Home, Home Ownership, Landscaping

Bye-Bye, Fence!

We have all sorts of landscaping plans for our house.  I’d like to put up some garden walls, a few retaining walls, re-do the bottom deck, put in an area in the front yard where I can have a baby pool and lawn chairs, and keep on with the overall sprucing up that I’ve been doing around here.  Another one of my plans has been to dismantle the inconvenient, falling down fence and wooden storage box on the side of our garage.  Here it is, pre-takedown:

2014-03-15 13.27.18The wood is in bad need of a paint job.  There were places where the nails had begun to work themselves out and were just waiting to snag a passerby’s clothes.  The gate was in sorry shape.  It took me about 30 seconds to remove it from the fence.  Here it is, propped up against the garage.

2014-03-15 13.28.06It was being held in place by a thin metal band screwed around one of the utility pipes and a small length of chain.  It had several large nails – pointy end out – sticking from the gate post where it had pulled away from the house.  It dragged along the ground, was a pain to open, and made it really tricky to take things like bicycles or strollers out of that entryway, something you need to do if you want to go for a ride or a walk but leave the main garage door shut (we only have 1 garage door remote that Chris takes with him in his bike bag… our minivan has the remote programmed into it).

The attached storage box was nothing more than an empty trash can holder and bug trap.

2014-03-15 13.28.41This is after I took off the soft, rotting lid that had a large piece of metal jutting out the back of it.  It, too, had a heavy chain attached to it with a small brick on the end.  I’m assuming that this was meant to be placed atop the lid to help keep curious critters away from the metal trash cans inside.

Except, we didn’t use those trash cans.  We used the one provided by our local garbage company.  And even if we’d removed those trash cans, it would have been pointless to heft that great big plastic wheeled trash bin into and out of this storage box every trash day.  At one point I thought that we might be able to use it for firewood, but decided against that.

No doubt about it in my mind – that fence needed to go.  It was a leaf catcher and a hazard.  The first time I opened the storage bin I was greeted by spider webs and camel back crickets.  We couldn’t even store our regular trash can in the fenced area because the storage bin took up all of the room.

Rather than doing the work myself, I decided to snap a few photos, take some measurements, and post it on Craigslist with the title “FREE wooden fence”.  I made it clear that anyone interested would need to be able to dismantle the thing and haul all of it away, and within 4 hours of the ad going online I’d gotten 2 replies.  The fence was completely gone, posts and all, in less than 24 hours, all with me doing very little work in the process.

Here’s a photo of the area with the fence down.

2014-03-16 16.45.24 2014-03-16 16.45.10

That’s what I call thinking smarter, not harder 🙂  It came with the added bonuses of making someone else happy (the husband and wife who took it away planned to use the wood to make planter boxes) and keeping as much of it out of the landfill as possible.

The area still looks rather sad and dreary.  I attribute some of that to the gray, rainy weather and the leaf litter.  The paint on the house doesn’t help much, either, but one thing at a time!  The next step is to make a corner out of privacy fence next to the side door so that we can store our trash bin outside (and get it out of the garage).  I’m so glad that the old fence and storage bin are gone!

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