Project Fence

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but Stage 1 of Project Fence is complete!

Having a really long garden is great, except for the whole thing of uh, fencing it off. Building some raised beds, planting some stuff and shoving gravel down is pretty cheap. Getting a proper fence isn’t. To make matters worse, most of our garden is on a slope, which is quite steep in places. Fencing on a slope is even worse.

To combat overwhelm, we decided to tackle this beast in stages. As much as I’d love to get it sorted straightaway, we don’t have the budget – with a quote of a couple of thousand coming in for your standard ‘housing estate fences’ (That was just for the gate and the patio area…), I think we would need a sizeable lotto win to sort everything in one fell swoop!

So, Stage 1 was to sort out the side gate and fence up to the top of the steps. This meant that we’d actually be able to sit outside the back of the house without a) being on show; b) getting balls flying in; c) the pup wandering off; and d) cats wandering through to come and piss over like, everything.

I managed to meet my goal of doing this stage by end April so we can now sit out this summer – Stage 2 is gonna be sorting out the area halfway up, where there’s a huge gap and an ex-shed-base which we’ll turn into a screened-off seating area; then after that there’s some more screening at the top to do. At some point after this year, there’s gonna be the entire right-hand side to sort out, but that’s too big a job to think about for now!!

Anyway, the ‘before’ of the first stage was split into two parts – there was a side gate (which was actually the front gate, so one of those teeny little black things) and a 3-foot ‘fence’ which was just a couple of long planks really. I don’t have a pic of that but you can see evidence of it in some of the pics below.

The next bit was alongside next doors shed, which was built into the slope right up to the boundary line…

Slope before fence, but after taking the lavender plants out - and the evil gap we set out to bridge
Slope before fence, but after taking the lavender plants out – and the evil gap we set out to bridge

Clearly, we couldn’t afford labour on this section because of the increased faff. So we roped my 76 year old father in to do it. I helped. And I’m glad I did too, because it did wonders for my shoulders/biceps.

We used 8 foot posts for a 6 foot frame. Because it gets really windy in this area, they’re also secured in with a little Postcrete.

The fenceposts go in! You can see the old fence further to the left in this pic.
The fenceposts go in! You can see the old fence further to the left in this pic.

Next, we attached the side bits to make the frame – as we’re tacking screening to it, these bits go in line with slope rather than being staggered.

Finished frame with brushwood screening x 2 attached
Finished frame with brushwood screening x 2 attached

Now you may notice – there’s a bit of a difference between the quality of the frame we made, and the quality of the brushwood screening we got. Having used brushwood before, I was under no illusion to the fact that it’s notoriously rubbish. So after measuring up, I bought 2 rolls. I would have 30-40cm extra gap between the length of the screening and the final post, so I would overlap them ever so slightly to accommodate this.

Er, yeah.

When we got the screening out, it ended up being a couple of feet short, not 30cm. And even with 2 layers, it’s still pissing see-through. We ended up having to scrunch it up a little and use one layer over the section on the far left.

Finishing off with wood chipping and some climbers - 2 varieties of Clematis & a Jasmine
Finishing off with wood chipping and some climbers – 2 varieties of Clematis & a Jasmine

As we completed this bit, we got a local wood dude to construct us a 6-foot fence and gate out of trees. The planks were screwed into the existing fence. Privacy down the side of the house is awesome.

New fence and gate. You can just see some of the old fence behind the wheelie bin.
New fence and gate. You can just see some of the old fence behind the wheelie bin.

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