A few weeks ago, we received notification from the city that our Crazy Poet Disasterhouse had been reappraised at much more than we had paid for it. I floated on a cloud for about three days, thinking our hard work had finally paid off (hey, I don’t know how the government does this stuff), then I read the article where realtors and taxpayers were up in arms about the underhanded way that Greensboro was increasing its tax revenue via property overvaluation.
Okay, well, we haven’t caught a break since last September so this didn’t really surprise us. However, we are planning to get the house reappraised for purposes of Interest Rate Magic, so all of our projects have been evaluated on the basis of a return on our investment.
The fence is one project that will add substantial value to the house as a decorative feature, a dog containment unit, and a barrier to keep uninvited yahoos from falling in the pool. Sadly, it has been an ongoing major project for almost a year. I think we poured the concrete for the posts the last Fourth of July, but budget and other chores sucked up our resources. Weekends since February have been a series of rainstorms and family events, but we are finally making some solid progress.
The fence has been a task of the sort that requires a Greek hero to fetch a river. Last June, I nearly lost a toe and crippled our friend Steve when a two-man auger threw me a dozen feet. We hurled the rented auger back at Home Depot and dared them to give us something with more housepower, and they double-dog-dared us to rent a skid loader.
We then drilled some holes for the posts.
I used a Sherman Williams Solid Color stain on the posts before we did anything with them. I have a serious tool crush on this stain (a tool crush is when you fall passionately in love with a product and nobody can tell you there’s a better alternative out there because you know this is REAL, man, it’s FOREVER, and you are so going to the Prom with this Husqvarna chainsaw and you will be married and he will get a job as a doctor and you can stay home and lose fingers changing diapers and oh God maybe you’d be better off adopting because, well, involuntary caesarean and this analogy ran the heck away from me, didn’t it?). Anyhow, it’s… really good stain. It’s so opaque it might as well be paint.
We used eleven eight-foot 4″x6″ timbers for the posts, and two twelve-foot 6″x6″ timbers as the main gate supports. The smaller timbers were cemented at a 20″ depth, and the gate supports were cemented at a 32″ depth. After the fence is up and the gate is in place, we’ll run a small decorative pergola across the top. The pergola will sit approximately eight feet off of the ground, which sounds atypically high but we carefully reverse-engineered its height a bare 6″ from the top of the head of our tallest friend. Poor Drew has too many concussions as it is.
We drymounted (SHUT UP IT IS A TERM!) the poles before setting them in concrete to make sure the depth of each hole was sufficient for long-term structural support.
Then we poured a 6″ bed of gravel for drainage at the bottom of each hole, taped wax paper around the wood to keep it from getting stained by the concrete, and poured the concrete while using a post leveler to seat the posts.
And then we had the makings of a fence! And then we couldn’t finish it, so I strung up some orange construction mesh and we were loathed by our neighbors for nine months. But that’s okay because you could barely see the orange from under the ivy and they don’t like us anyway because we bring down their property values. Or we would, if the city wasn’t being weird.
Next blog entry, prepping and seating the body of the fence!