Mending Fences: Part 2

And so, we come to the end of the long, arduous, messy, and sometimes violent project known as Operation: NEW FENCE.

Our very un-janky new redwood fence (plus one of many piles of stuff that got in its way).

Our very un-janky new redwood fence (plus one of many piles of stuff that got in its way).

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…

Come and knock on our gate!

Come and knock on our gate!

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.

Gone! Hmm... I see you, chickens...

Gone! Hmm… I see you, chickens…

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.

Loppers were here. Well, TWO pair of loppers...

Loppers were here. Well, TWO pair of loppers…

6. If you live in an old house, there could be buried treasure along your fence line. Seriously. Get digging.

Can't really come and knock on this door no more, but it's still pretty cool.

Can’t really come and knock on this door no more, but it’s still pretty cool.


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.

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2 thoughts on “Mending Fences: Part 2

  1. Margaret Wisniewski says:

    Congratulations on discovering some of the fundamental truths of home improvement! We hold these fundamental truths to be universal as well. It does not matter in what state you reside, if you get a contractor to call you back you are a darn lucky person. And you certainly don’t ever want to consider hauling and dumping stuff yourself. What you pay for gasoline, rental trucks and dumping fees will pay for your next home improvement! (Experience talking here.)

    Don’t you also kind of wonder about the story behind some of that debris that you pulled out of your yard? I wonder into what room that door opened, and what things happened behind that door. Kind of like your own personal archeological dig.

    Gotta get me some loppers, too.

  2. lisatemp says:

    I wonder about some of the debris, yes. Others I am just happy to have now thrown away. 😉

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