Monday, 12 May 2008

Homekeeper Challenge #6

This week I started on a project that will take a little while to finish, but one that I will be super-proud of when I finally get there! I am building a fence.

The only thing we didn't get from our "wish list" for our house was a fenced in backyard. There is lots of space for the boys to run around...but nothing to keep them in. So I knew that one of our first projects this Spring had to be getting a fence in.

Our first instinct was to spend our tax refund on just getting a fence company to do the entire thing for us. But when the quote came back at nearly $10,000 and the job would also necessitate taking out the trees that line the back of our property. And so we were stuck. We love those trees, and didn't really want to spend that much on a fence. We weren't building an 8-foot monster - just a little picket to keep the boys out of the neighbours' gardens.

I then took it upon myself to investigate our options. I like to think inherited my some of my Dad's skill when it comes to fixing and building. And my Dad (wonderful father that he is) is often willing to come out and help me with a project here and there.

I shopped around to see what kinds of fences we could put in and how much each cost. I drew up my plans, measured up and figured out the materials I would need. I ended up with three options which I presented to James. All three cost about the same, so in the end it's just a personal decision on what we'd like to look at in the yard.

I took James down to the hardware store to see the materials in person, so that he could have a better idea what I was planning. (Funny anecdote - I had a few last questions at the store, and each time I posed one, the employee turned and explained his answer to James, turning his back to me. Clearly he figured that James must be the one piloting the project! I just laughed to myself about it, taking mental notes and formulating the next question. Little did he know I'm much more likely to be found with the toolbox in hand!)

That's about where we are now. Of the three options, one involves building a picket fence picket by picket, one involves building just the frame, and the last is simply screwing the pieces together. The adventurous side of me really wants to build it from scratch, picket by picket, but a wood picket fence would need serious maintenance after about 10 years, and so isn't necessarily the practical choice. But I do think we've decided to go with the middle option, so I will have a chance to get out the saw, hammer and nails and go to work on it! I'll be sure to keep you updated with photos along the way. This is by far my most exciting challenge!

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