We loved the idea of using a modern fence in the front yard to stretch the modern design of the house into the yard. A little fence in the yard creates some curb appeal and also blocks the view of our not-so-healthy lawn and the somewhat busy front flower garden beds and helps simplify the view of our house from the curb. Curb appeal counts for a lot, so adding the fence definitely increased the overall value of our home.
Building the fence was fairly straightforward after we took out the shrubs (see that post here). We started the process by taking a look at our city’s rules about where you can and cannot build a front fence. Our city’s website said that we could build 2.1 metres from the edge of the sidewalk, which is exactly along our property line. We couldn’t build a fence in the 2 metres between our property line and our house, because there was a ‘Utility Right-of-Way’ that went along there.
Once we measured from the sidewalk in front of our house to figure out where the property line was, we measured out where the 4 posts should go. We dug the hole for the post by using a long, narrow shovel called a drain spade to dig down and then we kept going back to a post hole digger to make sure we were keeping the hole round. We found it helpful to use a heavy pry-bar or a tamper to loosen the dirt on the bottom of the hole as we were digging down, especially when we would hit a rock and needed a tool with some weight to help pry the rock out of the ground. Our fence was going to be about 30 inches tall so we wanted to have approximately 15-18” of post in the ground. Once our hole was about 18” deep, we would put a few small rocks or gravel in the bottom of the hole to help with drainage.
We cut a 9’ pressure-treated 4”x4” post in half and then placed it into the hole, with the pressure-treated end pointed downwards. We made sure the edge of the post was parallel with the sidewalk and the post remained level as we evenly placed soil back into the ground around the post. After each shovel full that we would put on each side of the post, we would tap down the soil to ensure the ground was hard and holding up the post. Once we had about half the soil back into the ground, we poured a few litres of water onto the soil to help it settle. We waited about 20 minutes until the soil seemed less wet and finished putting the soil into the ground and tapping it down.
Once the first end post was complete, we put in the second end post using the same method. We put up a chalk line between the two end posts to help ensure that we were creating a straight line for the fence. We measured out where the middle two posts should go along the chalk line. We put in the middle two posts. We packed down the ground around the posts and double-checked that everything was level and in line. The process of putting in the 4 posts took about 2.5 hours.
We put up cedar boards on the fence next. We started placing the first board from the bottom of the fence and used the level to ensure the board that was being screwed to the fence posts was straight. We completed the bottom boards all along the bottom of the fence posts. And then we used the edge of the cedar board as a spacer in between the fence boards.
We worked our way up the fence posts. Our pattern was to have a 6” board, two 3” boards, a 6” board, two 3” boards, and then one last 6” board at the top. We also continued this pattern around the fence post by the driveway to add a unique, modern detail. We used 1” x 6” x 8’ cedar boards and then we cut these boards in half for the 3” lines.
Once we were finished with the cedar fence boards, we cut the tops of the posts off with a hand saw. And just like that, we’re finished this beauty until we are ready to stain it. We haven’t picked out the stain colour yet, but once we get a plan together and get it stained, I will add another blog post so you can see the final colour. We also going to rototill the soil in front of the fence and add some modern looking plants.
Completely in love with this fence already! And we’ve had a ton of compliments from everyone that passes.
The cost was absolutely worth the impact at only $171.45!!
4x4x9 posts: 4 @ 13.60 = $54.40
1 x 6 x8’ cedar boards: 15 @ 7.28 = $109.20
Fence screws: 1 box @ $23.15
Total: $ 171.45