Over the Fence and to the Lake

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21.10.11

Since this is the never-ending project of the Summer of 2011 I think it’s fitting that I’m still talking about this after Summer has come to a close and Fall is knocking us on the head with cooler temperatures and changing leaves.

After the happy day when we finally completed our little deck building project we knew it wouldn’t be long before we needed to build a fence to completely close off the yard and keep a certain roaming toddler from exploring beyond the boundaries of the sandbox and going for an impromptu dip in the lake beyond.

We wanted the same railing design we used for the deck so it looked nice and put together rather than some messy mish mosh of randomly built fences. We’ve already got a lot going on in the fence department with two different bordering fences and in the end decided that consistency would be key this time around.

To keep it interesting and not to long and boring we added some dimension to the side fences by making them a tad shorter than the deck rail. We will still be able to keep roaming toddlers in but it’s not too tall to block your line of sight. We think the height variations will add some character to what otherwise would be one long line of railing.

To make the fence panels the guys assembled the shorter version of the deck railing on the floor before carrying it over to some posts that had been set into the ground. After that it was simply leveled and nailed into place.

I always find it amazing how the last step goes so quickly all of the preparation and hard work that went into this entire project and then a little leveling and nailing and viola there’s a fence.

Next came assembling the gate panels to block off the stone stairway we talked about here. Bryan made a a frame making sure it was square. He used a wider board for the top piece so they could add an arch to the top of the gate similar to the one already on the deck gate.

Once the two halves of the gate were pre-assembled they dry fit them into the opening to make sure everything was snug and cozy but not too snug, since a sticky gate just isn’t fun for anyone.

To make the arched top the gate panels were set on the ground. Using a string they made a wide arch across both pieces. It was a bit of trial and error at first with Bryan moving further and further out to get just the right amount of curve.

Once they had the desired curve it was simple a matter of drawing the line and cutting it with a jigsaw. Then they sanded a few of the rough spots down.

This final piece of the great deck project really brought the whole yard together. It simultaneously gave us usable outdoor space in our modest sized yard while making the above ground pool completely accessible from the yard and gave it more of an in-ground feel.

An added bonus is the yard somehow feels wider and bigger because the fence and deck defines the space into two distinct outdoor rooms. We now have the grass area up top to play in and the area by the lake for boating access while keeping little one safe and confined.

The gate arches are my favorite custom touch in the yard so far. They add so much interest to all of the other straight lines on the deck and fence.

It’s come a long way since we inherited the yard from the previous owners. We still have so many plans to finish off the yard and fix up the area by the lake that now has all that white stone.

So what’s next you ask? Well, we still need to stain and protect the entire fence. Do you ever have a project you dread before you start it? I’m kind of feeling that about the prospect of staining this monster.

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