It’s the end of the fence as we know it

By Mir
June 23, 2011

This morning as the fence guys banged away outside, I wrote out the final check. Then I took it upstairs to Otto’s office and handed it over. “I’m not talking to them, I’m not looking at them, I’m not discussing anything with anyone. When it’s done and you’re happy, give it to them. But I’m not here.” Otto chuckled and agreed, because he’s known me a very long time, and he knows that when I voluntarily remove myself from a situation like that, it means it’s really best for everyone concerned.

An hour later, it was done. DONE. Today is day 34, by the way—just in case you were keeping track. (Not that we were. OH HA HA HA! I crack myself up. Hee.)

It looks great. There were only a few times with this last crew that I wanted to rip someone’s eyebrows off. Plus they’ll be back next month to seal it for us for free (just a little bonus you get when your fence job is totally botched and takes over a month). And most importantly—let’s not forget—it’s DONE. Thank God. Oh, did you want to see it?

Pretty nice, right? I mean, honestly, I have a hard time getting too worked up about a fence. I’d rather not have barbed wire or the skeletons of unfortunate hobos surrounding the pool, I guess, but really, all I ever wanted was something that would 1) keep the dog in, 2) meet code, 3) not require a lot of maintenance, and 4) give us a little privacy. About halfway through this process I started considering building my own fence out of rice krispie treats, but with the ants, you know, that seemed ill-advised.

Yesterday our regular contractor (who doesn’t do fences, hence this particular nightmare) (also, how much of a bourgeois asshole do I feel like saying we have a regular contractor, even though, um, this is not a new house and so we actually do?) stopped by and we filled him in on the fence debacle (his comment: “I guess I’m probably not going to be getting that referral bonus from him on this one, huh?”) and then we had a prolonged discussion that involved measuring and planning and finally he left just before I started to hyperventilate.

Because, you know, normal people would’ve gone through this and then heaved a sigh of relief and vowed never to do any renovation of any sort ever again.

But we are not normal people, so this morning the contractor emailed me his estimate for rebuilding the deck and Otto said, “So, do you want to talk about this?” and I said, “No!” But I was lying.

I am a glutton for punishment. Either that or I’ve just got to figure out a cheaper way to generate blog fodder.


  1. Brittany

    It looks lovely, much better than my fence which currently has half of my neighbor’s tree crushing it. :)

  2. Jen

    You could move! That’s been my blog fodder as of late…and will be for the next six weeks as we FINALLY head east. ; )
    Oh, and the fence looks lovely. Not “apparently built from the bones of virgin fairies” lovely, but nice nonetheless. Please don’t sell Licorice when she digs under it or pees on it. ; )

  3. Crystal

    YAY the fence is done! It is beautiful! So happy for you. :)

  4. KarenP

    Beautiful! Were you able to keep the dogrun?

  5. RidgewoodMom

    It looks amazing!! You must be so thrilled.

  6. Chuck

    Well, it is a very nice looking fence, anyhow. Good luck with the deck!

  7. Megan

    That is a very nice fence indeed. Granted, given the time and angst I was rather think more something along the lines of Hadrian’s Wall, but since (at the moment) you aren’t trying to keep rabid Picts at bay, this will probably do nicely.

    I would insert something here about ‘deck? What could POSSIBLY go wrong?’ but, let’s face it…

  8. Mary

    I was the same way with my husband and our our appliance dealer (that I’d used – note past tense now – since we got married 23+years ago).

    We, too, have “our contractor” and I love, love, love him. He’s the guy that did our kitchen and is back now (hopefully) fixing the water issue above our living room windows (when it snows, freezes, melts, snows, freezes, melts all winter long). Yesterday, he had BOTH his boys with him and my house was full.of.yummy! {{blushing!}} (He can NEVER know I said that!) ;-)

  9. Karen

    From here your deck looks pretty awesome!… does it need re-doing? Love the fence, color and all. Amen and a big hallelujah.

    ..and a Hail Mary thrown in if you’re really gonna re-do the deck. Just sayin.

  10. Samantha

    When I feel wistful about not being a homeowner yet I am going to come back to these posts.

  11. Jessica

    It’s finally over! Yay!

    Keep everyone away from the fence, so they don’t hurt it now. ;)

  12. Rachael

    Wow. That turned out much nicer than I expected. And perhaps the contractor doesn’t do fences because he knows this is how it will turn out. Egads.

  13. RuthWells

    I want to know how long you’ve been keeping that blog post under wraps for the right moment. ;)

    The fence looks terrific, and all’s well that… ends. Remind me of that when we hit week 9 of our kitchen reno…

  14. Rachel

    Beautiful and I bet it smells better than vinyl too. =)

  15. Tracy B

    Very nice. And what’s wrong w/the deck?

  16. Isabella

    This is the perfect time to start the deck!
    (what with already being totally in sync with insanity ‘n agnst from the fence, lol)

    The truth (I think) is that hired or DYI all projects are best enjoyed when finished.
    There are some home projects I’ve done (my fave being one the required I be
    shoved in an overhead ceiling space full of spiders) that will only be fun when I’m
    fully senile one day roflmao

    Found your writings in the typical “I have no idea how” of internet magic ~ but glad I did!

  17. jwg

    It’s lovely, but what’s with the occasional blue/grey boards? That would send me screaming.

  18. Kate

    You know, that’s a nice fence. Sturdy, mildly imposing, but also friendly and accessible. If fences were people, you’d want to have a leisurely lunch with that one.

    Good call on the no-skeletons-of-hobos thing. Talk about societal and class pressure. Exhausting just to imagine, never mind have to stare at and justify night after summer night.

  19. The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful

    Would it be rude of me and presumptuous to put a link to my paint addiction post?? Because I am addicted to paint. Oscar’s our painter. He lives with us, because he’s very cheap and very sloooooow. I won’t post the link. I think that would be bad karma. But you would relate, totally.

  20. Kathy

    You sound so HAPPY today! I’m so happy for you. Congratulations on your new, wonderful fence. May it keep good friend, family, and the dog IN … and lots of bad stuff OUT!!

    All the best,

  21. dad

    It is best not to allow oneself to crash and burn.
    Good things happen to those with patience.

    And now for the next adventure….

  22. Aimee

    The fence looks very nice. :) I’m glad it’s done, which is, of course, the very nicest part about it.

  23. Heather

    Yay! I am happy that it is finally done & you guys are satisfied with the job! I hope they come back in a month & stain it for you…

    If you lived closer to B’ham my company would be happy to give you a quote on your deck too, & we don’t have douche bag installers like the ones that you have been dealing with either…

  24. Holly

    The fence looks beautiful! Maybe you should take a little break before starting the deck? I like sane Mir…

  25. Jodie

    What I want to know is if you gave this team a good rating on the satisfaction survey???

  26. Momma Chaos

    What a fiasco! I’m glad it’s finally done and looks great.. For some odd reason, I’ve had in my head that you had this huge above ground pool,not a super cool inground pool. hmmp.. Spoil my weird illusions why don’t ya?! lol

  27. Elena

    Mir, that is the MOST BEAUTEMOUS 34 day fence I have evah seeeeen…;) Wish we lived closer to you guys. I’m in TN, but I’m hooked up with a contractor (BEAM, preens) and he just built the most fabmazing deck for his brother so his niece could have her graduation party on it outside. Also, thanks for the recipes in your most recent post! I find that someone else’s delicious-yet-incredibly-easy recipes are always the best.

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