New fence

tanowickiApril 21, 2011

I'm in the process of removing my old fence between my house and the neighbor. This fence is on the side of the yard that doesn't get much use and has been somewhat neglected. It is located south of the house but because of the neighbor's garage and house and my front yard tree the west portion nearest the fence doesn't get a lot of sun.

Last year I removed all the landscape fabric below about 6 inches of mulch and this year I'm in the process of cleaning up the side yard, putting in some plants and a flagstone path. Along the house, I'm putting a narrow brick path.

This first photo was taken this morning from my sidewalk and is looking east:

Here is the same fence taken from the side yard looking west:

My planned fence design is similar to the open portions of this fence:

I drew a quick plan in excel which doesn't show much except the relationship of the fence to the house:

Here's a down and dirty mockup I did showing the new path and some random plant-like things and a badly drawn new fence:

Problem and question I plan on putting the new fence where the old one was, in a straight line along the same plane as the front of the house. I will be moving the opening toward the middle of the fence and plan on it being a more arbor-like opening instead of a heavy wrought iron gate. As I get to thinking about this, I'm wondering if a straight-line fence in the same plane as the house is the best idea. Is there a better place to put the fence? Should it remain straight with the house? Will the fence type proposed work or will it be too small?

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I'm not positive if I am understanding what you are asking but I think that this type of fence would do great in this location. You would have to make sure any plants that you or your neighbor plan to grow back there will be fine in the environment (Soil and sunlight wise). Does this whole area belong to you or does your neighbor own the other half?

On another note, I see that you do not have any door on this fence. Is it just for aesthetic appeal? Or do you need the fence to block the back yard from the front? If you do not need the fence, keep in mind there are other ways to bring a pleasant feel to the side of the home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscaping Services Barrie

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:50PM
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The fence is mostly to delineate more public space from more private space. My property is to the left (in the first picture) of the turquoise and cmu block garage.

The current fence makes the side yard a dead end with no use. I'm hoping with the more open fence and pathway that it will serve some purpose or at least cause me to wander through it more often.

My worry about the fence type is that it will read as too dainty for the site. This feeling is likely influenced by the current fence that I've been living with.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 7:10PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I remember that fence photo; I doubt I'll ever need a functional decorative fence, but if I do, that's a design I'll consider.

I think it works well, though I'd make it taller than your last picture seems to show (it's less than half the height of the arch). Perhaps if it were taller it wouldn't seem so delicate to you? You might also want to make a mock-up that shows the new fence from the sidewalk, so you can see how it works with the front of the house.

If I understand correctly, the finished side yard will consist entirely of beds and pavement: no grass. That being the case, have you considered extending the front yard foundation bed so that it ends -- with a nice curve -- at the new gateway? Ditto the small front yard bed along the side of the neighbor's garage.

The location of the current fence is fine; I don't really like the idea of setting it back a couple of feet, though I can't explain why. The only other possibility that occurs to me is starting at the corner of the house and running on the diagonal to the front corner of the neighbor's garage -- but that would be weird on a number of counts!

If it were my yard, I'd paint the fence to match the house or the trim. Which color makes the fence look more substantial?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:08PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

While I regret having to inform Landscaping Barrie that linking to your website is against the Gardenweb terms of use (and don't worry, many newly arrived landscaper participants have been making this mistake lately), I agree that the question of ownership of this strip of property is a crucial question. Where is the actual property line between the two houses?

My attention is caught by that bright red bed in your mock-up :-) Er, what is it meant to be?


    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:20PM
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The property line for the property is along the garage. The tall concrete post at the corner of it is on my property, the green irises to the front of the garage barely in the first picture is on their property.

I do plan on designing the front yard and the beds will line up closer to the new fence opening. I want to finish the side yard before I start on another project or the outside of my house will look like the inside.

MTO - no grass in the side yard.

KarinL - the bright red bed is obviously brick:)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:42PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Glad to hear you're adjusting the beds in the front yard side. With such an open fence, it seemed odd to me to have solid grass on one side and no grass on the other. Now if you had vines growing on the fence or shrubs -- or anything tall -- along it (on either side), the grass/no grass thing wouldn't have bothered me. Just the way my brain works....

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:12PM
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Would it be possible to get permission to paint the concrete block garage wall? Doing so would dramatically affect the look of your side garden. You could then build some sort of trellis for vines to further soften the look.

New gate is going to look good, although I'm not convinced you need one.

HTH, Rosie

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 6:34AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Would you also consider doing the fence without the gate opening? I could see two overlapping sections of fence at 5'-6" and 4 foot heights; with the first one forward of the other and closer to the street, of the open metal detail and 4 foot tall. Perhaps 4 feet back of this, and extending off the corner of your house, the second fence panel, and maybe use the metal design as the panel for this one, and 5'-6" feet tall. Overlapping fences would close the side yard off from the street, but still give a glimpse of the garden as you approach your front door.

With a bit of privacy thus provided, you could make a small little wider patio area up against your neighbor's garage wall, and maybe back this with a taller trellis of 7 or 8 feet height repeating your open metal fence design, and plant vines upon it. It would give you something to look at against that black wall from inside your house. It would also look really cool to paint that wall a complementary color to your house, and maybe cover your side of the cyclone fence further back with the same galvanized corrugated sheet metal siding as I am suggesting for part of the fence at the front, and as shown in the photo you posted.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 11:51AM
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The house is a rental but I did meet the owner before he moved out a few years ago. He seems nice enough and took care of the house. I could write him and I see no reason he wouldn't let me paint the garage so long as I don't suggest psychedelic colors or anything and that it doesn't clash with turquoise. I'm not sure about attaching trellises though but it couldn't hurt to ask.

Bahia - your idea is intriguing. Maybe instead of having the whole 5'6" fence be galvanized, just the 18" above the four ft? I had been thinking of doing some kind of water garden in a stock tank to deal with the runoff from the downspout in the corner but couldn't work it into my head. I'll have to think on it some more.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:56PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I wasn't thinking so much of an attached trellis at his wall, but a freestanding one set a foot inside your property, in front of his wall, and leaving 3 or 4 feet clear at both ends. The space seems well suited to doing a stock tank in there with a patio space adjacent it. Maybe a built in bench to hang out on, a nice proportion might be 2 foot wide by 5 to 6 foot long by 15~16 inches tall. I think if I were to layer materials on that fence, it would look more grounded if it was 2/3rd's solid below, or split vertically with a full height section of the sheet metal bracketed on each side or one side with a portion of the metal lattice. If you age the sheet metal to get a patina, it would instantly fit into the landscape.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 9:57PM
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