For as long as I've lived in Little Portugal, I've wanted a new backyard fence. Not that the green plastic-coated waist-high chain link fence isn't enough, because it is SORRY, I CAN'T LIE AND I HATE THAT FENCE, but I just think I'm kind of a more private person than my elderly, yard-peeping neighbours.
Also, this is what the backyard next door looks like.
We have taken to calling it "The Pool" because a while ago they had a crazy invasive weed problem and decided to fix it by putting down this blue tarp so nothing can grow. (Around the perimeter, there's still goldenrod, morning glory and whatever other crap.) Totally looks like the world's grossest swimming pool after a good rain. I don't know why they've got a minivan bench seat and a green vinyl mini banquette, but I reckon the answer is FOR BALLER PARTIES because those beer cans have been collecting in that plastic bag for as long as the tenants have lived there, and the Beer Store is a three whole minute walk away so not worth returning for the approx. $324 in deposit refunds, I guess.
Anyway, on the other side of me lives an older lady with a penchant for garden gnomes and colour-changing LED solar lights, so this is why WE BUILT A FENCE!
As I've mentioned, my friend Cam is awesome. He recently built a fence for his landlord and agreed a while back to help me with mine. Also integral to our team, my friend Phil (otherwise known as Fuck You Phil), contractor extraordinaire. He got me discounted lumber, concrete, an auger and a Bagster, and was able to convince my Portuguese neighbours to let me build it (Portuguese people need to be spoken to in Portuguese, apparently, and be told that this mangiacake is willing to pay for the whole thing, because when I told them that in English they flat-out refused).
I didn't take many photos of the progress, but here were the basic steps:
- Demolition - tearing down the chain link, ripping up the concrete as much as possible, and tossing it all in the Bagster. This also included finding many treasures underneath the boards of my deck (including an unopened bottle of body lotion from 1994!)
- Digging - you have no idea how long it takes to dig a hole deep enough to pour concrete in this frost zone with just a couple of shovels. This is where the auger and Phil's two assistants came to my rescue.
- Pouring - powdered concrete mix and a blast of the hose into the holes we dug, followed by stirring it up with a big stick. This is probably not ideal, and was Cam's questionable idea, but I don't have a concrete mixer truck, so.
- Posts - holding the posts in place with a laser level is all fun and games until your lumber delivery arrives right in the middle of it, and you walk away and come back after it's set wrong, but WHATEVER.
- Boards - the payoff! I chose 1" x 6" horizontal pressure-treated fence boards for the bulk of the fence, but near the top I did several rows of 1" x 2"s to add a bit of visual interest and allow some more light through above snoopy eye level.
- Trimming - lopping off the top of the 4" x 4" posts in line with the top slat, ready to be capped. I'll get to that later once I can pick up the required lumber (Edit: I finally got to it almost exactly one year later, because I am THE WORST plus I don't have a truck.)
I'm still practically a baby but I would say that this is one of the best things I have ever done.
Labels: DIY, garden party, renovations