Planning for Next Year…NOW

Future Fence Planning

So I’ve shown you a few of the images of my perfect fence when it was still underway. Now let me show you it up close, along with another fence design.

We went for a drive on Sunday to Columbus Park to take a look at two examples of metal fencing and learn more about how they were constructed. I’ll refer to them as Fence #1 and Fence #2.

This fence is about four foot tall and welded in place

Fence #1 – was about four foot tall and welded in place. It provides nice round holes and would be easy for someone to climb over.


The welds attach to heavy metal posts

This fence isn’t going anywhere. It looks far more solid than the newer wrought iron fencing that is actually made out of aluminum. This fence looks as if it wouldn’t so much as blink if a car rammed into it. In fact, I’d feel very sorry for the car!

The panels look as if they are woven back and forth.

Fence #2 is my cleaning client’s fence. They were looking to enclose the parking lot directly across from their loft home.

I love it even more now that they have the plantings in place. It’s gorgeous!

I was delighted to realize that the sheets are less than five feet high. I had originally thought they were over six foot, but up close I realized the panels are probably 5×8 foot max in size.



I love the arch they did for the gate and these fabulous flagstone steps!

Another nice detail is all of the motion sensor night lights they have in place…

As you can see, Fence #2 has wood enclosing it and surrounding it. From the looks of it, we wouldn’t even need to drill into the metal, it would rest inside of the wood 1×2’s that connected to the 4×4 posts.

The biggest challenge is supply. These metal panels are castoffs from metal fabricators. We are planning on using a LOT of them in order to construct our fence, and that means we may need to make allowances for a mix of different patterns and accommodating those patterns to what our needs are (for example, big open holes will need to have hardware cloth added to one side).

We may end up doing a mix of wood fencing and metal panels – alternating between each if we can’t manage to find enough of the metal panels.

The other twist is that if we have to pick them up incrementally over time, we will need to figure out a way to get them (rent a truck) and store them (lock them down so that metal scrappers don’t try to steal them) until we are ready to construct our fence.

We also walked the yard on Sunday and determined just where we wanted fencing. I drew rough diagrams and we need to talk to our neighbors when it comes to a fence on the border of Cottage East and their lot.

A rough sketch of gate placement and more. There is a chain link fence between the front yard of Cottage East and our side lot. I want to remove it and replace it with the new fence. I also want to run the new fence along the east shared border between Cottage East and our neighbors’ property.

We walked down the street to look at how we want Cottage West fence to be set up.

The fence will run along the entire front of the property until it reaches the last side lot. I want us to go about 15 feet in and end it at a double gate. That way we can drive a pickup truck through it, through the yard, and hook it up to the Airstream which is in the back.

Dave was a little surprised when I suggested creating a fence that ran from the front of the property all of the way to the back fence.

“I figured we would share our yard with the renters,” Dave said.

“Honey, do you remember how upset you were getting at the last party when there were a ton of kids in our yard whacking our flowers to death? And that was just one afternoon. Imagine a child that is not ours doing this day in and day out to our yard.”



It’s important that we construct our fence to suit our needs and plan it so as to avoid potential issues. I added a gate to the side yard of Cottage West so that we can, if we so choose, invite the tenants to share the space on occasion.

I penciled in a six-foot-wide walkway between the fence and the east outside wall of Cottage West to take into account the basement tenant, who will enter and exit at the door at the back of the house.

You can also see from the schematic above that the fence jogs in about 15 feet. That is because we will eventually install a driveway there for our tenants to be able to park off the street. That’s a huge plus for potential tenants.

I’m planning on laying down a four-foot wide concrete path using the concrete forms you see below, with a foot of greenery on each side of it. Nothing out of control, just some basic flowers or a nice groundcover. Ooh, I’ve already been planting mint. That would be nice to have spread. If you step on it it would smell wonderful!

Next we will need to do some measurements and come up with a more detailed schematic than the one I sketched above.

Once we know just how many feet we are talking about, we will be able to calculate the number of panels we will need and we can reach out to metal fabricators and see about purchasing the panels!


All that greenery, all those weeds – filling up the hole in the ground I diligently dug.

The Pond, the Pond!

On Sunday, as we were working through our plans for the fencing, Dave said, “Next weekend I want to finish the gates, do half of the 3rd 2x4s and then get those weeds out of the future pond.”

Our plan is to pull all of the weeds out of it, dig down further in the soil to prep it for a liner and then cover it with tarps to prevent any additional growth until next spring when we can line it and install a pump.

That tiny little clear spot? That took me a half our of weeding to clear. It is perhaps 1/5 of the total size of the pond. We need to dig down as well, possibly 1-2 more feet deep.

I started digging that pond the first year we were here – in 2013 – and have been waiting patiently for the opportunity to install it completely. I think 2019 might finally be the year!

Multi-Use Tree Stumps

As we scrimped and saved to get each of the three cottonwood trees (plus one maple tree too close to the house) taken out – we would usually tell the tree trimmers to leave the trunks with us. It saved us hundreds of dollars and we slowly moved them to line the back edge of the property, some served as seating around the firepit, and the remainder were placed around the bases of our mulberry and maple trees.

The stumps that are now on the outside/alley side of the fence still have value. They serve as physical barriers during winter when folks are slipping and sliding in and out of their parking spaces in the apartment building behind us. The first year we were here someone’s car got stuck in our yard for a full week!

And they will also soon be decorative. I plan on hollowing out the tops of several of them so that this coming spring I can turn the stumps into planters and grow some annuals from seed, but mainly perennials. Pinterest has been giving all kinds of beautiful photos to use as inspiration!

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