On the Fence About Our Neighbors

After sharing our front yard landscaping progress (and boost of curb appeal) last week, I felt it was high time to share with you, my favorite spot: the backyard. In all of it's glory. 

It literally does take your breath away doesn't it? Personally it makes me want to vomit just a little. After moving in we we immediately shored up as much as we could so that Geoffrey would be able to use the yard safely without getting tetanus, stabbed with heroine needles, joining wild animal gang, I don't know.

It was looking halfway decent considering this photo was taken around January or February. There was still a huge problem though (besides our lack of grass). Our neighbors are hoarders. And by hoarders I mean they are slobs. And if you want to see more of their hoarding/slob tendencies this post has plenty. So needless to say a privacy fence was in order.

Oh and these old school clotheslines had to go.

There is also this super stabby area behind our detached garage that we definitely didn't want Geoffrey getting into. I didn't even want to go back there. Yikes. And what is with all of the random bricks lying around?

A privacy fence sounded easy enough except for one tiny (okay rather tall) detail. This pecan tree that is just on the inside of our chain link fence. 

We called the county in order to get the original site drawings for our house and saw that the pecan tree was literally smack dab in the middle of our property line. Super. So we couldn't build the new fence behind the tree because that isn't our property, and if we built the fence on our side of the tree then we would lose about a foot of yard space, and our yard is already pretty tiny already. So we had to get a little crafty.

We knew that we wanted a horizontal fence. We really loved the idea of combining a modern element with our classic 1930 craftsman bungalow. Juxtaposition and all of that. We also had every intention of building the fence ourselves, but have you ever dug post holes? It's not fun. So we thought we could just get the professionals to dig and set the posts and we would do the rest. So we did our research and received several quotes from reputable companies around town for just the posts. Oddly enough, for some reason it was only about $100 more just to have them do the whole shebang (go figure) so obviously we just let them do it all. No sweat! One thing we found pretty interesting during this process was that several companies either refused to do a horizontal fence for whatever reason, or would charge more for horizontal than a standard dog-ear picket fence. Which is weird because it's less labor and requires less material. Some even said "you do realize this is San Antonio". What does that even mean? We were pretty annoyed by it all. 

We ended up using Alamo Deck and Fence and they were able to get started right away. This was also really nice because it would have taken us several weeks to get the job done, considering we could only work on it after work and on the weekends. The next morning we had a pile of cedar lumber in our yard and a crew of guys at our house ready to go!

We setup a little camera through the blinds so that we could watch the progress from work during the day because we're creepy like that.

I feel like they're flipping a coin to see who gets to dig holes and who gets to nail boards. I think the guy in blue lost.

Or not! They had the posts up in no time, and it all went rather quickly.

A lot of the trees had to be trimmed in the back corner which is why we have a small shrub in the middle of the yard. 

But what about the pecan tree? We ended up deciding to have the fence die into each side of the middle of the tree. It wasn't an ideal situation, but given our options it seemed like the best way go to, and we are really pleased with how it turned out. As long as we couldn't see the neighbors, I was happy as a clam.

It ended up only taking them about two days to get the whole job done. Once they had buttoned everything up Derek and I stained the cedar. We used a sprayer and brush to make sure that the stain was nice and saturated into the wood. We used this stain, and knew that the sun was going to fade the stain rather quickly (yay Texas summers!) so we did two nice thick coats which really helped bring out that nice orangey cedar color we were looking for. 

Just to jog your memory on how awful it looked before, here's a little reminder incase you had already mentally blocked it out.

A few weeks later, we ended up tilling up the yard and leveling it since it was super uneven and lumpy, and added some bermuda grass seed, and here is how it looks today. Clearly this is a yard Geoffrey can be proud of. Wait let's do one more before, just for suspense. 

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