And so, we come to the end of the long, arduous, messy, and sometimes violent project known as Operation: NEW FENCE.
Really, how this differs from just about every other project we’ve taken on… hmm… I guess it’s just the “violent” part. We really underestimated how many plants indeed needed to be cut down/uprooted/bent back/chopped up/pulvarized/smooshed-into-the-compost-bin-until-it-was-so-full-it-cracked in order to give birth to our new fence.
Otherwise, pretty much every project we take on turns out to be long, arduous, and way messier than anticipated. And yet! We keep going.
So here we are, with our beautiful new redwood fence and our cracked compost bin and our upstairs view that will never be obstructed and our yard ready for the backhoe next spring. We envisioned this moment in July; in October, it’s finished. Things we learned over the three months it took to get it all done: removing two trees, grinding out a giant stump, demolishing our old fence and building a new one around most of the backyard, with a new gate and new chicken-proof/dog-proof enclosure to the neighbor’s yard…
1. Always get multiple bids on a job. We got our trees removed for half the first price quoted to us. And they’re no less “gone” than they would have been with the other guy.
2. (While you’re looking for those bids…) Fence guys in the Bay Area must be rich. They seriously are the busiest motherf#@%ers on the planet. None of them answer their phones, call you back, or can build you a fence without two months lead time. So plan ahead. Also, if you’re decently alright with the manual labor thing, seriously consider changing your line of work.
3. Nobody wants to haul anything away. Even if they’re being paid to do it as part of the job. They will try anything and everything they can to get out of it, so make sure you get hauling-of-your-crap-away in writing. Do not forget this step! Also, try to empathize – you don’t want to haul that shit away, either, remember.
4. Read your contract. Take some notes, even. This will come in very handy when you have trouble with #3, above, and someone wants to leave an enormous pile of “comingled waste” in your driveway. I don’t think so…
5. If you really need to, you can cut down an entire decent-size tree with loppers. And cut it up into pieces small enough to fit in your compost bin. If you really need to. IF.
6. If you live in an old house, there could be buried treasure along your fence line. Seriously. Get digging.
You thought we’d have given up by now, didn’t you? Nope. 3675 just keeps lookin’ better and better. Check out all our pics of the house in perpetual forward motion here.