Some of you may remember how, earlier this year – before the summer that appears to have come and gone so quickly – I erected a fairly straightforward freestanding, temporary fence to keep my mum’s puppy from wondering off along the shared driveway.
Inevitably, I was asked to do the same again alongside the garden to the rear of the property. This is a job I actually completed in July and, as I sit down to write about it now, I’d like to indicate that I had to make a couple of slight alterations for the same idea to function in its situation.
This may come as news to a lot of readers, as I don’t think I’ve mentioned it previously, but my mum and sister decided to welcome a new puppy in to their lives, a few weeks before Christmas.
His name is Billy and he’s a ‘Morkie’ (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier-cross). Mum was asking about a temporary fence to cordon off the shared driveway. Because they live in rented accommodation as well, this needed to be a freestanding option.
I took some measurements, browsed around online and eventually came up with the following.
Just when I thought it was safe to stow away my claw hammer; the gale-force winds returned and I found myself faced with another fence panel repair and post to replace. I guess I forgot to knock on wood. It’s ironic that the lighting bolt would strike the same spot again, mere weeks after assuring myself that my time as a fence panel-repairer was over.
Some of you may recall that I had to replace a rotten fence post last spring, repairing the breeze-battered panel in the process. That’s been bringing a lot of traffic to my site recently, which my come as know surprise to you, if you live in the UK and you’ve had to experience some of the recent natural forces. I had to do the same again last weekend but on the opposite fence and so, I thought I’d write about that as well, because there are some differences.
With a long weekend and clear skies forecast, I decided I would use this time to try and replace the fence panels that blew down sometime in, erm… February! That’s without mentioning the two fence posts that had each rotted away at ground level. It had seemed like a monstrous job; the kind that I detest, with my general hatred towards pathetic fence panel construction. Each morning I’ve driven to work, each evening I’ve come home; that gaping view on to the neighbour’s weathered decking had been haunting me for far too long. I was tired of tripping over the old panel remains just outside the workshop door. Something had to be done!
Just as I was getting dressed and ready to leave the house for work this morning, there was a knock on my bedroom door. Mum was eager to tell me that anotherfence panel had blown down overnight; narrowly missing her car and lying obtrusively on the drive. It wasn’t the panel I ‘repaired’ over the weekend – as I said then; that one’s never going to come out!! This one is as tall as it is wide.
These photos were taken in the daylight, after I arrived home from work a couple of hours ago, using my phone as well (8 megapixels, apparently… Although, I rarely bother to preset the white balance). All I did in the darkness was to pick up all the loose stuff and to dump it infront of the workshop.
Have I ever told you how much I hate the traditional style of fence panel? If not then, I’ll try not to drone on too much today. Let’s just that I’m ‘not a fan’ of the ‘cost-effective‘ design, where you’re over-relying a few nails and staples to hold a load of thin boards and stick-like battens together.
In my experience, the very first happens during the drier summer months, when this timber (a softwood) is allowed to rapidly expel the moisture it has gathered, causing its form to take all manner of shapes, along with a few splits, cracks and shakes. That’s all without mentioning the threat of wet rot, rising damp and, perhaps one of my biggest bugbears with ‘solid’ fence panelling; the wind effect.