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D.I.Y. front timber fence with gates

Amassing an Audience
Amassing an Audience


A new timber fence made with a vehicle access gate and a side access gate, with a new letterbox installed nearby.





The project


2020 was a horrible year for us, but the Covid19 crisis really took the cake. My wife was on the frontline as a healthcare worker throughout the crisis, which had been exhausting and soul stomping for her. Come the end of the year and she had to take a training day just before her birthday. I hatched a plan and convinced her parents to have a "girls' night" at the end of her two days away, and in three days we built this awesome fence. 


Our old fence backed up quite far, leaving a lot of the front yard unusable. Cars only really parked there and that was rare. The new plan was to rip the old fence down and replace it with a much larger, sturdier fence to give our dogs some extra room to play, extend our garden and provide vehicle access for our eventual trailer. I'd been picking away at Liz for some time by this point, and I knew her two main inclusions were to have a lockable side access gate that can be opened from the front, and a lockable vehicle access gate that goes directly to the road.




As always, I enlisted my Dad to do the hard yards, being a carpenter for most of his life. We had days one and two by ourselves before we were joined by friends and family to assist us on day three to complete it just before Liz got home. 


On day one, we started out the day by creating our lines and digging the holes for the posts. After thirty minutes of doing this manually, I decided to call in a digger. For $200, this thing got the job done incredibly fast and we could move on to the next part. 


We then laid out all our posts and the required concrete, placed the posts into the ground and carefully mixed in the concrete. 




We ensured each post was level as it was drying and marked out the lines where we would be connecting the posts to each other. Now needing the concrete to dry a bit more, we called that the finish of day one. 




On day two, we started construction of the actual fence. We needed to dig out a trench for the sleepers to be placed in, levelled and be able to be connected to one another, which was frustrating on the slope. 



With this done, it was secured to the posts. Then we backfilled the excess dirt drilled out to secure it even further. 




We then connected each post with the horizontal beams before getting to work on the panels.




To my delight, my wife's brothers and father came along to assist in the build, making placing this up a lot faster. 




By the end of the day, we had completed most of the panelling, giving us a lot more breathing room on the final day. 



We had an army of people arrive on day three to help finish this project and to greet my wife for her birthday surprise/lunch. We had a lot to do. 


We had to remove the old fence and side access gate.





Cutting and removing rubbish.





Finish up any backfilling. 






Creating the frame of the gates, mounting them, panelling them and ensuring they can function/lock.








Side access gate.




Removing the old letterbox.




And installing a nice plaque with the names of the people and businesses who came on the day and helped build the fence or donated money towards its construction. 




And then we were done. All we had to do was wait for Elizabeth to arrive and see what we had made. 






And I can tell you she was pretty shocked as well as stoked.



She instantly fell in love with the fence, commenting on the accuracy of what she wanted and thanked everyone who helped. She especially loved the vehicle access and the new found room our Luna had to play in now. 



In total, this fence cost me about $1600, which includes the digger, sleepers and rails, gate locks, timber, fixings and screws. I purchased the new letterbox on the day and properly installed it after spraying the fence with a double coat of paint to protect it from the sun. It will also eventually feature a nice, brushed street sign that illuminates at night, making finding our home easier at night. 


The biggest thing for us was an increase in the value of our home, for what this fence cost versus what we gained on our property report, it's easily one of my top picks for a suburban D.I.Y. to increase the value of your home. 


The fence was an instant head turner in our street, being the only painted fence of its style in our street. It is so much sturdier than the friendly neighbour fencing that is standard in the area. Our dogs enjoy their new play space, and we enjoy being able to park our trailer inside our gated backyard. It was a pretty big effort from everyone but it ensured we got it done. The vehicle access was very needed for our back garden. It's quite a distance to carry 10+ bags of whatever garden project Liz is doing on a given weekend. So, changing that up and being able to just drive in, unload and reverse out has made getting materials up there so much easier. Parking the trailer in there is just the bonus.


This fence is still going strong. I really cannot thank enough the friends and family who helped us complete this project. This wonderful gift and expression of love made a massive difference for my wife and her mental health back in 2020, and we continue to love it to this day. 


Before and after




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Home Improvement Guru

Evening @Remarka6le 

:smile: Thats a nice looking fence and gates! Must admit I struggle working out gates and have stood looking at the metal frames from Bunnings so many times :smile: Think you have pushed me over the edge into saying "Why not?" 


Really nice effort and love the story of the photos :smile:



Amassing an Audience

Thanks a bunch for the kind words, @Dave-1! I'm glad you like the fence and gates. It's always a bit tricky with those metal frames, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge and give it a shot, right? The "Why not?" attitude can lead to some fantastic results!

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