Installing a fence....

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Hello...
I need a fence, probably about 6 feet tall to hold back a couple of dogs. It won't be that large of an area at first (about 40' by 20 feet or so), but we intend on expanding the fenced in area in the future. I'm not a very 'handy' person, I've never installed a fence before, but i think I have an idea how it goes. We're probably looking at some of the wooden privacy type (called dogear iirc). I see that you can buy all the materials and assemble it yourself, or you can buy pre-built sections from Borg.
Is it ever a better idea to install the fence yourself, or is this one of those things that you can do yourself, but usually turns out being more trouble than it's worth unless you've already done it 100 times? I might just have it professionally done.
(sorry for the open-ended question).
Any direction is appreciated.
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phaeton wrote:

If yu are ot handy then this is too big a project for you. A fence increases the value of your property and has a lot of eye appeal. It is important that you do a nice job.
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Not going to argue with you...
BUT to be honest I have NEVER seen 6 foot high wooden fence that has "eye" appeal ..at least to my eyes..
And 90 opercent of the fences I have seen have NOT added value to the property..usually the opposite...
Not saying it can not be done.. because .I have seen some pretty darn nice fences...
Bob G.
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Bob:
I agree with you a 6' fence, by itself, looks like a prison. IMHO one needs to analyze the reason the fence in being built, contain large animals, small animals, screen, define property lines, visually break up a big field, whatever, and then build the right type of fence(s) for that/those application(s).
For this stated application (hold back a couple of big dogs) I would build as simple a wood fence as possible, or have a chain link fence professionally installed, and then try to 'soften' it with climbing vines, grapes, roses, or any other green living, low maintenance, things one could think of. The end result, hopefully, would be to contain the animals and not have it look like what it is, a containment area.
Jay
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Bob G. wrote:

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. Whether or not it is attractive is not the point I was trying to make. Any fence attracts the "eye". That is, it is among the first things noticed when you look at a property whether positive or negative. This cannot be denied.

A poorly designed and installed fence does not add value. A nice fence may add value for some if it makes the property more useful and is well constructed. That is my reasoning for doing a nice job or hiring someone who will. Perhaps this makes my meaning more clear.
Lawrence
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Speaking of which, i'm currently on the fence (pun semi-intended) about whether to go with wood (sounds like maintenance) or chainlink (less attractive, but can be covered up with vines and foliage as stated).
Hell if we had time to do this i'd just plant a thick hedge all the way around the yard and let it get tall, but unfortunately we do not have the time for that.
We really liked the black pvc-coated steel fences we've seen advertised (they resemble wrought iron in appearance). They would go very well with the motif of the house and are IMHO the nicest looking. Unfortunately we can't seem to find anyone that will put them in, or put in one taller than 3 feet. There are also the annodized box-steel type (with the crimped tops) that i see around a lot of cemetaries that I think would be gorgeous, but I don't know if those are really classified as "wrought iron" or just "steel fence".
Saturday the Borg comes over to measure up and give us estimates. Maybe we'll find out which is cheaper (chainlink or wood) and i don't have my heart set on having them do it, this is just an estimate.
thx
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<SNIP> | We really liked the black pvc-coated steel fences we've seen advertised | (they resemble wrought iron in appearance). They would go very well | with the motif of the house and are IMHO the nicest looking. | Unfortunately we can't seem to find anyone that will put them in, or | put in one taller than 3 feet. There are also the annodized box-steel | type (with the crimped tops) that i see around a lot of cemetaries that | I think would be gorgeous, but I don't know if those are really | classified as "wrought iron" or just "steel fence". |
If you really want "wrought iron", look here:
http://www.moultriemanufacturing.com/fences/index.shtml
They got some really good stuff here.
-- PDQ
--
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Those are nice... thanks.
probably beyond my price range, especially since I'd have to have someone install it.
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| Hello... | | I need a fence, probably about 6 feet tall to hold back a couple of | dogs. It won't be that large of an area at first (about 40' by 20 feet | or so), but we intend on expanding the fenced in area in the future. | I'm not a very 'handy' person, I've never installed a fence before, | but i think I have an idea how it goes. We're probably looking at some | of the wooden privacy type (called dogear iirc). I see that you can | buy all the materials and assemble it yourself, or you can buy | pre-built sections from Borg. | | Is it ever a better idea to install the fence yourself, or is this one | of those things that you can do yourself, but usually turns out being | more trouble than it's worth unless you've already done it 100 times? | I might just have it professionally done. | | (sorry for the open-ended question). | | | Any direction is appreciated. |
If you have small dogs 6' will work. My vet says a Husky can clear 6'. Seems 7' can keep the big dogs out or in but, I know for a fact, it cannot keep clawless cats in.
That said, DIY isn't all that tough a job if you have a "pro" set the posts. They have the equipment and can supply all the requisite sweat.
I bought the 4X4, 2X4, and 1X6 green from the local lumberyard at as good a price as I could have gotten from the BORG.
Had I bought pre-assembled from the BORG, the 42 post holes would have had to be spot-on. Because I bought individually, the holes could be set to about 7'6" thereby allowing for the occasional rock or other impediment to digging without affecting the look of the fence.
I installed the top, middle and bottom rails plus all the boards myself. I only had to true 3 posts and then only because the greenwood had warped.
Because I had previously listened to the experts and used "specially coated" deck screws on my deck and found them to be wanting, I opted for stainless steel for the fence. I am glad I spent the extra for these as there are now no signs of weeping around the screw heads.
From the quotes I received, I calculate that I saved some $3000 by DIY. Looks better in my pocket than some contractor's.
As for equipment: 1 sliding compound miter saw 1 3 foot level 1 try square 1 pencil 1 skill saw 1 3/8" drill - for screwing 1 tape measure 50 feet of 1/4" rope to bring posts in line and plumb as required.
Before doing anything have all the locates done and marked and verify with the locaters exactly what was found and where.
I had mine done twice because I could not believe what I was told: they failed to find a hydro line that I knew was there and they mislabeled a TV cable line as hydro.
As for the posts: 6 had to be hand dug 2 shifted due to tree roots
-- PDQ
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Bravo! Get that man a cigar!
--
:)
JR

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Thanks Lawrence.... I was thinking the same thing- this might be too much for me to bite and chew off, even if it is a small fence. True this is something you want done *right*.
"If you have small dogs 6' will work. My vet says a Husky can clear 6'. Seems 7' can keep the big dogs out or in but, I know for a fact, it cannot keep clawless cats in. "
The two dogs are going to be border collie and (probably) lab mix. I guess I'll have to find something 6' tall to put them in and see if they can clear it ;) I kind of doubt it though.
Stuff running underground behind the house will be an issue too. I believe there's tons of it- cable, fiber, water, sewer, etc. With all do respect, *i* don't want to be the one that hits that buried high voltage line ;) As a side note, the cable guys ran new cable from the cable pedestal to our house, and now we have this bright orange run of coax across the back yard. I know I should probably bury it or do *something* with it.
The other issue is that there is a tree that needs to come down that is about 2 or 3 feet from where the fence will run. I wonder if we ought to take that down *first*... it has all kinds of houses to fall on too, but if it wipes out the fence it might be insult to injury as well.
Once a fence goes up, are they usually untreated wood? I see a lot of grey wood fences, and IMHO it looks more 'ramshackle' than 'rustic' to me. Should it be painted right away (brush, sprayer, roller) to match the house? Stained and then clear lacquered? Just clear lacquered?
thanks.
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phaeton wrote:

As a side note, the cable guys ran new cable from the

Depending on how long the run is you can either just make a slit with a shovel or possible rent a trencher on a longer run.

I think a tree that close to the fence probably has to be removed, first obviously. If there are houses it could fall on then that is a big deal which has to be taken seriously. There are people who do this for a living who have the necessary insurance. I removed a large oak that was near my house but there are no other houses so the only risk was my own.

Most wood fence are built of treated wood. Cedar is also used and makes a more attractive fence that is possibly more environmentally friendly. It is maybe 3 to 4 times the expense however. Most folk don't bother to paint or stain but it is a good idea. Most use a penetrating stain on decks and fences. It will look better and possibly last longer if you do. You could rent an airless spayer to do a job like that.
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The cable run is about 15 feet, not a whole lot About how deep should I go? a few inches?
The tree in question is actually between our house and the neighbour's house. There is about 15 feet between the two houses. I believe the tree's base is actually right on the property line, and the dead part leans somewhat towards our house. It'll be tricky for no matter who takes it down. I assume they climb up it and start cutting from the top, so they can control where the chunks of tree fall each time, right?
I know local markets vary, but is this the sort of thing that's hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars?
As far as the fence, I think I'll want to paint it to match the house. Even treated wood turns grey eventually, and though Cedar is pretty, it might be out of the budget.
thx again
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phaeton wrote:

About 1-1/2 years ago, had a 35 to 40 foot eucalyptus taken down, cost something like $325. I'm in the Phoenix area.
They wanted like $80 more to grind the stump down below ground level. Took a pass on that.
Jerry
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Yeah, this is some kind of oak- i can't tell what sort because it has no leaves, but the bark is oakish. I would pass on the stump grinding too. I just don't want it to come through my upstairs livingroom, or the neighbour's house either.
I haven't talked to the neighbor at all, but maybe he and I can work out a deal since it's on both our properties and it could flop either way.
That's about what I thought it'd be- between $200 and $400
I loved the desert when I lived there, fwiw.
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jerry snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

After I built a large concrete addition to my driveway to accommodate my RV, I paid to have a *LARGE* branch (not the whole tree) removed from my neighbor's tree that hung over the new drive and camper. It was over $400 about four years ago. (Omaha, Nebraska area)

From experience, I have decided that grinding-out a stump is a mixed blessing.
When my house was built in 1991 on a lot that had been vacant since the neighborhood was first platted in 1960, I had a HUGE Chinese Elm tree removed and the stump ground out.
The ground over that area has been settling ever since and is a real ankle buster if I'm not careful when mowing. I assume that LEAVING the stump only DELAYS the process. I would still grind out a stump, though. I think the place looks nicer than with an old stump in various stages of decay.
--
:)
JR

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That's probably deeper than the CATV droids would place it. <sigh>

Right. They'll take it to pieces from the top down. It's an amazing aerial "ballet" - quite interesting to watch.

If there is 15-feet between the houses and the tree in question is a "house crusher", it could easily cost a couple grand.
I watched a *HUGE* tree be removed in our small town. It was easily

removal company didn't have high-reach equipment capable of doing the job. They hired a CRANE company to help.
The crane was set up in the (closed) street out front. It literally reached over the house where tree climbers secured a sling to huge branches. They cut the branch and the crane lifted it over the house and set it down in the street. There the branch was diced-up and carted off.
The crane, with operator, was $195/hour. The job was over $6k. Big trees between houses are *VERY* expensive to remove. It's cheap, however, when compared to the price of rebuilding a SMASHED house, hospitalization and funerals.
Remember, trees are like hard drives and light bulbs: It's not IF they'll come down, it's WHEN.
--
:)
JR

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You got that right.

In most modern neighborhoods and cities, 6-ft is the MAXIMUM height allowed for a residential fence.

I'm sure my lab, when she was younger, could have cleared 6-ft. She could have EASILY jumped over the 48-inch high chainlink fence that is STILL keeping her contained. She just never LEARNED that she could jump over it.
It wasn't until we got a second Labrador Retriever that we had a problem with escape. This dog didn't JUMP over the fence, she CLIMBED it.
My solution was VERY low-tech: I went to the local farm store and purchased an electric fencer. I installed everything myself and it worked like a charm. She never climbed the fence again. (PETA can kiss my @$$.)

Don't install a 6-ft fence for any other reason that you LIKE how it looks - not merely for dog containment. Keeping a dog inside a fence, even a 48-inch-high fence, can be accomplished in much less expensive and obtrusive ways.

Dealing with buried utilities is another advantage to having the job done professionally. They work around such stuff every day. They (usually) know what they're doing. Also, if any damage is done, they should "eat" the repair costs and stay within their bid. Be sure to verify that they are bonded and insured since, if they are injured on your property, you can bet that they'll make every attempt to collect from YOUR homeowner's insurance coverage.

I'll give you credit for being "ahead of the curve" in this regard. Most folks don't even THINK about buried utilities. That's why there is SO much damage done every year, including severe injuries and fatalities.
If you have never dug around buried utilities, you may wish EVEN MORE to hire the job done. There is a "hand dig zone" around all buried utilities, usually 18-inches on EITHER side of the locate mark.

Uh, they laid a TEMPORARY wire across your yard.

That's THEIR job. You are already paying for it in the form of your monthly bill. They should bury the line (eventually) at NO extra cost to you. Particularly with your typical, scab CATV outfit, you may have to be a "squeaky wheel" by calling them several times before they do it. They are probably hoping that you'll tire of the hassle and bury it yourself.
However, considering that CATV's idea of a buried drop is to simply kick dirt over it, burying it yourself MIGHT not be a bad idea. You just don't HAVE to do it - they should.

It sounds like the tree is large enough to require a BIG effort by a PROFESSIONAL tree company. In that case, you are right: It SHOULD come down first. If you'll allow a truck to go back there (no fence), the cost could be significantly less.

CCA, no. Cedar, yes.

Me, too. A wooden fence, particularly a cedar fence, is no different than a deck constructed of the same material: To avoid the "gray" look, it needs to be stained every (very) few years. Because most wooden fences of ANY material are left to turn gray is one of the reasons I chose chain link. To me, a good chainlink fence is no more obtrusive-looking than a tall, GRAY wooden fence. Besides, I had NO desire to "sign up" for XX years of fence maintenance. I LOVE my chainlink fence. I NEVER heard a complaint from a neighbor about it before, during and after it was built.

Neither. Put up a 48-inch, 9-gauge, galvanized-AFTER-weaved chainlink fence and FORGET it. Deal afterwards with a high-jumping dog IF that happens.
Good luck!
--
:)
JR

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I did a similar thing... I hammered some 3/4" square steel tubing in the ground as posts and then put some insulators on them... The posts are only about 30" high and I run two wires -- one low enough that he can't crawl under it, the other one about 8-9" above that, pretty much at nose level... I'm able to keep him in certain area of the yard so that he doesn't lay landmines all over everywhere in addition to keeping him away from the cable internet line so it doesn't get chewed up... He's pretty lazy (half German Shepherd and half Saint Bernard) so he's either too lazy to jump over it or too stupid...

looks -

obtrusive
Previous dogs I had would chew through the wooden fences... They would dig down a bit until they hit the clay and couldn't dig any further and then start eating a hole through the fence... They would go out, but come back... My current dog is so stupid he can't find his way back home... He's also so friendly that is kind of like, "Smile at me, I'm your's"...

dirt
to
I prefer to run the CATV and phone lines through Schedule-40 PVC pipe so that if I'm eventually digging around in that area, I might notice it before actually cutting the line... Schedule-20, doesn't work... With one swipe of my post hole digger, I went through 3 pieces of Schedule-20 that was used for my sprinkler system that all crossed exactly where I was wanting to put a fence post...
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A friend and I installed my chainlink fence at our old house. I got what I paid for: Cheap, now-rusted, 11-1/2-gauge fencing. I drove by the place a while back. The ~23-year-old fence is still there and appears to be doing its job.
After we moved into this place in 1991, I had a much higher-quality chainlink fence installed professionally. It was WORTH IT!
The previous fence job was a LOT of work, but certainly not beyond my common, handyman skills.
Being familiar with more backyards than ANYONE except a meter reader, I wouldn't install a wooden fence UNLESS it was mounted on STEEL line posts set in concrete. I'm not sure I would want to tackle such a fence myself.
*IF* you hire a good, reputable contractor, you get what you pay for. Fence installation is not high tech but it IS a lot of work.
Good luck!
--
:)
JR

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