Replacing the Old Fences: The Start

At long last, 173 is undergoing an actual project!  And you know - it's an amazing reminder of how quickly time flies.  All the way back in 2001 we took out the old chain link, put in a Home Depot picket and stockade fence, and I built an arbor for some climbing roses.  2001 - 21 years ago!  But, as late the fences has really begun to show its age.  As a matter of fact, way back in 2018 I mentioned it was time to start replacing and mending the fence.  Well, it really is time, so here we go!


"Prepping" is kind of a misnomer here, it's not like there was a lot to do to get ready for new fencing.  But there was one hang-up.  In the intervening years since 2001, it turns out that I've moved from a pickup truck to an SUV.  All-in-all that's not that big a deal, but in this case I had no way to haul new fence materials from the store.  

I considered renting Lowes or Home Depot trucks at their exorbitant by-the-minute rates.  I also considered renting a U-Haul.  Two of my neighbors offered to borrow their "in-laws" trucks to help.  None of these seemed optimal.  Then one day it dawned on me...GET IT DELIVERED!   Yeeeaaahhh, it really took a lot to come to that realization.  Anyway, a half hour on the internet, and two days later, 173 had all new fence panels delivered.  Prepping complete!

The Jump-Start

The day after delivery, like a kid with a new bike at Christmas, I just had to get going, so I replaced (without much forethought) one of the panels in the front yard.  If you look closely at this picture, you can see that the rail is worn away where it meets the post.  That's pretty indicative of the condition of a number of places in the fence.  It had officially devolved from rustic to just plain broken down.

So, I chose what might have been the windiest day so far in 2022 to replace a panel, struggling against the wind even though it was a picket panel (versus stockade).  Hang glider aside - the first panel of the remodel was in!  Of course, a little patience may have shown this panel to be stained before going in place - but what kid can wait to ride their new bike on Christmas morning?

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’ - excerpt from Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Sensibly Staining Pre-installation

Coming down to earth, and pretending I'm all grown up, staining the fence panels got underway.  It took a little while to get everything set up, and arranged in a way that made sense - good grief, it looks like a full-on construction site!

Back in 2001, and annually for many years thereafter, the fence was stained by brush.  Every. Single.  Slat. By. Hand!  It always took forever.  Well not no more!  When I noticed the fence beginning to sour in '18, I went out and bought a Wagner Flexio 590 paint sprayer, and today was its christening!  

There was a bit of a learning curve with the Wagner sprayer, and going was slow in the beginning, but by the time to wrap up for the day came, panel spraying time had greatly improved.  Take it from ol' Opa George - it's probably worth the couple minutes it takes to read the 2 pages of instructions!

A few posts about the fences at 173
Retro Project - The Back Yard Fence July, 2011
Semi-Wattled Garden Fence - May, 2011
The Little Corner Accent Fence - May, 2015
Re-re-visiting the Fences - June, 2018
Check out Das Beisler Haus!

And That's It - Remodel Underway!

At long last the fences at 173 are being replaced.  This is certainly not going to be a quick project, a panel here, an hour there...but at least it's going now!

Stay tuned!
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