You got a little hint a week ago of what’s been happening here on the renovation front most recently. And it’s quite literally “on the renovation front” – our front yard has had a fence makeover. It is still in progress but I’m loving it and can’t wait to share…
So, we’ve lived two years here (more than!) with an old wire fence which was perfectly adequate for keeping small children in, but offered no privacy or peace of mind for mama to let the kids play out front without me (now that Master W is just getting to that stage).
I just got this in time before the gate came down… then missed all following demo progress – sorry!
The stack of blocks standing just inside the gate there is our attempt at visualising a concrete block gate post… it’s not quite a scale model.
If you’ll allow me to use a few more words I’ll just explain our fence planning process? Thanks…
The foundation of our wire fence is a little wee concrete block wall, complete with a few cracks and mostly wonky capping blocks. Rather than demolishing this, we decided to work with it because we like to try and keep things simple (and less expensive). So once the fence and gate were taken down and the fence posts cut off at the level of the blocks, the capping blocks were removed and some steel angle (if that’s what it’s called?) was concreted into the hollows of the blocks (scroll to bottom picture, or just wait until you get there). Blocks were also laid to make gate posts, which you’ll also have to scroll down for as I got no progress shots on those either. Then new capping blocks were laid on top of the wall, and fence posts bolted to the steel angle. Which brings us to here:
By the way, that sprouty stump there is where I got the sticks for my Christmas tree, which I did put back together and so far it hasn’t used up any more lives.
There followed a couple of nights of hammering, hammering, hammering to get all the fence palings on. Next thing, I stick my head out the window to tell Master W it’s bedtime and Andre is just hammering on the last one! Bedtime got delayed while we all did a happy dance around the front yard… or I did at least.
One of our first planting missions was the little hedge you see here outside the fence. Along the side by the neighbour’s drive, and just around the corner at the front is a well established hedge, and we wanted to extend that right across the front. It’s doing just fine but is just not growing fast enough to give us the privacy and security we need now, so up goes the fence and the hedge will just grow right on up to cover it eventually. The very next night after the palings were done the string came out to mark a line to cut right along the top and get it nice and level.
The string sits a smidgeon above the top of the gate post here because we decided to add just another few centimetres of privacy, figuring we can always cut it down later if it’s too much. So that capping block perched crookedly on top there has now been straightened out and cemented in place.
A few skillsaw minutes later we have a perfectly trim looking fence, and a few more handsaws later the posts are flush. Mmm mmm!
Good to see Andre has his safety jandals on.
There’s more to this story, which is why I haven’t left you with any great after pictures of a lush front lawn with a pretty patio off to the side.
But we do have half a gate frame welded up, some patio furniture waiting patiently by the hedge and some outdoor kids things on the way (Santa is bringing them). I have no idea what colour we will paint the fence yet. Andre keeps asking but my head space is limited to Christmas planning this week. We also plan to dig up the concrete turning bay in front of the house so we can increase the lawn (seeing as it is our only grass area) and plant some kind of border pretties along the inside of the fence. And the postie really wants a new letterbox mounted on the fence.
It’ll come… right now I’m just enjoying the fence. It makes our front yard feel like ours now – we don’t have to share it with everyone who walks past. Last night we even had an alfresco dinner just sitting on the lawn (mainly because we were filthy from a mud flats walk and I wasn’t letting any of that get past the bath – it was takeaway dinner outside and then straight into the bathroom!).