Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Don't Fence Me In

Or, in this case, do fence me in!  We've finished the first (of three) sides of the fence and, if we may say so ourselves, it has turned out really well!  It took about a week of work - with some breaks, of course - from start to finish, we brought in two helpers for one day (because post hole digging is no fun), and required (or maybe didn't require but was certainly facilitated by) an auger, a lot of string lines, and a good bit of advance planning but it's just about done now.

The first thing we had to do - other than rip down the unattractive old chain link fence - was decide on design.  Because shadow-box fences make me crazy (you can see through them from this angle!  you can't see through them from that one!  it makes no sense!), I knew I wanted an absolutely solid fence.  So we decided on a board-on-board design to make sure there would be no gaps or cracks.  We then decided to move the middle brace to the top third of the fence, instead of the middle, to give it more of a designed look, and added a cap to the fence to really polish it off.  And finally, we wanted to make sure it looked nice from both sides since we were putting it on the property line and essentially sharing it with our neighbors, so that meant trimming the outside as well as the inside.

So, what did this all add up to?  Here are the specs and then we'll get to the pictures - we used 2 x 4 posts, sunk 36" into the ground, with one bag of quick-set concrete and, generally, two more bags of regular concrete per post.  We started with 10' posts and then trimmed the tops to 3" above the fence cap (we'll add post covers later).  The pickets are standard dog-ear, spaced 3" apart from each other.  We used three 2 x 4 cross bars per panel on the inside and trimmed the outside with 1 x 4 pieces to make it look almost exactly the same on both sides.  Lastly, we added a 2 x 6 cap on top of it all.  And now, the pictures:

Marching down the line of posts
Looks straight so far!
Starting to get cross-bars up

Faint outline of fence from our side - and our outdoor workshop.  The bobcat came in very handy for moving the pallets of material around the yard!  And we were able to save most of the foliage on our side of the property.
Here we go!  Adding the slats to make a nice solid fence
View from the other side - without any trim yet
Moving right along now
Adding the first part of the trim on the outside of the fence - we cut the fence posts to 4 1/2" above the pickets and added a 2 x 6 cap on the top of the fence
Getting started on the side fence to close in this corner
In progress
Pickets in
Now with trim
Outside of the fence, finished with trim
And inside with trim

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cabinet Changes and Fence Installation

Has it really been nearly two months since our last post?  This might be the one downside to tracking our progress - or lack thereof - on a blog.  It's so obvious when we aren't doing much work or, at least, much work that can be photographed!  So let's see - what have we been doing?  We did finish the hardwood floor installation on nearly all of the first floor (but somehow forgot to take pictures) so we finally have a little more room since the flooring is on the floor instead of in boxes everywhere.  We also got our second shipment of kitchen cabinets, which allowed us to install the new refrigerator, finally, and will let us build the banquette.  But before we tackle that, we pulled down the second (of three) sides of chain link fence and are now building a new privacy fence.  We've been wanting to tackle this project since last summer so I'm glad to get it out of the way now.  Brian is home this week so we're moving right along and hopefully will have a new side fence by the weekend.  Now, the pictures:

Prepping for cabinet install - we decided to pad out the side wall by the beam so built a frame

Drywall in

Now that's a wall again!

Setting cabinets in the laundry room

Installed!  Just need countertop and sink now

Redoing the kitchen cabinet install - we swapped out a 27" cabinet for a 24" on the side of the stove to allow room for a larger fridge

New cabinets in, time to see if the fridge fits...

It all fits!  And with fancy plywood countertops (which will be replaced with marble soon)
Setting the cabinets for the kitchen built-ins.  The banquette will go between these two cabinets.

Dry fitting everything - still need countertops, trim, and the banquette
Old fence.  This is not attractive.

Trees growing through the fence!
Chain link down.  New fence posts marked.  The old fence was off the property line and the neighbors asked to share the new fence so we're installing it right on the property line this time, which also means we can remove these old posts at a later date (our side is the one with all the trees).
So much brush to clear to get at the fence line...

Setting a string line
Digging the holes - that auger in the background was incredibly useful but it still took a lot of manpower to fully dig the holes

Now there's some progress!  Getting a nice line of fence posts going.  More to come!