We’re Getting a Fence Installed! Plans and Inspiration

Projects

You read that right – we are getting a fence installed! Fences are a huge investment and, after lots of visual research and planning, we decided this was one of the projects we wanted to leave to the experts. I’m sharing why we’re installing a fence, our inspiration, layout plans and why we chose not to DIY this one.

Why we’re installing a fence

We have two curious dogs and we live on a relatively busy farm road. One of the perks of purchasing this property was exactly that – the property – but, we’re still close enough to the road that we’re not willing to risk the dogs’ safety. We also like the idea of creating contained spaces within the property. Our landscape is separated by trees, outbuildings, rock walls and small hills so there are natural breaks throughout. The fence will give us peace of mind and define a dedicated outdoor living space.

Our inspiration

It is very important to us that this fence doesn’t feel out of place. Our home was built in the 1850’s and, despite having been updated over the years, still ties back to its roots. We also didn’t want to install something that blocked the view of our property. The rock walls that define our property lines are too beautiful to hide.

Driving around town was inspiration in and of itself, but I did spend some time looking through books and Pinterest to narrow down ideas. I found myself coming back to two different styles.

Post and rail with chain link

Our town is blanketed with traditional split rail fences, and while I do love the weathered, imperfect nature of them, I personally prefer a slightly more tidy look. Round post and rail is just the thing. It will age just the same, but has cleaner lines.

And I know what you’re thinking about the chain link – eek! Hear me out. Our fence needs to keep the dogs in, but we don’t want to impede our view. Lots of folks use a wire mesh and wrap that around the post and rail, but it’s not rigid enough to stay put for long and just looks wonky after a few years. Chain link wrapped around wooden posts is far more sophisticated and durable, in my opinion, and still blends into the surrounding landscape. Black chain link was recommended to us as the least obstructive, so that’s what we’ve decided on.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Picket fencing

Picket fences are charming. I’ve never met a picket fence I didn’t like! Like with the post and rail, I wanted a more elevated look and the classic and timeless Chestnut Hill picket fence kept catching my eye. It’s still charming, but more substantial than the flat, pointed picket rails. There is still visibility through the rails but it doesn’t feel heavy like a solid wall of fencing would. We’ll also mix Chestnut Hill picket gates with the post and rail around the back of the yard to tie the mixed styles together!

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

One thing we are certain about is that we want wood fencing, not vinyl. We love the way wood weathers and changes over the years. That’s what gives it character and aligns with our home and beautiful farm town. While we’ll do our best to maintain the longevity of our fence, we’ll welcome and repair signs of age as they come.

Layout plans

We started planning the fence layout while developing our garden plans. The garden was the start of turning our unused side yard into a lovely outdoor living space. Fencing our entire property is not in budget, so we leveraged existing structures to define the space we wanted to fence in.

The chicken coop made for the perfect natural divide between fence styles. I love the idea of having the picket fence visible from the road, and the more casual post and rail fencing along the side and back. The picket fence is also more costly, so installing a shorter run of it along the front made it more budget friendly.

Over the few short months we’ve lived in this house we’ve found ourselves taking walks along the same path around our property. So much so, the matted grass shows signs of our regular walks. This felt like a clear indication that we needed to maintain that walkway! So, we aligned the post and rail with the corner of the coop furthest from the rock wall to create a channel between the fence and rock wall. Not only will we be able to continue our walks along this path, but we can easily fit the lawn tractor and a larger vehicle, if needed.

The biggest obstacle we have in this yard space is our septic system, so we strategically pushed the fence line back far enough to maximize yard space and avoid the tanks. This also opened up the opportunity to fit a double gate along the side of the barn giving us room, again, for the lawn tractor and larger vehicles.

Why not DIY?

We dabbled in fence installation at our last home when we installed a custom privacy screen. While it’s totally something we’d feel comfortable DIYing (having learned a few lessons), it’s very labor intensive and time consuming. Our soil is rocky, so in addition to digging holes and setting posts, we’d have a number of boulders to break and clear. After going back and forth on this for quite some time we came to the conclusion that it would get done faster and better than if we spent our summer and fall chipping away at it. Project fatigue, anyone? This means we’ll have the fence completed this year and can put our time and energy into projects we’ll truly enjoy. It’s hard to give the reins to someone else, but this is a project we’ll happily hand over.

We’re hoping the fence will be complete by the end of September. This, of course, depends on our contractor’s schedule. After years of dreaming of a secure, fenced in yard for our pups the time has finally come!

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