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You Did What at Your Age?

Repaired a Fence


After replacing the fence between us and our neighbor and sharing the cost, we got an estimate to replace the fence at the end of the patio, which was a much smaller area. Although the existing fence is very decorative, we thought we could save money by just replacing it with regular cedar boards. But the estimate still came out to $1700, plus another $300 for taking out a couple of large shrubs. Ouch. Dad and I decided we could repair the fence ourselves since the posts were still very sturdy. So, for around $300 in materials, we did the job ourselves, and that amount included buying a second drill and reciprocating saw to cut bigger limbs.

Patio before.jpeg

Before Clean-up

Arbor area cleaned up.jpeg


Our patio looked like it was trying to return to nature with all of the overgrown shrubs, trees, and grass, so just getting things cleaned out made it look much bigger than before. We also switched an ugly rainwater collection tub for a better looking one we were using behind the garage. I plan to wait until the spring before replanting smaller plants and shrubs. And we plan to take out my favorite tree— a beautiful red oak— that was planted in the worst spot on the property before we moved in, under the power lines. I’d be much sadder about it, though, if I hadn’t started two red oak trees from this tree’s acorns in the front yard. I am so proud of those little trees, and the big oak’s line continues.

Over the years I watched my father constantly have to change bits back and forth to drill holes and screw bits, or we had to share the drill. Having a second drill saves so much time and frustration, and I was able to attach the fence boards very quickly using two drills. I measured and cut the boards with a chop saw and painted the board backsides in the garage. I drilled holes for the screws and used a vertical level to attach the cedar boards with long screws to the existing fence frame. Then I added 2 coats of primer and a coat of paint on the front sides of the boards. We still need to add a bit of trim here and there, and I plan to put something simple and decorative on the middle section outside of the fence eventually. But overall, I’m very pleased with the results, as well as the addition of two new tools we use regularly.

Donna Van Cleve

Home & Yard

September 2020

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