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DIY Fence Build

As I mentioned in the about me page, I am a big DIY and yet I haven’t written a single post on any projects. Well that is about to change, but this won’t be a step by step guide, more of an overview.

Our new house needed an area fenced in so our dog could take care of his business. He really doesn’t need a fence, it was more to keep other animals out during his early morning and late night adventures. Otherwise he is free to roam when we are outside.

That said, I wanted to keep his fenced in area to a minimum and have it blend in with the deck and rest of the yard. As normal with anything I do, I spent hours costing out different options ranging from black chain link, to rod iron, to picket fences. The most logical conclusion I came to was a pressure treated dog eared fence.  This style was the most economical and matched the surroundings the best. Having a style picked, I need an overall design for the fence, approximately 52” high, approximately 20ft x20ft, and I wanted a double gate on one side. This would allow a riding tractor to fit in the area to mow. Simple and straight forward.

There were a couple of choices for the location of the fence, but it was relatively easy choice for me on this one. I ended up picking a location right off the back of the house and deck. This meant I only had to install 2 sides of fence, as the house and the deck would as the other 2 sides. It also meant building an extra set of stairs off of the deck into the new fenced in area and building a gate for the current set of decks stairs and blocking under the deck.  The areas in red are the stuff that needed to be built.

I planned on making 2 trips to the local building supply store, 1 for the fencing and 1 for the stairs. I ended up making 4 trips in total. I forgot the hardware to make the fence gates and a couple of other odds and ends. I need a couple of work breaks anyway.

To start, I lined up my deck and house and squared everything off with string. This would give me a starting point on where I need to dig my hole for my fence posts. I dug holes for a couple of hours one evening and early the next morning. This is not fun and would recommend renting a machine if you have any more than 8-10 holes. Soil/dirt condition make a huge difference. At the old house our soil was all sand, it was really easy to dig by hand, here in the Georgia it is all clay and hard clay at that. With the holes dug I set all corner and main posts, making sure they were square.

The next step was running stringers or supports between the fence posts. Pressure treated 2×4’s were used and cut to length. I used 2 per section, 1 near the top and 1 near the bottom. These give you a backing to mount the actual fencing against. I had already set my fence height at 52” high, so I had to cut all the fence boards to that length. Some quick math gave me the distance I needed between boards so I could use all full fence board. Away I went hanging the fencing and only had to cut 1 end board.

   

The last step for the actual fence was to build the double gate. I bought some fancy looking hinges from a local shop. I wish I had the time to do some flea market or yard sale shopping, but it didn’t work out this time. I made the gates myself and designed them to match the fence style. I was really happy with how the area came out.

    

I won’t go into much detail around the stairs, but I built a second set of stairs off the deck following the same design as the rest of the deck. They came out as expected, nothing special, just another set of steps.

I also built a gate for the existing set of stairs, this stops the dog from going into the yard. It matches the deck rail design. Lastly, I used wood lattice panel cut to size to block off under the deck. It was a perfect fit for the project. You can see both in the background of this picture.

After 3 days of work, the dog had a new area. I think this picture sums up his feelings for the new spot.

6 Comments

  1. Wow, it looks great to me! How do permits work for major DIY projects? Do you submit the paperwork, plans, drawings, etc. yourself, or hire someone to do it?

    • Thank you! In this case I submitted all the required paper. I found in most cases you have to fill out a form stating what work is being done, provide a drawing, which is similar to the overhead that I posted (needs to include distances from property lines). Lastly, make sure you call Dig-Safe before digging. They will come out and mark all underground utilities (it’s a free service).

  2. Very nice! Can’t believe you put the fence posts in without renting machinery. I’m sure your arms and body felt great the next day. I’m jealous of the project and excited for you that you were willing to take on such a big project. The overview is awesome and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them as they come up. Maybe you’ll inspire me to do one at my house! Did you consider posting how much you saved buying supplies and doing it yourself versus contracting it out? I would love to see how much money you could potentially pocket doing this!

    Thanks for the great summary!

    Bert

    • Thanks Bert. I was definitely sore the next day, but it was worth it. I know what I spend on the fence, stairs and gate, but I never had anyone quote it those materials. I did get quotes in chain link and they were 3X the amount what it would have cost me to do it in chain link. If I used the same logic, I saved a good chuck of change, because I only spent $640 total. I am guessing I would have paid between $1,500-$1,800 for it.

  3. Why work out? Just find another project to do and you’ll be rocking sweet guns and abs for days!

    Haha, I had to do a lot to get my bargain house up to snuff after the purchase a few years back. Oh boy, scraping tile manually was killer. Luckily my retired neighbor stopped by to help for a little bit. The next day he came over and he had rented an electric tile scraping machine for the day. Saved me so much pain as I was pretty stubborn about doing it all manually.

    Anyways, the fence looks amazing – great job!

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