Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fenced In

For the last month or so, we've been in the process of building a fence. We decided to hire this part out, and I'm really glad we did - it's the only reason there's been any progress! It's so nice to be able to focus on our interior projects, and have the exterior work keep clicking along without us.

When we first moved in, the yard was functionally fenced. It was pretty cobbled together - a mix of 8' privacy panels, a few kinds of wire, and posts made out of whatever branches were handy. On top of that, it was all in bad repair. Many of the panels had partially fallen over, and posts were starting to lean and rot.

Google Street View immortalizes the old fence in its better days. Thanks a lot, Google.

We figured it would be fine for the moment, though. And for a few months, Hermie enjoyed romping in her huge fenced yard.

However, we lost some of the fencing when we had to take down a couple dying trees. Rather than  patch it, we figured it was time to tackle the whole project.

As with our other outdoor projects, we're working with Harvesterra. They've been great. First, they pulled down all the old fencing. Right there, the whole property looked so much better! But we wanted to get it enclosed again pretty quickly. Not only do we want Hermie to be able to run around again, we'll need the fence for our future goat, alpacas, and chickens!

I can't wait for a scene like this right on our very own homestead:

 We decided on a three-rail pasture fence lined with heavy-duty wire. It had the best mix of attractiveness, functionality, and price. We'll paint it white eventually.

This will be us ... someday.

Our property is long and narrow, so we needed  WHOLE LOT of fence posts set in concrete. 110, in fact.

2 down, 108 to go...

This part is the hardest manual labor, so it was great to be able to hand that off to someone who knows what they're doing. If we'd done it ourselves, I suspect it would have taken all summer and then some. They got it done in a couple weeks.

Second star to the right, and straight on until you finally get to the end of that fence.

Once the posts were set, we were ready to add the wire and rails. Or... we thought we were ready. Then we got the estimate.

Holy @%#&!, fencing is expensive. I expected to pay a lot for setting the posts, but for some reason I was just totally unprepared for how much the second phase would be. I don't know why; if I'd thought about it, I would have realized. Obviously we're going to need a ridiculous amount of wood. And while this part isn't as physically difficult, it does take a lot of time to measure and cut each rail. That means high labor costs.

Time to get creative!

We worked with Aaron at Harvesterra to make a plan. For now, we're just putting up the wire backing. That will functionally enclose our space again, so we can let the Herminator run free.

Beware, squirrels and birds!
We'll leave it this way until summer. (Sorry, neighbors! Thanks for your patience.) Then Brett and I will work with the Harvesterra guys on installing the rails, which should cut the labor costs way down.

It's slow going, but of these days we'll be all fenced in!

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