Thursday, 24 January 2013

Adding palings to a timber fence

Fence (in background) before
The house next door to ours has been unoccupied for some time and the grass has grown pretty long. It looks pretty bad. A rough fence had been constructed between our property and theirs, but it just consisted of railings and posts with some green shade cloth nailed into it. I'm guessing the shade cloth was meant to be for privacy? But we could see right through it into their overgrown front yard.

The fence posts are about 1.55m tall, so this made the fence perfect for fitting 1.5m palings onto it (you need to allow some space at the bottom for rainwater run-off or the palings will begin to rot). The 1.5m rough sawn palings were about $3 each.

The downside was that the existing fence wasn't built very well. Some posts are spaced far apart and others are close together. The worst thing is that the posts aren't straight - some lean towards each other. This makes it much harder to evenly space the palings to get a professional look.

Most people just turn one paling on its thin edge and use that as a spacing guide for adding palings to a fence. In our case, we needed to hide the fact that the posts were so uneven, so where a post leaned towards us we had to butt the paling right next to it at the top and then leave a 2.5cm (1") gap at the bottom. The finished product won't win a fence building contest, but I think its a vast improvement over how it looked before. And best of all, we can no longer see the awful overgrown front yard next door!

Fence after
We also removed an enormous overgrown rosemary bush from the far left corner, so that has added a lot of space. We had tried to transplant a small tree to the front of our new fence, but unfortunately it didn't make it so we now have a dead, brown tree until we plant another. 

We waterblasted the foreground fence (twice) to get it looking like new again. The foreground fence is a decorative fence that was placed there to hide compost bins, the hen house and anything else you want to hide away. We planted some agapanthus in front of it to add some colour. We're really pleased with how clean and tidy this corner looks now compared to the 'before' photo when we bought the house.

ps - we used 50mm fence paling nails and the guy at the hardware store convinced Chris to buy a 5kg bucket of them to "save money by buying in bulk". We had 95% of them left after finishing the job! Lesson learned, don't fall for the 'buy in bulk' sales pitch.


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