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Fence With Dancing Pickets

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We wanted a new fence that blends traditional elements with a bit of contemporary.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Also: pickets close enough to discourage the many neighborhood cats so our older cat (18 years!) didn't have to defend her territory all the time.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Our initial inspiration -- getting rid of the old fence.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Out with the old! Really easy because all the posts were rotten, even though they were cedar.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Our neighbor Gary helped find locations for new posts. What a great neighbor! We avoided the concrete from the old posts to save on digging. That bushy thing is the remains of a giant pampas grass—we pulled it out with a truck.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Sometimes nature doesn't cooperate with post hole locations. Most established plants can take cutting a few roots, but we carefully evaluated before severing major roots. I'd rather move the hole location a bit if possible.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
All the posts are in — very exciting stage of fence building! We used pressure-treated 4x4s rated for ground contact.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
We fooled around with lots of designs. Traditional designs and repeating patterns just seemed too ordinary. So we hit on the idea of randomly varying the picket heights.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
We used 2x2 cedar for pickets and a solid stain. I toyed with the idea of two rails to carry the pickets, but then went with three -- a 2x2 out in the open is sure to move around, and a third rail adds a lot of stiffness. I ripped the middle rail down to 2 1/2 inches wide so it wouldn't look too bulky.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
We beveled the tops of the pickets to shed water. Here's a close look at the random design. We made 3 lengths and I installed them about 1 inch apart. Gotta love nail guns! Passersby say it looks like musical notes.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
A very traditional round-top gate makes a good balance with the random pickets. Rails always go on the owner's side—that's good fence etiquette. More good fence etiquette tips: http://goo.gl/9YQB04
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
Not done yet! My brother-in-law Phil said we needed a copper roof for our gate, so he took measurements and from 2,000 miles away sent us a copper-topper that he'd made. Fits great! Thanks Phil! It was shiny copper, so we gave it a patina with a vinegar, salt, and water solution.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
The gate arch was designed to mimic the entry of our house.
  • fence with dancing pickets, diy, fences, home improvement, how to
One more touch—a string of solar-powered lights hung under the gate arch adds a bit of sparkle at night.
  • La Habra Fence Company

    Picket fences are very popular for home. It gives our home a new look and if we are thinking for selling our home, it can enhance your cost also.

  • Joyce
    Joyce Yucca Valley, CA

    Love, love , love it. Yes, my first thought "musical notes" it's awesome. Also terrific it's not just random. But a bit of a pattern. So very nice. The copper roof! Perfect!

  • Sara Lajoie

    Great idea and so much better than old fence.

  • Toodleedo

    this came out great and I think with some help, I could put one up in the front yard and paint or stain it black so it will coordinate with my Halloween decorations

  • RichandTammy Whiteside

    This is so neat. It's reminiscent of a cityscape...

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