Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DIY Garden Gate

I have a small problem.  Well, actually, she's getting quite large and her name is Dorcas.   She's a very social lab who likes to roam the neighborhood and last week she finally figured out she could jump my crappy old gate.

I haven't figured out how she can't jump my crappy old fence but right now I'm just counting my blessings.

So after a day of leaving the office to deal with dog issues because I get a phone call from my neighbor telling me ALL THREE of my dogs are out.  I go home once, I think it's the gate. I shore up the gate, I go back to work.  Not too long after that, my other neighbor tells me they're out again.  I wait until everyone returns from fetching their children etc and go back home to deal with my animals.
My neighbor is standing in the front yard and tells me that my little monsters (all three inside the house, bless her) have been walking through an actual hole in the fence.  I quickly determined that I did not have the lumber to replace the board and realized I had to go to Lowes.

This is where it gets interesting.  I tell the boy at the counter what I need.  What I need is a fence picket (He has a fence just like mine out front on display, it's not like they don't carry them anymore) and material to rebuild a gate. He shows me a KIT that is supposed to help me with this.  I ask him how much it costs.  $46.00.  It's not even that tall.  I tell him no, I can build a gate, I just need lumber.  He must have thought I was pretty stupid because when he pointed to the lumber yard behind us I looked at him like he was insane.   See, there's a lumber yard behind Lowes in Enid.  I didn't know this before that day. I thought the stuff they had in the store was IT.  Long story short I end up buying a 2x4 and 8 6" fence pickets.  I got out of there, including wood screws, for $23.00

A concerned looking man sees me with all this lumber in the parking lot and takes it upon himself to help me load it.  He warns me that I'm gonig to need a drill and some screws.  I tell him I have this handled... because I do.

I cut the 2x4  in half to make two four foot long pieces.   Then I laid them down on the ground started fastening the fence boards to them.   Turns out it wasn't quite long enough without putting an inch or so between them.  You have to be flexible when you're doing this kind of thing for the first time or not only will you screw it up, you'll lose your temper and jerry-rig it.

At least that's what I would do.

I made the decision to leave the boards six feet tall for several reasons.  The first being that I have awesome neighbors on both sides of me and okay neighbors behind (except the crazy lady who wanted me to electrocute my dogs) me so I don't worry too much about the fences between our yards being tall----but the street in front of my house occasionally has weirdos walking down it.

A six foot tall gate in between them and I started to sound really really nice.  But only two brace boards wouldn't work for something that big, so a few days later I took the old gate apart and recycled the 2x4's on it.

If you're wondering why I cut one board short notice the concrete foundation for my neighbor's fence.  The last board meets a post he put it for my gate---when I didn't own the house yet. :)  It needs one more hinge and another 2x4 across the bottom but it's up---and together.  I think it looks pretty cool.

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