Things have been fairly quiet for me both on this blog as well as social media recently. A lot of my personal time that I’d normally use for blogging here has been spent on other projects now that spring has arrived. I thought I’d give you a preview of about 30 posts I’ve been working on though.
This project involves replacing and extending a 5 ft. welded wire fence that came with our house. While most of the property is open field, the fenced area has been a good arrangement to let both our dog and our kids run around. I don’t know when the previous owners installed it, but the existing fence is somewhere between 8 and 18 years old. It’s close to the end of its life with a few posts held up by the fence as well as some other problems.
My wife and I discussed extending the fenced-in section of the backyard by 30 ft. to give more room for a playset and to give our dog more territory. The existing area is about 60 ft. by 70 ft. with the extension taking it to 64 ft. by 100 ft. Welded wire is more of an agricultural style, which fits the field. Since this is by no means a privacy fence, we kept the same style for the new fence.
After verifying the absence of utility lines and getting the extended area approved by our township, I bought materials. Last Saturday I got to work digging out new post holes, placing posts, and tamping dirt and gravel down (no concrete). I traveled this week but got some time to work on it again Thursday and Friday evenings. I’m now through 2/3 of the posts.
My first challenge was due to my “helpers”, who only wanted to collect my markers and use them as swords.
The second was rocks. Since I was digging by hand and not renting equipment, each post hole could take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes to get 2.5 ft. down. The 30 minute hole with all of its rocks was this one shown below. Most don’t take that long, but between digging, placing, and tamping the dirt; it can take awhile to do a post.
After about three hours last Saturday, I had the back row 64 ft. in place. In the photo below, you can see the new line beyond the original. If you have a keen eye, you’ll also notice that we’re not doing a garden this year. There’s no time to manage a garden that size as a hobby this year.
Thursday evening after getting back from work travel, I sunk posts for the extension on the opposite side and then started my new line on this side. The old fence line on this side bulged in the middle about 2 ft. out and then made it’s way back to the house, but the new one corrects that.
By Friday evening, I had most of this side placed as well. The 4 ft. extension on this side corrects the original line as well as will provide me a small gate on that side of the house in addition to a larger 8 ft. horse gate we have on the opposite side.
Why do all this by hand? Why do this myself instead of hiring it out to teenage hole diggers? It’s one of those projects where I can look back and remember the experience as well as give my kids a few memories as well. One of my early memories is my dad building a backyard deck when I was about five years old. It’s also a good balance between sitting at a desk doing what I usually do and spending time outdoors. What it means though is that these may be the only posts you’ll see here for awhile…
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