in concrete and the front arbour is a nice touch for sure. I may have to borrow some of these ideas..

ps. for future readers.. the hardest part about building a fence is
1) get your neighbour to pay for half
2) agreeing with your neighbour where it should go
3) keeping your fence straight.

if you are lucky and have good neighbours like i do, then it will all go smooth. if not, well, maybe you can post your experience and techniques so your fence project can go smooth.
if you have any ideas on how to address the above items please post!

Knucklez
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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Backyard Fence (Part 1)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grif110 View Post
1. In the bottom panel, should the boards be glued together as a single panel and then allow for expansion/contraction on the sides or should all the panel boards be loose? The panel boards on my fence are tongue and grooved, so if i were to leave them loose, should I put a brad in the center of each board (top and bottom) to allow each one the expand and contract?
I built mine as joined up panel (biscuits and gorilla glue) but left the panel in the gate loose with about 1/4" gap all the way around. Since installed, it has cracked in a couple of places along the glue joints. I have a few theories about what caused it to break, but won't be able to confirm until I've pulled the thing apart to fix it. Unfortunately, I've got too many projects ongoing as is, so I probably won't get to it for a while. I defiantly would not leave each board in there loose though, because they would likely warp enough to just fall out of their place. I've observed an interesting phenomenon with PT lumber on outside. Since it is usually exposed to more sunlight on one side than the other it tends to warp toward the sun, since the sun draws more moisture out of that side than the other. I would bet if you left them in there loose, they would all bend in close to the same direction and fall out. Or they may just never stay oriented quite right and look sloppy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grif110 View Post
2. How are the 2X2 slats in the top attached? I was thinking of using dowels on mine, but it seems like alot of work. Better solution?
Mine are put in with dowels, and yes it was a pain. The bottom rail was easy enough because its straight and everything is 90 degrees, but the top rail was a bit more challenging. I made a simple jig on my drill press that let me drill the top rail at angles. It worked out well, but there was a lot of fussing with it to keep everything straight.

Good luck on your project, and be sure to post pics so we can all learn!
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Knucklez View Post
ps. for future readers.. the hardest part about building a fence is
1) get your neighbour to pay for half
HA! Good luck! I can't even get my neighbor to cut his grass! In fairness, I was lucky that 2 sides of my yard were already fenced in. The neighbors on one side and the neighbors behind me already had fenced in yards. All in all, I think I came out well. He did offer to pay if I built a different kind of fence (much more expensive) But it was more than twice as expensive, so it would have still cost me more money, and in the end I'm not too confident of whether or not he was "good" for it.

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2) agreeing with your neighbour where it should go
I pulled out a string a few weeks before installing the fence. The next time I saw him, I made mention of it and made sure he was ok with it. To set mine, I pulled a longer string from each corner of the property (clearly marked since the development is only about 4 years old). I build the fence right on the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklez View Post
3) keeping your fence straight.
Not as challenging as the first two, but worth discussing...Pull a string from one corner to the other corner of the fence line. Its best if it is up off the ground close to the top of the fence, but not all the way. Then when you install your fence posts, level them vertically and position them so their all an equal distance away from the string. I don't usually let them actually touch the string. If you do you risk pushing the string further out of line with each post you set. I generally back off 1/4" so I know I'm not deflecting the line. By setting the string up higher, you guarantee that the part of the fence you'll see looking down the line will be straight. Even you you get a post slightly out of plum (vertically) you won't notice it as much as long as the tops of the posts are in line with one another. One more thing to keep an eye on here is the wind. They day I built the chain-link fence there was a pretty good breeze that kept pushing the string into a curve.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #12
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Great looking fence! I'm soon to start building mine as well. Can you (or anyone else) recommend a good book or website to use for instruction / ideas?
Website??? Ummm...THIS ONE!!! Kidding aside, I did crack open a couple of the fence books at my local Home Depot (I tend to do this, but never actually buy them. Does anyone out there actually buy these books, or do you just use the store like a library like me?). I also did a google image search for picket fences which influenced the design of the fence probably more than anything.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
I generally back off 1/4" so I know I'm not deflecting the line.
huh.. never thought of that. i had the posts "just" touch the string. but i like your way better!

and by "string" i mean Masonry String. it is neon colour so easy to see, but more importantly it is strong and doesn't flex much so you can pull it tight and it will hold a good straight line. you will need a sledge hammer to pound in a wood stake, not a regular hammer. for some reason, a 21oz framing hammer just splits the stake to bits, while the 5lb sledge actually hammers it into the ground. then raise the string off the ground about 8" and make sure no weeds or grass is touching it.

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Old 10-09-2010, 10:00 PM   #14
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by the way, and i don't mean to be critical cause your fence looks great!, but i was thinking why fill the post hole with cement right to the top? maybe just leave the cement 8" below the surface, so you can top it off with soil and then it looks a nicer finish. just a suggestion.

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Old 10-10-2010, 11:23 PM   #15
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How did you secure the top struts on the arbor? It looks great.

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