Monday, April 28, 2008

Mending Fences

The fence is up. It is beautiful. My yard looks so much cleaner now. Not just because the sections on this fence are actually straight, the posts don't lean, and you can't see through the holes where pickets were missing. It looks clean because we cleared out piles of ivy that were growing through the old fence. I really think it was holding up the fence in some places. We also cleared out piles of old bricks in the corner (which again, were helping to hold up the fence), and I cleared out the small jungle between the shed and the fence. There is still a small jungle behind the shed but you can't see that from the pictures so be kind and don't point it out. I'm working on it. (And by working on it I mean trying to hire someone because DAMN that ivy is in the ground for life.) I wish I could just set it on fire, but our town has some goofy ordinance about uncontrolled burning. Spoilsports.

We tore down the old fence on Friday afternoon. It only took about an hour and half. Of the ten posts, we found two that were properly set in concrete. The first post we pulled out was only buried 4 inches into the ground. I'm not a professional, but I think you need a bit more stability than that. Of course, that kind of master craftsmanship explains a lot about the state of the fence. Just sayin'.

I bought my fencing from Home Depot. A nice feature they offer is the ability to place your order online, and they will pull it and get it ready for you to pick up. This is especially handy when you're dealing with 6x8 fence panels. They don't fit in the cart so well.

They also offer tool and truck rental, but they do not take reservations, so it's first come first serve. My plan was to get there right when they opened to make sure I got what I needed.

On Friday, I ran by to get an extension cord and a garden hose. While I was there, I stopped by the online order desk just to verify that my order wasn't lost in cyberspace. I also verified that they opened at 6am. The clerk said "yes, 6am."

Saturday morning, Sugar and I arose at the buttcrack of dawn and headed out to HD. As we approached the store, I could see 4 or 5 people standing by the doors. I started to freak out (because that's what I do best) and started spewing a stream of consciousness along the lines of "oh no, I knew I should have gotten here earlier how the hell am I going to get 10 fence panels and posts and concrete to my house with this short-bed truck, and and what if they rented the auger already and oh holy hell that guy has on a Home Depot jacket and I'm wearing my Lowe's jacket they won't rent to me becauseI like the wrong NASCAR team and I want this fence done today because I can't bring my dogs home without a fence".... and on and on like that. I'm suprised Sugar didn't shut my hand in the door just to give me something to freak out about.

Ahem. Anyway, we pull into the parking and I leap out of the truck before he gets it stopped, because the the 4 or 5 people standing outside the store? Are now being let inside!! OMG!! I half walk/half run toward the door, and the door shuts and I see the employee re-locking it! Nooooo!!!! As I hurtle toward the doors, the kind yet confused Home Depot employee opens the door again and says "Can I help you?" I said I was there to pick up my order and he says "We don't open until 7."

WHA? Oh no no no, the lady at the contractor desk yesterday said 6am. He replied "That was our old hours."

WHA? Old hours? You. Are. Effing. Kidding. Me. I could have slept another hour.

By this time Sugar has caught up to me and has heard the 7am opening time. He takes me gently by the arm (before I harm myself or others) and turns me to go back to the truck. Another gentleman has heard this exchange as well and says "They always opened at 6am before." Ha! Validation!! However, validation doesn't open the doors, so we leave.

After that auspicious start, we only ran into a few more problems, which required buying more concrete and a chain saw (I told you that ivy was FIERCE!) and digging out a couple of buried surprises, such as a metal fence stake and concrete from previous fence posts. Someone apparently did the job correctly in the past. I also have a partial section left over, which I can use for future repairs.

All in all, it was a 12 hour job, start to finish. No one was seriously injured, we didn't run out of beer, and we also managed to haul off the vast majority of the old fencing.

So thanks to my Sugar, my neighbors Vinny and Lou, and my BFF Lynn for loaning her husband, Brian.

Next major project - the deck.

**Pics will be on Flickr later. I'll update.


MP said...

Damn...I'm worn out reading that. I was complaining about loading up 6 bags of clothes this weekend..and now I have an achey back...waaa me... Go Kim! WOW!

Michelle said...

Way to go Tiger! I'm impressed you got that all done in a day. It would have taken us 6 years just to order the materials.

I hear ya about the ivy. At our old house we had a section of the lawn that was covered in it. It came from the neighbors and was taking over our lawn. We rented a tiller and started hacking away. By the time we were finished the yard looked sooo much better. I will NEVER plant ivy!!!