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No longer on the fence about fences


The fence debate has been decided. It wasn’t an easy one – it turns out there are many factors to consider when choosing a fence, and 3 different ways to tackle the project. Well, 3 we considered anyway…

Bruiser - sad and caged

How could we not fence the lawn in, when Bruiser looks so pathetic in his teeny-tiny fenced-in area? Doesn’t that face say “Born to Run”? And yes, the dandelions in our lawn are bigger than our dogs. So what?

Option 1: Have a professional build and install the fence on-siteThis is the most expensive choice (no surprise there) and would also be the quickest route. We called 3 contractors – only one bothered to follow up on our inquiry, and that company spent about 5 minutes with us before writing up their estimate.

Pros: Job would require very little effort on our part, would be done within 2 weeks (they set it up one week and come back the next week to shape the top edges)

Cons: About 3.5 times more expensive than doing it ourselves. Not sure the job would have been done up to our standards. The meeting we had with them felt very rushed and vague. It was hard to see how they had worked up an accurate estimate since they did not ask us many questions or go over details.

Option 2: Buy materials from a fence company, build and install it ourselves

We called around, and found that we could buy nice cedar or hemlock “kits” for picket fence from a local fence company. We went to the showroom and were impressed with their quality and the time they took to work with us. They helped us to lay out the fence and then worked up a materials list based on our requirements. They would order all materials (pickets, boards, posts, end caps, door hinges, etc) and drop them off at our house within 2 weeks. We would then be responsible for building the fence.

Pros: No need to source out materials, and they get dropped off at the house. Nice, high quality stuff.

Cons: We would have to build the entire fence, which would be time consuming. This is Teague’s busy season, so the fence might never get done! Also, the price was still too high for us – but if we had more time nad money we would definitely go this route. We could have a very nice cedar fence for about 1/2 the price of what the pro was offering – the the pro was going to use pressure-treated.

Option 3: Buy pre-built 8ft sections from a big-box store, install it ourselves

This is what we have decided to do. It’s just a backyard fence, after all – we’re getting it to give the dogs somewhere to run, and to give our giant expanse of a yard some definition and coziness. It does not have to be the most majestic fence the neighborhood has ever seen. We were getting very caught up in daydreams, but in reality this option is the one that will allow us to get it done within our time and budget constraints so we can enjoy it THIS summer instead of next. Home Depot has a style we like for about $30/8ft.

Pros: This option is by far the cheapest, and is a good compromise between building it from scratch and having a contractor come put it up for us.

Cons: The wood won’t be as nice, and I am sure the workmanship on a $30 panel won’t be top notch. We’ll still have some work to do, like digging 30 post holes. (We’ll be renting an auger for sure!)

fence line

We marked off the fence lines tonight, using little flags for each post hole. There are about 30 of those decorating the lawn now, so everyone in the neighborhood knows what we’re up to. Hope they don’t start moving them around just to mess with us.

Nero was not very excited about our new fenced in area. He was more interested in going back inside to lay on the couch. God forbid he spends anytime out doors being a real dog…..

Nero, begging to get back in.

Time to repaint this side door, eh?!

Stay tuned for more fence fun this weekend!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Kristin had this to say on 05.09.07:

Ha! Love the doggie pics! Nero looks so much like my Millie Frances (of course she has a middle name), especially that impatient posture. I would say impatience is one of Millie’s major defining traits, which is something I’m not accustomed to in dogs. Maybe it’s a minpin thing.

Millie loves her fence, though. Your fence solution sounds like the only logical one, though I like to daydream about picket fences, too. There are lots of nice ones in Eutaw.

Leslie had this to say on 05.11.07:

Cutiepie dogs!

I’m not sure if there will be anything of use for you in it, but I recently wrote out some things at a friends’ request on what we learned to do and not do when putting up our fence last year. Here’s the link:

Good luck with this project – I know our pups would be going nuts without a yard to run in! I’ll look for pics of your pups enjoying their new freedom once you’re done.

And I have to ask: Did “Bruiser” come before or after “Legally Blond”? ::grin::

Mindy had this to say on 05.11.07:

Thanks for the link, Leslie – the tips in your post will be very helpful for us. I got a good laugh out of a few of them :)

Bruiser was named prior to me seeing that movie – much to my dismay, actually, because I thought I was being so creative. I named him Bruiser because his coloring makes it look like he has a “black eye”. He was so tiny, yet looked like he’d been out brawling the night before!

Kristin – Yes, there are alot of crazy traits I blame on the min pin breeding. Though Nero has them worse than most. He pees as quickly as he can and then immediately jumps back up to the door ledge and waits so that he can run back inside to be with me. He’s like a little gluestick.

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