(Our fence when we bought the house. Note the missing pickets and leaning gate. This picture really makes me question why we live where we do. Winter—bleh.)
When we bought our house, we knew the street was busy, but we didn’t know how busy. That makes it sound like we live on a freeway or something—we don’t, but for a worrywart like me, the traffic has weighed heavily on my mind.
Also when we bought our house, we inherited a rundown, ramshackle fence. Actually, our fencing is a ramshackle combination of vinyl in the front, chain link on the sides, and painted wood in the back. But the vinyl lining the front walk was particularly bad. And I knew it was really bad when a neighbor said to me early on, “I know you’ll take care of that broken fence right away. I’m so glad.”
We finally got around to it almost four years later, and the update was borne out of necessity. I found myself with 2-year-old twins, a busy road, and too many access points to said road. I had nightmares, and there were a few close calls (yikes!), so we prioritized the replacement of the front stretch of fencing.
Note the sagging gate in the background; cute baby is a bonus.
Here’s what we needed for the new fencing:
• Higher-quality vinyl
• A gate that could close at our driveway
• A gate by the sidewalk to our front door
• A mailbox
That last part was the most fun consideration of all, and because my sweet grandpa is a welder by trade (actually, he’s an inventor who can build anything—how cool is that?), I knew he could make a gate that would be around till Armageddon.
Well, he delivered. That gate weighs a million pounds but swings effortlessly on its hinges. He matched the steel pickets to the dimensions of the fencing we chose, and he powder-coated everything in industrial-grade paint so chipping is not a concern.
He’s a big believer in doing things right the first time, as you can tell.
We decided to incorporate the mailbox into the gate itself. The mail enters through a slot on the front, then falls into a box on the back.
We also decided to add a couple flagpole brackets to the posts, and it’s been a good alternative to putting a flagpole in the yard where I’m sure my little football players would clothesline themselves.
Not to mention it’s sweet to have something from my grandpa. I’ll always cherish our planning process and how fun it was to work on this project with him. Love you, Grandpa.
Finding a fencing company that was willing to figure out a gate for the driveway wasn’t easy, but I love what our guy was able to produce. This gate is too tricky for kids to open but super simple and fast for adults. He also built it up a little at the bottom to account for snow and ice (see photo at the start). Good call.
We have a long way to go with our fencing since we only replaced the front section, but it’s a good—and safer—start. Happy Friday! •