Building a fence

When building our garden, the first project was to erect a long fence to separate our garden from the neighbour’s and to provide privacy.

The plan and material for the fence had been provided. I modelled the fence using Google SketchUp to visualise the number of panels and height.

Model of the fence

Fence modelled within landscape

I marked out the fence with sticks and line, measuring the exact half-way line between our houses and where the fence posts would go. The latter turned out a bit tricky, as we had to dig to find out where the forest rock foundation started, which would mark the start of the fence. I confirmed the measures with the neighbour so that there would be no reason for later complaint about the position of the fence. Following the supplied design, we dug out the holes. In the process we found plenty of lovely coloured granite rocks of up to the size that you cannot lift on your own, that had been used as filling for the building site. I kept the larger one of those to use later for dry walls. The holes where filled with a base of gravel, insulation material and then the fence posts where sunk into the hole in exact position (kept in place by diagonal timbers) so that they where correctly spaced and in line. Then they were anchored in place by filling the holes with concrete, including drainage and insulation at the bottom to prevent water gathering below the foundation and lifting the foundation when freezing in winter. Once the concrete was set, we outlined the height of the panelling of the fence with lines, actually realizing that a 20 cm gap at the bottom and 130 cm panels (resulting in overall height of 150 cm) would be heigh enough to provide perceived privacy on either side. Originally we had planned a 30cm higher fence, but in hind-sight I am glad we left it lower. Some other neighbours built as similar fence to that height and the fence looks very overwhelming, while ours has received spontaneous prize by passers-by. Once the height was agreed and the concrete had settled, we started building the panelling. The panelling material was cheap sawn timber that we treated with suitable wood oil for outdoor use that coloured the timber brown. The fence-posts got the same treatment. Building the panels involved measuring and sawing to length, and screwing into place (levelled.). As “roof” for the panels we screwed a treated wood that would better endure rainwater and protect the cheaper wood underneath. As the fence covers some height difference, we made small steps after each panel so that the fence softly embraced the lay of the land.

The completed fence


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