Fence = Extended

I’m happy to report that our backyard is now larger. (jazzhands!)

Remember back in this post, I discussed how we planned to extend our fence closer to the street?   Well, thanks to Joey and his dad, the mission is complete.

So, let’s look at a few progress shots and then a few before and afters.

First off, let me just say that I really love our neighborhood.  For the very first time as homeowners we live in a place where our neighbors actually talk to one another.  It’s pretty awesome.

But, it is an adjustment.

For example, when your fence is down like this…

You must learn to not walk out into the backyard to take pics in your pajamas.   There, inevitably, will be a crowd of sweet neighbors who are inquiring to your husband about the project at hand staring back at you.   And you will awkwardly turn and flee as if you fear human contact.  Which, at that moment, you pretty much do.

So, at this point, instead of just getting it together and changing into actual clothing, you will resort to Plan B.  Taking progress pics from inside the window…

The next day, you will have learned your lesson and donned appropriate outerwear.  And you will meander out into the yard to snap pics of the two-man team.  Surprisingly, they will be not as excited as you are to stop and pose for pics mid-project.  But, you will prevail….

And you will ogle the newly gained space in wonderment…

I heart you, new fence.  You are beautiful.

(For details about moving a fence, check out this post from when Joey moved the fence in our last house)

So anyways, just so ya know, the pic above is pre-stain.   The following weekend after the fence was completed, Joey got to staining the fence.   He powerwashed the entire thing the first day, then took on the staining process the following day.   I didn’t get any progress pics, but it basically consisted of Joey spraying on the stain and then back-brushing with a large brush to ensure that it was even.   We used a semi-transparent stain in cedar, which we were pigeon-holed into using since another segment of our fence by the pool was already stained cedar.  We chose semi-transparent since we had both old and new fencing to unite.  Semi-transparent stain offers more coverage than transparent while still allowing the wood grain to show through, thereby, creating a more cohesive finish.

Now, for the fun part.  Before and afters.

Before…

After…

You may recall that the arch in the branches in the photo above is where the walkway to the shed will go.

Before…

After…

Before…

After…

And here’s the front on that side of the house now…

Nice, right?? Joey and his dad rocked it.

And check out the freshly stained amount of yard we gained…

Heck yeah.

Now this one isn’t a total before pic.  It was taken just after we had the house painted (and after joey gussied up the landscaping and added a stone border).  It was just the only pic that I could find that really showed the side fence ….

And here’s our house now…

But since I’m a total sucker for TRUE before pics, here are a few shots of our house on the day we closed…

I haven’t looked at some of these before pics in a really long time.  I’d forgotten how ugly it was at first.   Very institutionally prison-like, in my opinion.  Those old windows.  Woof!  What was really, really encouraging was that while Joey was staining the fence, one of our neighbors whom we hadn’t met yet walked over to Joey and thanked him for helping to make the neighborhood beautiful.   And I thank him too.   Aside from painting the front door and our metal gate, I can claim no responsibility for our house’s exterior transformation.  My husband never ceases to amaze.

Sadly, with all the crazy weather we’ve been having though, there has been one casualty.  This awesomely unique evergreen went to the giant forest in the sky after all the rain we had in May…

Goodbye, my LOOOVVVE…

So, now that the fence is extended we’re gonna get going on installing the shed.   Which means our garage is gonna look might purdy.  Well, for a minute anyways (donttelljoeyisaidthat). And once the weather cools off we plan to work on landscaping both the shed and exterior fenceline to soften it all up.

So, that’s our exterior progress up to this point.  How are y’all faring in this heat?

TDC Before and After

Shedding Plans

So, HI!

I know it’s been a few weeks…. Let me tell ya, it’s been a few BUSY weeks months.   I know summer tends to be hectic for most people, but I can say that this is unequivocally the busiest summer we’ve had in a while.   Just random stuff that’s led to jam-packed weekends.  And while we’ve still managed to get some stuff done (like fixing our rotting wall), we just haven’t been doing all of the home projects that we typically do.

But, this doesn’t mean we haven’t been planning.   (Mischievous finger tapping on table with sinister grin)

There are two larger projects that we’ve been actively brainstorming and can’t wait to get started on.

One is moving our fence on the side of our house and adding a shed for storage.    The other would be starting on our kitchen makeover.

So, let’s start with the backyard in this post, and then I’ll break down the kitchen plans in another.  Joey has pretty much been salivating over the idea of adding a shed since we moved in.  We have a pretty large two-car garage, but it currently looks like this….

Sort of jam-packed despite Joey’s frequent efforts to organize it.   He wants to be able to store the yard equipment and pool stuff in a shed so that we can better utilize the garage and MAYBE fit another car in there.  Not to mention create additional space for us to work on our kitchen renovation.  I totally agreed with this idea, but with all the other more pressing projects that we’ve had to address since moving in, we’d just never gotten around to it.   So, for his birthday, I promised him that we’d get going on a shed after the rotting wall was fixed.   He was pretty stoked.

But, as any DIYer knows.   Nothing is this simple.   Because as we tried to figure out a suitable location for the shed, we realized that it’d be premature for us to add a shed without first moving our fence.

Allow me to explain.

Most of you guys have probably seen this area of our yard where The Clarington Resort (huh-huh!) resides…

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Well, next to it, alongside our house we have this area of untapped space…

Joey added that paver walkway because prior to that, the land was just mud, so walking through the yard was a huge pain.  This is a nicely-sized area, but (secret) it could actually be much larger.  Ya see, in speaking with our neighbors, we discovered that 3 owners ago, the man who lived here replaced the fence along the front and side of the house to get it sold.  But he only had enough money for a certain number of fence sections.   So, the location of our fence now is solely based on the number of sections he could afford.   Which leaves this 24′ foot piece of wasted land on the outside of our fence…   
We called the city to see if we could move the fence closer to the street and we were told that as long as our survey shows that our property line goes beyond the fence, we could potentially move the fence as long as we left a 15″ space between our fence and the curb.   We pulled out our survey and…
We could totally move our fence and potentially gain about 9 more feet of space in our backyard.   Which means that the new shed could be placed behind the tree line, much more discreetly and with a more foresty aesthetic.  Totally my jam.

Joey and I figured out that we can reuse our current galvanize posts, hardware, as well as the fence sections already in place on the side.  We would simply have to purchase two additional fence sections for the front and back and concrete for resetting the posts.  Then, we’d powerwash the entire fence and stain it to unite the old and new sections.

Once we figured out the moving-of-the-fence stuff, we looked at sheds.   We decided on a metal shed since they’re durable, inexpensive (comparatively), and paintable.   And Joey found this guy at Home Depot…

Arrow Newport 8 ft. x 6 ft. Steel Shed

(source)

She doesn’t look like much now, but we have plans (Mu-wahahahahahaa!).   This shed is 8″x6″, which is the perfect dimension to nestle right in behind the tree line.   It’s also relatively low to the ground.  At 74″ high, the peak should barely be seen over our fence.   See that little arc in the branches (by that pallet)?

That will lead to the door of the shed.

The plan is to paint the shed the same colors as the house… SW Loggia for the body and Black Bean by Behr for the door.    We’ll create a nice walkway to the door with pavers and decomposed granite, and then, when the weather cools off in the fall, we’ll landscape around the shed to soften the lines and make it seem more permanent and intentional.  This is kind of the vibe we eventually want…

(source)

Now this is clearly not a metal shed… and it’s a bit more cottagey than what would work with our quirky 1970’s house, but I really like it because the shed feels like it’s nestled into the landscape.  It looks cared for and intentional thanks to the pavered entry and flowers.   We’re hoping to make our shed have that same feeling eventually.  Although, I will never promise flowers… they always proceed to hate me, mock me, then die quick deaths.

So, that’s the plan.   We’re hoping to get going on this Friday, then hopefully finish moving the fence Saturday.  I’m not sure when we’ll stain it.  Hopefully soon after.  And then, it’ll be shed time.  Woot!  🙂

** Update: The fence has been moved!  Check out the results here!**

TDC Before and After