If you read Part 1, you know the basic steps that we took to learn the rules, plan out our materials list, and estimate the costs of building our fence. Now for the fun part.
Part 2: Building a cedar fence
As I mentioned, to get the best price possible, we bought our materials at two different stores. Tools, concrete, posts, rails, and small pickets we purchased at Lowes. Our 6′ privacy pickets came from a local lumber yard. Here’s a super important tip: Pick out your lumber yourself!! You will inevitably have a couple posts or rails that are not 100% perfect, and some pickets that may be split or bent, but you will minimize your waste factor by physically going through the stock pile at the warehouse and choosing the best ones. It really doesn’t take too long to pick up each piece, close one eye and sight down the board. You will be surprised how easily you can spot the badly warped rails or pickets, which you can leave at the store.
The one major project that we tackled upon buying our house was to build a fence. The house itself was done, but there was no fence, which is a problem for Reagan (she is usually very good about staying near the house, but one time before we had the fence up, she disappeared when we let her out for a minute. We were on our way out to go to dog obedience school, no joke. The little shit must have sensed it. We got a couple of phone calls and found her making friends at the dry cleaners a couple blocks down the road). So even though we closed on the house and moved in mid-fall, we knew going in that this project was non-negotiable. Jesse used to have a little business where he and a friend put up vinyl fences, which it turns out is almost nothing like putting up a wooden fence. He is quite handy though, and we’re not afraid to dig in and figure out a solution. We also knew that paying for professional labor would cost us an arm and a leg, and we weren’t about to watch someone else put up our
white brown picket fence, only to nit-pick at how we could have done it better (“they didn’t install the damn screws straight!”). So here’s how we went about it.
Part 1: Planning a cedar fence
1. Host a ball drop to ring in the new year
Ok. This one doesn’t really count. I am a bit late with the new year’s post, so I wanted to share. It was probably approximately 5 degrees out at midnight on NYE. Luckily, we had thought ahead to host a party, and we had our own ball drop in the living room! A couple of wire hangers, the Christmas lights we had used for our tree, and my handsome husband standing on the coffee table. voilà.
1.2 Make a plan
J and I have an idea that we’ve been talking about for awhile now, so we’d like to start putting something on paper to figure out how to actually do it. Until we get a little further with that, no spoilers.
Let’s jump back to September of 2012. I had been living in Wyoming for just over two years, and we were just winding down one of the hottest Cheyenne summers on record. We survived nearly triple digit temps (I say this facetiously, but here’s a fun fact: it’s NEVER been over 100° F in Cheyenne. Check it: Cheyenne Climate. So we broke down and bought a window AC unit. I say “we”, because, things were getting serious with Jesse. I was living with a boyfriend for the first time ever, which was a little bit daunting at first.
We’ve had quite the year. Make that quite the two years. Bought a(n adorable) house, built a fence all by ourselves, got engaged, worked hard, trained for and ran a half marathon (Jesse’s first, my third), completed a 72 mile mountain bike race (one half of us did, I drank beer and cheered), learned to dance, paid down debt, saved for, planned for and DIYed ALMOST all of our wedding, and successfully pulled off what we think is without a doubt THE best matrimonial celebration to exist, ever.