Friday, May 2, 2014

Fence Me In!

This summer I'll stain it, but we still have a functioning fence on the top half of the property! WOO!

We have waited what seems like a long, long time and now we're finally fenced in!  Most importantly; the Beastie Grrrlz are fenced in and neighbor dogs and certain types of wildlife are fenced out or at least slightly detered if they're not super motivated.  We were able to get a few names of fence and other contractors in the area and did our due diligence of collecting a few bids. We selected AAA Fencing & Welding based on referral quality, competitive pricing and that mysterious "chemistry" thing. I wanted to link to their website, but I forgot that this is the Bitterroot where everyone has a smart phone and a GPS and no one has a website, at least not one you can find easily.

Luckily, we started making calls in March, so their schedule was not booked out for months AND they even got started a couple weeks earlier than estimated!  One day he's dropping off some materials and equipment, and started demo on the old fence, the next he's here pound posts in all around the top 2.5-3 acres of the property!

Do I sound old when I say, "It's nice to see young people out working hard and with their hands"?  Our contractor brought is young teen son and his future son-in-law out to work on our fence.

After about 4 hours of racket all the rotten wood posts and t-posts were out and the new lodge pole posts were pounded in.

We were a little concerned that adding a fence to the front, where our view is,  would make the "yard" seem smaller, but we both think that it actually makes it seem bigger to have a visual cue to the edge.

We understand that the deer have an easier time clearing a fence when there is a rail at the top rather than just wire.  We don't want to keep the deer out, except of the garden space which will have its own fence  when we get that going, and we plan on replacing much of the landscaping with native plants that are xeroscapic and deer-resistant.

The "walk gate" leading to the National Forest; the last owners had used it for a jury-rigged dog enclosure under the deck that we disassembled last summer.  Yey for free gates!

Of course, keeping the BGs in means we have to have a gate on the driveway.  This whole project was not pocket change so we went with a basic-plus farm gate.  The electric operator has been ordered and will be installed when our contractor gets back from vacation. Sometimes it feels extravagant to have an electric opener, but then I remember the slope of the driveway and what our winters are like and realize that if we didn't have an operator, we'd have to drive up to the driveway, get out to open it, then drive around the loop again in order to have enough speed to make it all the way up the hill when it's icy and snowy.

Finally the driveway gate!  Everything but the electric operator ready to come and go.

We decided to put the gate near the top of the hill so when we next have a winter like this last one we can still park at the bottom of the driveway if we need or want to.  And if for some reason the operator fails, this spot is relatively flat AND close to the house for convenient manual operation.  This required that we either fence a smaller area which would be like giving up an acre or so OR create an "alley" up the driveway.

We hope that the "alley" will also cue random summertime drivers on the road that our driveway is indeed a driveway and not the road. It's not an entirely unreasonable mistake since the road past our house is obviously less traveled than our driveway; you know plants growing between the wheel tracks and the like.

You know you're hopelessly grown up when you're giddy and elated about a fence.  A plain, farm/ranch fence at that.  Knowing that Betty and Delia are each safe to roam and explore a couple-few of our acres and that they can be off-leash to run and chase and fetch really means a lot to us.  We're embracing the Return of the Chuck-it!  Even though Delia will usually only fetch a few times before focusing on some chipmunk lair.

Run, Betty! Run like the wind!*

"Fences are awesome. I love my new fence!"*

What's planned:
The gate operator will be installed which requires running power from the house.
I'll stain the posts and rails to try to keep the grey away (much like my hairs).
You know holiday and other decorations are going up on that gate, too.

Two weeks later, we are still in love with having a fence.  We don't feel like it spoils our view at all.

* Sooooooo many Ponderosa Pine needles to rake.  So many.


  1. Wow, it looks fantastic, I'd be excited, too! How many acres do you have? Your property and the views are gorgeous, no wonder you wanted to live there, despite the winter inconveniences. I need to live near mountains.

    ~ Peggasus

    1. Thanks, Peggy! We have about 5 acres and the fence encloses about half, maybe a little more. The road runs through the property at about the middle, so that was an obvious divider for our fence. We are really loving the spring this year. We loved it last year, too, but without the same sense of relief since this winter was particularly hard.

  2. That's a fine lookin' fence, lady! I'm so happy for you (I guess that means I'm hopelessly grown up too) to have that thing up and done, what a relief that you can just open the door to let the grrlz out for a bit without having to get a leash & shoes & a jacket and go out with them!! I think I can hear angels singing!

    I don't think having the electric gate is an extravagant AT ALL. I would. I totally would. I really like your fence, too Tara! I think the lodge pole look is great and blends so nicely AND will hold up a whole lot longer than standard fence rails, good choice!

    So do the deer launch off the rails, is that why it's easier for them to get over those fences? Maybe it's having a defined sight line as to where the top is? Either way, yay, yay, yay!! I'm glad for yous!

    1. Thank you! We still just love it for the improvement to the whole family's quality of life as well as the look of it. The poles are rated for a 30 year life! I'm skeptical, but even 2/3 of that would be wonderful. We'd never get that with PT 4x4s.

      I guess because the deer can see and feel the rails easier, they can clear it and not get tangled. Right not the forest might be plentiful enough that it's not worth the effort, but I know they'll be back. And welcome for the most part.

  3. Yay!!! Happy, happy dogs! :) A good fence, good!
    Seriously, though, fences are actually pretty exciting. And that's a really, really nice one.

    1. Thanks! Even after a few weeks, we're still about swoon-y over the fence at times.

  4. Beautiful fence! Yay for the BG's running wild like the wind. Electric gate operator a must. Your winter weather is way too bad NOT to have that feature. I don't remember if you had decided to wait on installing the fence for reasons other than saving up for it, but I'd say it worked out well. You were able to experience all the seasons and know about the winter issues and possibly having to leave a vehicle down lower and about needing to circle around to make it up the hill and all the other issues to take into consideration for the placement of the gate, electricity, etc. Nice when things work out like that, planned or not.

    1. I think you're right. Having lived a full set of season, plus a harder than usual February helped us make better choices for our fence. And we knew to set it back from the road and the driveway to allow for piling snow, too.


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