Mini-Project: Fence Improvements

In another post, I said that I removed my chain link fence that abutted my neighbor’s wooden privacy fence.  That really cleaned up the border especially since I was able to clear out some horrible weeds between the fences.  However, this introduced a slightly new dynamic.  There was now only one fence between us.  I now have a vested interest in maintaining this fence, for my own benefit.

And the problem with that is, this fence kind of sucks.  The wood is thin, cheap, soft pine and is secured very poorly.  By poorly, I mean it’s held on with staples.  The simple warping of the wood from normal rain exposure has pulled the boards away from their mounts in multiple places.  Since I have sort of adopted the upkeep of the fence, I intend to improve this.

I approached my neighbor last weekend while he was mowing and explained the whole situation to him.  He was agreeable to everything.  I told him I would buy the screws needed to secure the slats and would secure all the boards facing my property (since I wasn’t going to go into his yard to secure his side) and I would assist in securing the boards on his side if he wanted.  He was all for it, maybe because he understood the fence wasn’t going to last much longer.

Yesterday, I bought a 5lb box of screws and stepped out in the 97 degree heat to complete my obligation.  I brought along my Porter Cable 20v drill/driver, which worked like a beast the entire time.  I ran down one battery with only about 10 screws left to go.  Flipped batteries and I was good for another hour or more.

I made a quick improvisation while working.  The box of screws was on the ground, and after only a couple boards, I realized there’s no way I’m going to keep stooping over to pick up a couple of screws.  So I got a large 32oz plastic cup from inside and cut some vertical slits in it.  I ran my belt through the slits and poured a bunch of screws into the cup.  Voila, a waist-level screw holder.

Since the existing fence material wasn’t the best, I compromised on two screws in the top beam and two in the bottom, leaving the middle beam alone.  Also, not going for the Parade of Homes, I didn’t expend much effort on making sure the screws lined up nice and neat.  I just wanted a secure fence where the boards couldn’t be kicked out by a child.

There’s so many things going on, so many irons in the fire; there’s no shortage of things I can do at any given point.  This was a quick little project to tick off the list and make myself feel like I’m making progress.