Wood Fence Upgrade


Last year we happily removed the old chain link fence in our backyard and replaced it with brand new wood fence. It was an interesting project because we had multiple trees on the property line to work around! Here's the lovely finished product :)
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
While it may seem pretty standard, it was anything but. Let's look at the original fence (complete with a pile of junk in the yard from a shed clean out!). It was standard chain link with green privacy slats.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
I was all too happy to rip this thing out.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
We were able to use the majority of the old fence post holes and quickly erected pre-fabricated fence panels.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Each panel was screwed into landscape timbers (a fraction of the cost of a 4x4!).
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
We also made sure to level each section and allow for a little room below so the wood wasn't sitting in the dirt where it would rot quickly.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Then we got to the hard part. The property line went directly through a tree in a V-shape.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
Yikes! We knew we had a few options (cut the trees down, build bump-outs in the fence), but we ultimately decided to custom build right through the tree. We got the pre-fabricated fence panels as close as we could and had to build the rest of the fence ourselves. The top rung of the fence was able to span the entire gap through the tree.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
We then made some custom frames for the fence slats to attach to.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
While it took a while to measure and cut each fence slat to fit around the tree, I'm very happy with the result and would do it again if I had to.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
It is wonderful that our backyard now feels like a secluded place of our own.
wood fence upgrade, diy, fences, home improvement, outdoor living, woodworking projects
You can check out the three-part post details on the blog :)
Daina

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Donna
    on Feb 9, 2016

    Looks nice, but what happens when the tree trunk gets bigger around?

    • Daina
      on Feb 9, 2016

      Haha, that was one of my exact questions when we were planning this Donna! We left a little room for growth initially, but plan to trim the slats around the tree each year so the tree can still grow. It might be a little extra work to maintain, but in the interest of saving the tree I think it is worth it :) This year there were only two slats that needed to be adjusted.

  • Jewell Martin
    on Feb 9, 2016

    I understood what you said about the fence bottom rotting if it sat in the dirt, but I find this impractical for a couple of reasons. Dogs, or cats. Both are supposed to be on leashes outside of your own yard, but cats never are. Cats chase squirrels through the ally and into the yards, and cats sneak into the yard to have kittens, since we don't have a dog. If we had a dog, it could slip under or dig under the fence, get out, and get lost or picked up. Dogs who get out of other people's yards may end up in mine and do damage. I went out and looked at our fence which in ten years old. It is built like yours, but goes to the ground. We have restrained it once. There is no sign of any rotting near the ground. The gate has some wear in the wood but only around the hinges. You also share property lines with at least one neighbor. Has the gap near ground level caused any problems with the neighbor's? Your fence is beautiful.

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2 of 56 comments
  • Anna Picket
    on Apr 19, 2016

    The wood fence does look better than a chain link fence would. The privacy slats in your old fence were even ripped up in some places, so I can see why you got rid of it. It looked old and didn't even give you very much privacy at all. I think it's especially cool that you were able to put the fence around that one tree branch. http://www.alliedfencetampa.com

  • B. Enne
    on Jul 14, 2018

    good troubleshooting


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