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August 11, 2015

DESIGNING A LOW BUDGET FENCE THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS NICE

Joe's nephew Curtis helped us throw together our budget fence project - the only way we could install a 100 foot long fence to keep the dogs on their side of the garden.


This past weekend we finally completed one of those projects that not only was enormous, but one which was long over due - rebuilding the dog fence - a long fence which divides our garden into a 1/4 acre plot where the dogs can run free.

The old fence has always been an eyesore, but fences are expensive to have installed professionally, and with a large garden like ours (2+ acres) fencing the entire garden in will require winning the state lottery. I really dislike lathe unless is is vertical and horizontal, but pre-fab panels with this pattern is very difficult to find, with most home centers carrying angled lathe, either in vinyl or pressure treated wood. We were lucky to find some vertical and horizontal lathe at a Home Depot ( sadly not near us, so we had to drive and hour after ordering it since they would not deliver it).

Click below for more:




I chose a stain  that was nearly black - Behr 'Slate' for fences and decks. I like dark colors on garden structures.

Cedar would be my first choice, but I had to be realistic. Pressure treated wood and inexpensive lathe panels fit with our budget. Not ideal, but the final look, as I think you will agree, looks pretty nice. Certainly better than any vinyl fence or even a stockade fence. Chainlink was an option, but really? I the end, at least, it doesn't look like an $600 fence no does it? Labor was free (aside from some steak  barbecue for Joe's nephew, the entire project only too 2 days. The staining was left for me, which I feel I can complete by this coming weekend. The dogs? Not thrilled, now that they can't get out anymore.

 The old fence extended about 100 feet back towards the woods and chicken coops, along the long walk. On one side was planted a perennial garden of sorts, and on the other side, well, more like run-away bamboo but it once was home to many hellebores and ephemerals. Garden evolve over time, and with run-away vines such as wisteria and kiwi, the old fence which was ugly enough to start with, became even more uglier as the vines began to tear away lathes, while the dogs (terriers) pulled the rest of the lathes away every time they saw a cat or a squirrel.


Now I need to think about what to plant along the fence. I will be removing all of the rodgersia and mayapples since our Japanese maples have borer, the sun will be too strong. This is my chance to simplify the planting. I am thinking about all hydrangea or another single shrub planted in a long row on one side. No more perennials or high maintenance plants.

I just need to find a new home for these more rare and unusual perennials woodland plants.

Fuchsias bloom in pots set on the back steps. High summer is here, and it seems everything is in bloom.

13 comments :

  1. I have major fence envy. This is beautiful! I'm trying to look up the panel product online, by any chance can you link to it?

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    1. Diane, check the Home Depot website, I included a link below. Surely there are other retailers who must carry these panels - to be honest, I never checked if Lowes or other hardware stores carry it as well, I assume some must. We paid around $26. a panel.

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  2. the fence looks great! you were very lucky with the lattice. sigh. you would think the marketplace could come up with some better options for fence panels. happy staining!

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    1. I agree, so--when Lowes of Home Depot sponsors me to design my home exterior line, I always imagined that I would start with designing nicer railings, deck materials, awnings and fencing. Maybe stairs and screen doors too!

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  3. Love the fence, would you/could you post a link to the this fencing on Home Depot's page? I typed in wood lathe fencing and I am only coming up with the prefab style.
    Love your blog!

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  4. I think this might be the link we used. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-1-2-in-x-48-in-x-8-ft-Spruce-Pine-Fir-Pressure-Treated-Square-Lattice-190155/205086049 the squares look closer in the panels we found. As I said, we had to search for a Home Depot who actually carried it - but the price was right. So much better then vinyl or angled 45 degree latttice.

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  5. What a mammoth task! The colour shows off the plants to advantage! My dogs are very Houdini - like and always manage to find a way over/ under/ through any barrier, so I hope yours are not escapologists!

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    1. Jane, I believe that our Lydia is the most Houdini-ish of any dog I know. Time will tell, but we do expect her to either dig under this fence (even though we've buried some hardware cloth to extend a foot and a half below the surface of the ground), or to tear off some lathe (which she's done before). Pretty determined for a little terrier - then again, she's a terrier.

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  6. Hamlet Haven5:28 PM

    I definitely need a Curtis (& a Joe & a Matt! Here in Massachusetts, I'd throw in lobsta if that suited.) ;>) This looks great. You've given me hope that maybe I can find a way to replace the neighbors' disparate fences to get a cohesive look and maybe even discourage those pesky deer who decimated my heirloom tomatoes and other lovelies.

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    1. Well Hamlet, we are ALL in Massachusetts! Lobster though would be key!

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  7. I like your fence and I really like the price! Is there anyway you can describe how you built it? Or refer me to a tutorial that you followed? Thank you!

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  8. Karen, funny that you mentioned this - just tonight Joe was saying that we should post how we made the fence. I have to warn you though - if you are a construction purist - the plans are not only simple, there are surely better and more proper ways to make this fence. We took some shortcuts (using 2 x 2's rather than dato-ing the 2x4's, but I actually like the look better as this added more volume to the edges. I am going to try my best to show a 'how we made the fence' post soon.

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  9. I really enjoy reading your blog as the postings are so simple to read and follow. Outstanding. Please keep it up. Thanks.
    railing

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