I need help! Will those of you who have time please read through this and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. The fence is being put up Tuesday (if the weather cooperates).
Vince and the fence man decided where the fence was going to go and it was a done deal by the time Vince showed me. I said NO!! That is not a great plan.
Bad Idea #1: The back of the fence is 6″ off the property line into our yard and Vince had a walk thru gate on that back fence. I said . . if the neighbor ever puts up a fence, and they go 6″ off the line (which they wouldn’t if our fence was already up), then we’d be opening our gate up to a fence! While they probably wouldn’t put a fence up with ours already there, they could build some kind of structure (raised garden beds) or park cars right there. I just didn’t see us needing a fence to go to the neighbor’s since we never go to the neighbor’s! Also, Vince had the drive thru gate on the north side which meant to get to his shop, he’d drive completely across the back yard. NO! I want more raised beds and I want to be able to plan things back there. If the only place he’s going to drive to is the shop, then put the drive thru gate on the side by the shop. We can still leave enough room that he’ll have room to turn around and do what he needs to do but the garage door side of the shop is not even inside the fence so . . not sure about any of that but he did agree to move the drive thru gate to the other side.
That issue was easily resolve.
Bad idea #2: Here’s where I need help.
Just to the right of that stone retaining wall is where Vince had the south side of the fence starting. It would be right at the edge of that wall, up to the deck and come out from there.
Here are the problems I have with that:
- Those steps that go up to the deck are not inside the fence. On the other side of the deck are stairs that go down to an area inside the fence.
- Oscar could go up the stairs on the other side, cross the deck, down these stairs and escape. We’d never find him or catch him.
- If we had uninvited guests, they could go up these steps, cross the deck and go down the other stairs and be inside the area we’re trying to make more secure!
- If we wanted to keep a pizza oven or smoker or grill on the deck, there’s no security with one set of stairs not being inside the fence.
None of that makes any sense to me.
We had the fence guy come back out yesterday and help us with ideas. Honestly, we’re just not seeing any great ideas.
If you look at that picture . .
- There’s no way to anchor the fence posts between the a/c unit and the stairs.
- I mentioned attaching the fence post to the end of the stairs and the fence guy said if there was an intruder, he just hop those stair railing. I know a fence is no guarantee no one can get it but I don’t want to make it easier than it needs to be.
- To the left of the a/c is where the electric line is that goes to Vince’s shop. The box is Mediacom for our internet. To the left of there, just on the edge of the shrub you see is where the power from the solar panels come in and all the “guts” to that system go into the garage. Just to the left of that is where our electric meter and main power supply comes in. Not the least of the problems is the clothes line that Vince said he will not move and there’s really not another good place to put it. How can so many obstacles be in one place??
As it stands now with the revised plan, the fence is going to go up against the house between the Mediacom box and the a/c. It will be about 18″ from the a/c which will hopefully allow air circulation for the a/c. The fence will come towards the clothes line but not up to it. In that section, there will be a walk thru gate so a/c repairs/replacement can happen when needed.
Then the fence will go behind the clothes line pole (even though my drawing shows it coming in front of the clothes line pole, then turn and go farther south toward Vince’s shop.
We cannot go farther toward the front of the house because of a tree and another retaining wall.
The fence will go up to the shop between the two windows. Honestly, I think both windows should be inside the fence. Somewhere down there, where we get back to level ground, we’ll have a drive thru gate and a walk thru gate. This is the side we mostly will be going outside the fence to do things anyway. The other side, the fence will go almost to the edge of our lot and then there’s a road so we don’t do much on that side that’s outside the fence.
Vince is still going to have to build gates to put at the bottom of both sets of deck stairs to keep Oscar off the deck. The deck railing isn’t nearly close enough together to keep him from jumping or falling off. He doesn’t need to be on stairs anyway.
Also, the area between the a/c unit and the short stairs . . that’s open to underneath the sun room. It isn’t a big drop off but it isn’t some place Oscar needs to be and once he gets under there, he would be able to jump off the retaining wall to the patio under the deck and that’s about a 6′ drop so we will probably put lattice work or something there.
I just feel like there’s a better way and I hate to be missing it and then see it once the fence is installed.
I’m sure my pictures and my diagrams make it not real easy to understand the layout. Here are a couple of photos from when the house was for sale that might give more perspective.
This is the longer stairs on the other side of the deck and you can see the concrete retaining wall in the back. If Oscar went under the sun room from the opening by the short stairs, that’s where he would end up and he could easily go over that wall to the concrete below.
You see the deck. You see under the deck. We came out and added the 16′ x 17′ pergola in that area straight out from the patio. The trees to the left of the patio – those were two Bradford Pears and they are no longer there. Except for the pergola, we could have brought the fence straight out from that concrete retaining wall and avoided that whole area but with the pergola, we don’t want one wall to be a fence – we want to have it all open but I do believe we need that short set of stairs to be inside the fence.
Anyway . . any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!