Hippy Fence

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Because I wanted to experiment, I decided to build a portion of a privacy fence across a portion of the right half of my rear property line. My wife wanted me to block the view from the neighbor’s back yard. She couldn’t picture my final design at all. That’s probably a good thing because some of my first ideas were truly bizarre.

It took all my self-control to avoid building the crazy thing I had in my head. After looking at various fences across the area and following that up with looking at several hundred online, I knew that the options at my disposal were almost infinite. Luckily for my wife, I went with a more conventional look. Believe me, I wanted to do something vibrant, colorful, and unusual. If such things interest you, I recommend that you Google “modern fences” and variations of it.

I also had to decide whether to take down the chain-link fence on that side. Even though it might surprise the property owners behind me, the chain link fence is on my property. The marking stakes from three surveys are still in the ground.

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This is the latest survey marker on the left side and rear fence of my yard. You can see that the chain link that was there is on my side of the property line.
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These are 3 different survey markers on the right rear property line. You can see that the chain link fence is inside my side of the property line. (And that the neighbor’s fence is actually a bit over the survey line.)

 

 

A previous owner incorrectly (but cheaply) attached chain link fencing to the barbed wire fence that separated the property. I cut away all the barbed wire over the last few weeks. The only reason I had the energy was due to the coronavirus. I didn’t cut away the chain link fence because the neighbors have a dog.

For the neighbor behind me on the left, I cut away all the barbed wire, chain link fencing, and posts as soon as he finished his section of privacy fence on his side. The yard immediately looked better. It doesn’t hurt that I no longer have to see the nutso neighbor’s roommate, the one who literally screams and shouts at the sky during thunderstorms. He’s always been decent to me but the possibility of him going off his rocker at any moment keeps me at a distance.

For the supporting posts on my proposed privacy section, I used three 8′ posts set in concrete. Because my plan was to use horizontal boards, I didn’t need support strips running horizontally. I also spaced my posts 5′ apart instead of a longer distance.

I also had to take into account the cable lines running incorrectly across the property line. (This is due to a much older neighborhood being behind the new one where I live.) I’ve learned that utility companies often do the wrong thing – and sometimes the illegal thing if it saves the contractor installing it time. I learned this lesson again in the last year as Ozarks Electric trespassed and damaged my yard. Placing the posts more closely paid off because of the shorter distance between posts gave me a greater ability to stagger away from the lines that shouldn’t be there.

For my panel, I ran two sets of 8′ boards horizontally across the 3 posts. They overlapped over the middle of the three posts, and the notched ends faced away from both the outside posts. I used star-point wood screws to attach the boards. Because my local retailer had insufficient boards, I had half cedar and half something else. Instead of waiting, I alternated the boards across both halves, creating an alternating pattern on the 16′ panel I ended up with.

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Having experimented with this type of fence, I discovered that my design is more visually appealing that most standard fence sections, such as the ones used in the ‘alleys’ between houses. I’ll probably put up a similar panel design on the left side of the front of my house – a section that will not contain a gate. I’ve learned that no matter how much you insist that people not use one side of your house to access the rear, they will do it anyway. Not having a gate eliminates the issue. I’d also like to have a couple of large boulders delivered too. I’ve always found them to be visually appealing.

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The fence blocks neighbors while we’re sitting in our rocking chairs.

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