We built a couple of raised beds so we could raise some vegetables and teach our kids something about raising their own food. Unfortunately, our dog decided it was a great place to hang out too. We spent most of our gardening time repairing the damage from her jaunts through the garden. This year, we decided to evict her from the garden once and for all.
A fence was the answer. But we didn't want to build something permanent since we don't see this as our "forever" home. So, I decided to build something semi-permanent. What does that mean? It means a fence that isn't built to stand the test of time. Something not quite Stonehenge, but more durable than cheesecloth. OK, perhaps that was a bad comparison. But you get the idea....
Step 1: Start with an idea, the right tools, and a few cheap materials
- It has to be aesthetically pleasing to the Spouse;
- It should do what it is meant to do (in this case, keep the dog out); and
- It must not hit any underground utilities.
To meet the first requirement, I decided to build a very temporary fence so the spousal unit could see what I was proposing and give the green light before I made anything semi-permanent. This step kept me from digging more than a few holes.
So, what is needed to build a temporary, then semi-permanent fence? Here's a list:
- Fence panels - You could build the fence from scratch, but these panels are small and light enough for one person to handle and save a lot of time on labor. I bought enough panels from the local home-improvement store to span the expected distance (measure twice!) plus one extra.
- Metal posts - these are the big secret. Metal posts designed for putting up chicken wire or electric fence are usually sturdy enough to hold a small wooden fence. Don't get the super-cheap, super flimsy ones. Step up to the thicker once or your semi-permanent fence will really be just a temporary fence.
- Some good wood screws - I used decking screws, but you can use whatever you like. Just be sure they are outdoor screws. Indoor screws will rust.
- A pair of hinges meant for outdoor gates.
- A latch of some sort.
- Post-hole diggers - Don't skimp on these. A good digger is worth it.
- A 5lb sledge - Claw hammers are too small, a sledge hammer is too big. A 5lb sledge is just right.
- A screw driver - I used my battery-powered drill. If you are masochistic, you could use a regular screwdriver. Just make sure you have the correct bit (phillips, flat, or special bit for your special deck screws).
- A measuring tape.
- A level.
- Some string wouldn't hurt if you like to create a nice layout before you get started.
- A saw - There wasn't much sawing on my project, so I didn't drag out the circular saw. I used my trusty hand saw to get the job done.