The Fence is Done!

Yesterday, our fence guys surprised us and finished the job! When we spend a lot of money on a project–especially when we hire it out–our expectations are so much higher. And I’m relieved to say, we’re all so happy with the results.

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I wasn’t able to find the exact fence I wanted locally and I was getting so frustrated. But then I struck gold when a company down the road (Western Fence, for you locals) said that I could come up with a new design that wasn’t on display, as long as I used all the same parts. I spent some time in the warehouse looking around and drawing pictures and they were so helpful all the times I asked “Do you have something like this?!” I was able to choose a slightly thicker top border, how far down I wanted the center line (I decided on 19″), the caps! And then some details, I had a limited selection on. For instance, they only make 1″ or 3″ pickets–so I went with 3″ and the spacing had to be 3″ apart so that we met code for our corner lot of 50% visibility since we are kind of the corner lot of a cul-de-sac.

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Over the next year, we plan on landscaping in front of the fence to soften things up, but we’ll save that for a different post.

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Update: Per request here’s a 3 minute “drawing” of what our property looks like so you can get a better idea of how things are laid out.

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The caps we decided on were the “Federation” style and ran us $6.39 a pop. Every time I see a vinyl fence without caps, or just with the standard flat caps–I secretly hope they’re saving up their money for some. It makes such a beautiful difference if you can swing it.

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Around back, we decided to install a 4′ fence, instead of a 6′ to better line up with our neighbor’s existing fence, plus there is such beautiful landscaping back there, it felt a shame to cover it all up.

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It’s basically the same, but without the extra middle border.

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Part of us wishes we could have extended it along the other side of our backyard, but we couldn’t justify the expense and aren’t even sure our neighbor would be up for that. So, here they are peacefully cohabiting. Note to self: that gnarly bush has got to go!

The biggest splurges and cost actually come from the gates. In the eleventh hour, we decided to add another one on the north side of our property. Just a small 3 footer that is wide enough for a lawn mower, or person to pass through.

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We also put a large 8 ft gate (two 4ft french door style) to the right of the driveway in case we need to move larger things into the backyard. A swingset or small shed (our current one is way too big–we’re contemplating selling it) comes to mind.

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After they finished up, I opened the back door and Charly looked at me curiously. Since we moved in 10 months ago, she always had to be on her wire before going out. It was the best feeling once she realized she could run freely in her yard. Greta and her played for a couple hours out there and I didn’t have to worry once where they had gone. It has been a long time coming (and saving!!) for this fence, but it already feels worth it.

Would You Rather: Real Wood vs. Composite Decking

Our actual back-backyard is pretty small. We are anxious to get the fence finished in the next couple days because we know that will help define a larger backyard for our family that will include our expansive side yards, but as for the back–this is what we’re working with:

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Womp, womp. That scalloped fence belongs to a neighbor, btw. We have french doors leading out to this area from the living area in the great room. When we were thinking about what to do with this back area, we knew a large deck would be perfect. Trying to make use of a small grass area seemed pointless since we have so much grass elsewhere.

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What we didn’t have was an outdoor entertaining space and converting this small patch into that   is something that makes us giddy. Outdoor lounging and eating is something we haven’t really had before. In our chats about the deck plans, we keep getting stuck on the detail of composite decking vs. wood decking.

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When we polled you for the half bath vs. pantry–you had so much insight. It gave us the courage to definitely ditch the 4th bathroom and make room for some big plans. So let’s hear from you again–would you rather composite decking or real wood decking and why? Or maybe you have had to make the same choice. We’d love to hear your experience!

decking photo credit: here and here

Painting of the Week | Arctic Trees

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Three weeks ago, I posted a #tbt of this oil painting I did a few years ago–even before I got married (hence the signature with my maiden name)! I received a couple emails asking if there would be prints available and since it just hangs at my parents house, I said why not!? So, this painting now available in 4 print sizes here.

On last week’s painting, one commenter remarked that my paintings are looking all alike! And I couldn’t argue with him. I can only take so many commissions a month (commissions take more time) and so many people have been requesting paintings similar to what I have painted in the past. If my commission spots are filled for the month, I usually say, “Look for a new painting Friday!” And then, they’re usually snatched up pretty quick. It’s a hard balance–to paint what I want and to paint what I know will sell.

I like to think my painting is like seasons. It changes in time. There was a period I was painting a lot of homes and landscapes. Sometimes I paint people, or dive into gesture drawings. I’ve done ceramics. I used to be obsessed with weird florals. I tried watercolors–meh. There was the chalkboard season. For the last while, I’ve been into abstracts. This painting is wintry, yes. But it also defines a season in my life. And I look forward to what each season brings–something new, I always hope. Thanks for letting me share this little hobby of mine.

Again, you can purchase prints of this one here. Happy Weekend!