Good Fences Make Sane Parents

June 11, 2014

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

Our next major project is something we’ve been on the fence about for 9 months. To fence or not to fence. We need a fence for Charly (and most recently, Gretaaaaaa!!!). We knew that when we first purchased this house. But, our neighborhood is so beautifully open, we didn’t want to move in and change all that right off the bat. So, initially, we purchased an invisible fence. That was last year. We didn’t even take it out of the box before we were getting frequent visits from other dogs in our yard and that sometimes sent Charly into a frenzy. We shipped that fence back.


Once we crossed  the “invisible fence” option off our list, we knew that we were going to have to start squirreling money away to be able to get an actual fence because the difference between the two is thousands of dollars. Last fall, we had our swing set stolen. You can kind of see it in the photo below. It was bright green with blue swings and about 20 feet long–made of steel! How someone carried it away, we still can’t figure out. But, it was another reason we knew needed to get a fence.


Now is the time. Saturday, we measured our whole yard and figured out we needed about 275 ft of fence and a gate.


We would have needed about 100 more feet if one of our backyard neighbors didn’t already have their property fenced in to protect their chickens. While we are grateful that portion is already fenced because it saves us some serious cash, it has put some limitations on our fence choice.


Originally, we were set on a black aluminum style fence like this one:

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.27.47 PM

Probably up until a couple weeks ago, I didn’t even care that we would have one white vinyl picket portion extending 100 feet from half of our back yard to the side–I was being stubborn. But, something must have knocked some sense into me that going the white vinyl route would be the best choice to blend with the already existing fence. That being said, I still don’t think the style of our home lends itself to a picket style. So I searched and search for a white fence that I wouldn’t mind, and the heavens parted when I found this photo:

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 10.28.05 PM

It’s semi-private, which is a must for us, and feels a lot more clean-lined and modern, but traditional–just like our home! I am still on the hunt for something similar. I found a local business that had a fence that was reminiscent on their website, but he would not/could not tell me the price, nor did he have a sample. It was all very confusing.

Hopefully, we’ll have an update soon! I could tell you no less than 4 Greta stories right now that are making this fence more and more of a necessity on the daily. We can’t get it up soon enough.

What do you think?

  1. Lauren says:

    Sounds like the perfect solution! Make sure you check with your local zoning/planning office to confirm there are no requirements regarding how tall or where the fence can be. It’s much worse to find that out *after* you spend thousands. Trust me…

  2. Amanda says:

    What kind of grinch steals a swing set – that’s horrible! I really like the fence you found. Hopefully, you can find something similar soon. All of the fences in my area are standard wooden fences, so it’s nice to see some with a ilttle more character :)

  3. Fences are crazy expensive, aren’t they?! I think we finally found someone to do ours, and we’re working out the schedule to get it done this summer. We canNOT wait!

  4. Meggan says:

    I like that vinyl option you found! Hopefully you can find someone who carries something like it. I’m wondering, would your neighbors be willing to let you change out that picket fence? I don’t know how that ties in to the look of the rest of their yard of course. And obviously it’s more cost as well, but it might be a way to get that first look you liked, which I also think is awesome!

  5. Both of our neighbors have fences so we haven’t seen a need for one, since we dont have a dog, but I love the privacy that their fences give our back yard.

  6. Kathy says:

    My husband DIY-d our fence last summer. We were lucky in that two sides of our lot is already fenced thanks to the neighbors. The bummer was that if we wanted to go any further than 5 feet off the one side of the house then we had to have pickets on that side (we are on a corner lot). I would have preferred solid privacy (& so would my husband, because his job would have been easier), but we would have lost a lot of space on that side of the yard. Just a heads up for you guys to look into your local ordinances!

    I have to say, though, having a fence made me enjoy my home so much more! Now I don’t feel like everything I do is being watched by the whole neighborhood. And the dog loves it, of course- So much freedom!

  7. I can’t believe someone stole your swing set!!!! That’s really evil…. I mean, it’s for kids!!! Jeez! Good luck with the fence! Do you have to go through the whole city approval thing where you are? We do in my town.

    • Julia says:

      Good thought! I actually didn’t even think about that. I better check. Thank you!

      • Alicia M says:

        We have a privacy fence that encloses our back yard. It’s been awesome for our dog Jada! We’re able to let her loose back there without having to tie her up.
        Something else you might want to check on is, in our town, when installing a privacy fence, the “ugly side” must be facing inward (toward your property). This may not pertain to the kind of fence you’re installing, but it would pertain to your neighbor’s portion. I don’t want to start a neighborly feud, and maybe it doesn’t bother you, but in our town, your neighbors would be forced to put the pickets on the opposite side of their fence!

  8. Julianne says:

    Oh fencing, a necessary evil. Before we even moved in we had a fence put up (2 sides were already done anyway) and it’s a good thing as our then 2 year old saw our neighbor’s huge outdoor fireplace, screamed “castle” and climbed right in.

    • Julia says:

      Oh no!!!! Hahaha. Our Greta saw our neighbors’ garden and must have thought, “weeds!” because she picked the whole thing. Not a fun day.

  9. Emily Head says:

    We are facing the same dilemma at our house! When we are outside, I am constantly chasing my kids to the road! It’s making it very hard to enjoy being outside, and I love being outside! I’ll be interested where you get your fencing materials! That is something on our to do list right at the very top!

  10. Jennah says:

    So is most of your backyard actually “side yard”? Trying to figure out your property thing. We also want a fence, but we have a weirdly shaped property, a deck that lets out into a driveway (we go in and out that back deck door and not the front door), and a set of raised garden beds that make figuring out where to put the damn thing near impossible.

    • Julia says:

      Yes! The fourth picture (showing part of that picket fence) is basically our backyard. It’s pretty small. Our side yards are huuugggeeee (to us) and yes, it has been difficult figuring out where to put our fence, but we discovered if we put it straight out even with the front of the garage, that would make the most sense and not cut into anything too weirdly. Also, I think the fence will make our backyard larger because anything behind the fence will feel like backyard, we think.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations