Mar 222013

building a simple fence, homestead in the cityCreativity and Resourcefulness

After spending a short amount of time at our city homestead, it became apparent that we needed a fence to deter unwanted foot traffic. Since I’d never built a fence before, and we were working with a very meager budget, I had to meditate on the idea for awhile. Eventually, creativity and resourcefulness saved the day.

Building a Simple Fence With Salvaged Posts

After performing a bit of research, I found a company to purchase used fence posts from for $2-$3 a piece. The fence company removes old fences when they build new ones for their customers, and they sell the old fence posts at a deep discount. I purchased fence posts as I could afford them, and I transported them in the trunk of our Toyota Camry.

The Easy Way

Next, we needed to dig the post holes. After careful consideration, I decided against digging the two foot deep post holes with a shovel and opted instead for a post hole digger. We were able to purchase a used post hole digger from a seller for $10.

Getting Clever With Quikrete

building a simple fence, homestead in the cityAfter digging our post holes, we needed to install the posts, which we did with Quikrete. Concrete is really heavy for me, so I asked a worker at Lowe’s carry it to the trunk of my car for me.

I kept the Quikrete in the trunk of our car while I worked. I opened it so that I could easily scoop it out, and I drove my car to the part of our yard that we were working in.

Here is a link to my original blog post about our fence installation

Begin, and Begin Again

building a simple fence, homestead in the cityAfter installing our fence posts, I connected the posts in the front yard with planks that I salvaged from the wall deconstruction we’d performed in our house. I then used more salvaged wood as fence pickets. As our fence began to take shape, I didn’t like the way it looked, so I removed the pickets and planks.

After some time, I realized that the most important section to fence was our backyard. If I fenced the backyard my daughter and dog would have a place to play while I work, and we’d have a place to begin our garden. Also, our backyard was already fenced on two sides.

A Simple, Affordable Solution

On one of my many strolls through various hardware stores, I spotted rolls of economy galvanized wire fencing. I decided that wrapping wire fencing around my backyard would be the simplest way to fence it in. I measured both sides of our yard that needed fencing and found out that a 50 foot roll would do the trick. Since my fence posts around our backyard are six feet tall (8 foot posts with two feet buried in the ground), I opted for the five foot fencing. Along with my galvanized fencing which cost $50, I also purchased a $10 pair of wire snips.

Since I was separating the backyard from the side and front yards, I installed two more fence posts to act as a gate frame. I then installed a door that we salvaged to act as a gate. The process took about three days including time to allow the concrete to dry around the newly planted fence posts.

Plans for the Future

Although our fence is functional, I need to do a few more things to it to make it beautiful and more functional. We need to brace the posts that are holding up the door, and we need to paint the door to protect it from the elements. We also need to place something along the bottom of the fence so that our dog cannot dig her way out. It’s a work in progress, and I’m really excited to see what creative solutions we come up with.

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tags: building a simple fence, homestead in the city

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