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You could have
the nicest home in the world, but if your fence is rotten and
falling apart, people will think the Adams Family lives there, and
the neighborhood children will start making up stories about the
ghosts that haunt the house. There is very little time at this
writing to work outside; fall is here, and I still have lots of work
to do to finish the inside of the house. The fence, although rotten and
rickety, was more-or-less intact except for the gates. The builder
used untreated lumber, and although it might have looked good when
it was new, I suspect this fence deteriorated rapidly. The tops of
all the vertical slats are rotten and splintered. I mused that if we took the
entire fence down and piled it up for firewood, the money we would
save heating the house this winter could pay for a
There are two
gates in the fence:
smaller gate on the backyard fence leads onto a neighbor's property.
Although it hung by the hinges and could be closed, you had to lift
it into place, and every time I did, another little piece would
driveway gate, done in two 5foot sections, was off the hinges and
held in place with knotted nylon straps.
five-foot wide gates at the end of the driveway literally fell off
the hinges. The previous owner used nylon straps to secure the gates
in place. Five-foot long gates are very heavy, and they need to be
roller-supported at the free end, and open onto the driveway where
the rollers could travel; not onto the backyard lawn. I salvaged and
repainted the hinges for when I replace the fence next Spring.
The top slats
of the fence were all weathered and splintered and full of weed
vines. For the sake
my Service dog Ninja, I decided to repair the rear gate (and
wire the driveway gates shut) so at least I could
let her out and not worry about her wandering off and getting hit by
a car. Since the rear gate was small (3 feet wide), I tackled that
project first to see how it would turn out. Here you see the old
gate (between the
arrows) and the latch (blue
It was completely entangled with weeds, and could hardly be opened.
"fix" for the gate post not being vertically level, was to cut the
upper cross-member (not visible in the photo), and tie back the post
to the rest of the fence using a piece of scrap lumber and some
drywall screws. This entire fence is going to be replaced
eventually, and so this will have to do ("Good
enough for Government work") until I get around to the
project, which will probably be around the Spring of 2015.
close-up of the uprights, you can see that the wood, although still
sturdy, is beginning to deteriorate because of exposure to the
elements and the fact that it is not pressure-treated wood.
Here you see a
new gate made from treated lumber that has been screwed and glued
together. The corner joints are made by simply cutting half the
thickness of the wood, then screwing and gluing the joint together
with outdoor Quikrete® Construction Adhesive #9902-10
hinge is set off the bottom of the gate for aesthetic purposes;
there is no reason that I could not have secured the hinge to the
bottom of the gate.
piece of wood is also screwed and glued, and provides a bit of flex
support while also providing a barrier. When I rebuild the rest of
the fence, I will add several more of these diagonal pieces made
from left-over scraps that I don't have at hand at the moment.
Detail of the
bottom hinge mount. The wood the hinge attaches to is joined to the
gate frame with a
slotted joint, and by
Construction Adhesive and drywall screws, so
when the adhesive is fully cured, essentially, the wood is a single piece of lumber.
As a temporary
measure to keep the dog in the yard (and other animals out) I used
eye hooks and small-diameter
to weave a "net" across
the opening. Next month is Halloween, so I guess the motif will have
to do until I get around to replacing the whole fence next spring.
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