Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Building a Fence



This last weekend we built a fence.  Technically we already had a fence, but large sections of it had fallen down, which is not good for child containment, and it wasn't built very well to begin with, anyway.  So, we pulled out about half the fence and removed it entirely, and constructed a new fence to put in its place.  Saturday was for deconstruction and digging post holes.  We had originally planned on having two people do deconstruction (Noah and Richie volunteered eagerly for this) while two people constructed after them (that would be Fletcher and me), partially because we thought we'd have to do everything Sunday.  Fletcher usually works all day Saturday, and Richie had a friend over for the weekend.

As it happened, Fletcher took the day off Saturday for something else that didn't happen, and was available to work.  Noah, unfortunately, never emerged to help, so Richie brought his friend Liam over to assist, and we all did deconstruction.  I don't have pictures of Saturday because my phone was claimed by small children grieving at being banned from the work site.  Oh, wait--Noah did help for five minutes, unloading lumber from the truck before disappearing again.  Sigh.

So Saturday we took the faulty bits of the fence down, pulled a lot of nails, and broke rotting boards into manageable pieces before tossing them into the truck bed.  The boys took great delight in breaking the boards, feeling very macho, I'm sure.  When enough rubble had been cleared, Fletcher dug the post holes.  I assisted somewhat with those.

I should mention, at this point, that we likely would have gotten nothing done if Matthew and Carol had not been managing the small children.  I am so, so very glad that they were able to do that so I could work outside!  Otherwise either it would have been a 3-person team instead of a 4-person team, or else Paul would have jumped in and tried to do more than supervise, likely resulting in his shoulder getting damaged again.  And we were very glad for Paul's supervision!  We hadn't thought at all about leveling the posts or how to line them up neatly!

We wanted to get the posts set Saturday, so they could dry overnight, but it got too dark and we had to stop work.  Fletcher came over early Sunday morning so we could get that done and give them time to dry before doing the rest of the fence.  There is exactly one picture of this stage, taken by Paul:

We set three fence posts, plus two "extra" posts that will eventually hold a platform for the kidlings to play on.

After setting the posts we cleaned up our work area a bit, then Richie and Fletcher hammered planks in to repair the fence on the east side while Matthew and I made a run to Subway.

Rowan and Henry had to help, of course--Rowan by banging a garden fork on our stone pathway, and Henry by digging dirt in the garden.  Rowan later dug up some potatoes from last year that had somehow been missed.

 After lunch we got into the serious fence building on the north side of things.  It was then that we first realized that Fletcher is a vampire, sans sparkles.

Richie dragged Noah out of the house shortly after this point and they left to walk the dog, so I took over building the fence with Fletcher.  Noah and Richie assisted when they got back.  I am particularly thankful for Richie's leather gloves holding back prickly branches so I didn't get stabbed while working.

We finished the fence around 6:00 p.m.--about an hour later than we had anticipated, but before dark set in!  And WOOHOO!  We got everything done in two days!  We're hoping to start building the platform Monday.  Our hardworking workers have offered to help us then, as well.  Suddenly a list of projects I've been wanting to do forever has begun parading itself in my mind.  Bathroom cabinets!  Play house!  Outdoor kitchen!  I guess we'll see how far our money and energy can take us.

And once again, I must laud Matthew for holding our home together while I worked outside.  It's entirely thanks to him that I had clean clothes to wear yesterday and today.  Carol prepared food so we didn't have to worry about dinner.  Thank you, thank you everyone who helped us get this project done! 

I just realized that I never put in photos of the finished project.  Here you go: