We started in the morning with the lawn all grass and within a few hours, the grass was cleared and this antique looking fence was standing. I’ll let you in on the secret…
This was the lawn before we started…
We’ve worked hard the past 2 years to get it to look like this.
When we bought this house it had been on the market for quite a long time and the company doing the lawn care, (if you want to call it that!) wasn’t very caring about it at all… But all that will be for another post…
This one is about the iron fence and arbor…
From our driveway looking out towards the street the view is… well… let’s just say we can’t control the view that’s not on our property.
But we can create a new focal point on our own property, thus sort of distracting the view, avoiding a view that may not be totally desirable.
That’s what my plan for the iron fence and arbor was… to create a distraction from some things, and also to tie in some more of the brown accents I have outside…
like the brown gazebo we moved onto our property shortly after moving here.
In front of the gazebo, on the concrete pad, is the iron fence panels and arbor we ordered from this store on Ebay.
It had to sit there for a few weeks until we had a day together we could work on it… when it wasn’t raining.
First thing was to mark a 3′ wide strip from the front corner of the house, running parallel with the front sidewalk, across the driveway to the white privacy fence on the opposite side of the yard.
I did this with some spray paint for marking parking lots.
First I marked the line directly below the string, then with a board I marked 3 feet and moved it down a couple of feet and sprayed, until both sides were marked.
When it came time to cut the sod off, these lines painted on the grass were very helpful for my husband to run the sod cutter exactly where we wanted no grass.
If you’ve never used a sod cutter, they cost about $50 for a couple hours of rental.
They also take a little shoulder strength… like a rototiller. My husband was more than happy to do this job. And very quickly, the grass was sliced a couple inches below the surface. We actually used some to replace a couple spots that weren’t growing very well elsewhere in our lawn. We just rolled up the cut stuff, and unrolled it in the new spots, once we cut away the bad grass.
The next thing was to set the fence in place.
And here’s the secret to this job going so fast:
This isn’t a standard fence installation. This whole fence is held up with the posts that just simple poke into the ground!
All the rain we’ve been having left the soil nice and moist, so easy for the most part to get the rods poked in it…
except where there may be a stray tree root or rock… then if some gently coercing with a hammer tapping on a 2×4 on top of the rod doesn’t work… well there were one or two spots that we had to dig the darn rock out… but for the most part, it went in super slick.
I did have a level and checked each panel for level and plumb… our yard is sloped, so we had to figure out a couple of minutes how to add a new panel to the last panel and still allow for the slope.
It would have been a lot easier if we could have started on the bottom of the slope and moved up, but I wanted the panel to end exactly at the brick, so instead of risking of being off on my measuring, I just started there and moved on down the slope.
There was one spot on the other side of the driveway we needed only part of a panel.
This simple hacksaw cut through the iron rails nicely.
We did place the cut ends in towards the fence though, just in case someone bumped into the fence with their arm… the hacksaw ends were kind of sharp.
You can see really clearly in the short length of fence below, how we ‘stepped’ the panels down to accommodate the slope, but still being careful to make each panel level and plumb:
As we went along the fence, it was time to set up the arbor.
These are the two sides for the arbor. The legs are hollow, so we just pounded rebar into the ground and placed the arbor legs over each rebar post in the ground.
The top of the arbor just sits down on the top of the sides, with 2 bolts and nuts that hold it together at the top.
I think we are still going to attach the back of the arbor legs to the side panels of the fence, just for a little added stability.
The iron fence and arbor was done, slick and quick, and the next day I planted some ‘Twist and Shout’ hydrangeas along with a couple of grapevines for the arbor. At this point I have more confidence the hydrangeas will do well, but I’m not sure about the grapes… time will tell, but right now they look pathetic. (I just read something saying they can be sensitive to lawn weed killers and such… If they turn out to be too fussy… I can easily replace them with something else.
I love the finished look. It’s subtle and totally fits in with the old charm of the house, and will be a lovely backdrop for the hydrangeas!
So that’s the secret to install a DIY iron fence and arbor in 1 day… get a fence that comes with a super simple installation, like this one from Ebay!
And have a helper… I could have probably done the whole project myself, but not in 1 day… having my sweet husband along side me on projects like this makes a world of difference! (although at the time, when we’re working together, we tend to talk a little louder than normal to each other and ‘sweet’ maybe isn’t one of the adjectives I think of to describe him during the actual project) 😉
Let’s just say we are very different and approach projects very differently…
You’d think after 37 years of marriage it would be different, but it’s not, we still are very different people. What’s different is that we both have more respect and understanding for each other’s differences… even through the annoying moments of working on a project together…
I appreciate you stopping by.
Between Naps on the Porch is always a fun place to stop and read… so I’m linking this post up there.
It’s always interesting reading what’s going on over at StoneGable… and Monday’s link parties are great too.
A Stroll Thru Life has some beautiful bathrooms and bedrooms featured today.