Back in April, I mentioned that replacing the back fence was one of the biggest goals for our yard this summer, for a combination of privacy and aesthetic reasons. Since it sits between our yard and the alley and is currently just an old chain link fence, we get a less than stellar view of the alley and its garbage cans, and anyone going by gets to look into our yard like a fish bowl.
Just to recap and illustrate the current fence situation, here’s a photo taken while standing in the alley and looking into the backyard:
So we knew we wanted to upgrade to a privacy fence — most likely of the six-foot wooden variety, which many of our neighbors up and down the block already have. We briefly flirted with the idea of trying to build something ourselves, but neither Joe nor I have any amount of experience or expertise when it comes to building wooden fences, and I could imagine us struggling for weeks with it only to end up with some crooked thing that would blow over in the next strong wind.
In short, we realized that we were in over our heads and decided to call in the pros.
Starting a few weeks ago, we began shopping around for some quotes from local fence builders, and while the project in general would be pretty straightforward, there were a few little specific details we wanted. For instance, the current fence isn’t perfectly straight, but rather extends outward toward the alley at a slight angle, going few feet past the edge of the garage. In a smaller yard this probably wouldn’t matter so much, but considering that our narrow city lot is on the small side to begin with, that angle translates into few precious extra feet of backyard. So naturally, we wanted any replacement fence to be the same way.
Here’s a side view showing a better view the angle of the fence:
The other thing we wanted was a better latch and/or lock for the gate. Currently the gate to our chain link fence just has the traditional kind of latch that flips up to let you open it:
And Lillian figured out how to open it in about two seconds, meaning we have to either hover right there by the gate, or jury-rig a loop of rope to keep it closed, to prevent her from running out into the alley (and potentially into the path of cars). So a nicer gate with a nicer latch would definitely be a safer and more convenient upgrade for our yard.
We had a couple of different contractors come out and take measurements and talk about what we wanted to do, and we felt comfortable enough to pick one a little over a week ago. Here’s the super-accurate diagram of our soon-to-be new fence from the winning quote:
We chose the fence-building company mostly based on price, though we also liked their general professionalism and the number of examples they had, both in the form of photographs and in the yard outside their office.
I’m not sure if it’s legible in the handwriting above, but the new back gate will have a lock with a key. And as for the specific style, we decided to go with the “Traditional Board and Batten” style of privacy fence. Here’s a snapshot of the picture from the brochure they gave us:
The line sketched in pen is to show that there’s going to be a horizontal piece of wood for support on the inside of the fence, so it’s not a perfect representation. But we liked the general look of it — the board and batten style seemed like it would add a bit more texture and interest than the normal kind, and since the difference in price was minimal, we decided to go with it.
So that’s the situation with the back fence so far! We’ve made the initial deposit, and the work should begin in the next week or so (with the exact date yet to be determined). I’m really looking forward to seeing what it looks like once it’s all built — stay tuned for all the details which will be coming to this blog once it’s done!
And in the meantime, does anyone have any stories about having fences put in, whether by a contractor or by your own two hands? If so, did it turn out how you expected?