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fence nightmare

Saturday, April 05, 2008

This is NOT how I want my fence built.

Here, you see that the fence posts are too short. Fence posts should be as tall as the fence (for this kind of fence). At least a third of the post should be in the ground to support the stresses above ground. I bet they buried at most 2ft.

Also the top rail should be 6 to 7 inches from the top of the picket. You see here that there is waaaay more than that in this construction.

Here are front and back pictures of a splice in the top rail. Looks kinda ok from the front, but from the back you can clearly see that it's sagging already.

Now we have a case of too long: the nails are too long for the 2x4 when nailing to the shorter side. But they didn't care and used the nails anyway and proceed to "knock them down." That is unacceptable.

The pickets are spaced too far. The objective is to have a privacy fence. Furthermore, with age, the pickets will shrink and the gaps will then be even larger. You see some warping already and this has been up only 1 week, though it rained practically all week.

Here's a piece of creativity. A 2x4 is ROUGHLY ripped along its length to approximate 2x2's and loosely nailed to the bottom of the rails. It's a piece of crap and really does nothing other than waste 2x4's.

I will splice 4x4's to the poles using a lap joint to bring them to proper height, though I will not correct how much of the pole is buried. I will then place a top rail at the proper height. I will move the middle rail to approximately middle. I will add proper 2x4's approx 6-7 inches from the bottom of the pickets. I will stain my wood before installation where possible. Right now I have to take the fence apart. I've spent all afternoon taking down one span of pickets. I'm having to gouge into the middle 2x4's to get at the knocked down nails. The nails to the top rail are just tearing through my pickets when I pry the pickets off. There is no other way for me to remove the pickets. I will do my best to save my pickets; I am considering wood filler of some sort. Once taken down, I will flip the 2x4's so that the gouged side will be covered by the pickets. Since the rails will all be in positioned differently from what they have here, all the mounting holes will be "new." I will use screws as that would not require a partner on the other side to counter the hammering. The neighbors will appreciate that since I'm making lots of noise in taking this fence apart. This has been a nightmare and it's going to take alot of effort to fix.