House 9 Fence Reconstruction: Mid-Project Assessment

Our last post detailed how Mrs. DIY Landlord and I completed the first 40 feet of the DIY fencing reconstruction at House 9.  Now we have several days before we embark on the second phase this coming weekend.  While Mrs. DIY Landlord rests her sore muscles, I thought I would take the time to reflect upon how things have been working out so far on the project.

Privacy Improvement

One of the upgrades which added significantly to the cost of this DIY fence reconstruction project was changing the height of the fence from 5-1/2 feet to 8 feet.  Now that this initial 40 foot section has been completed, we can wholeheartedly say that this upgrade was well worth the cost.

The old fence offered House 9 little privacy since all the windows on the east side of the house were completely visible to the neighbors.

The 40 feet section of fencing we have completed thus far spans from the front to the end of the house and has dramatically improved its privacy.  The windows on the side of the house are no longer visible from the neighbor’s house.

The new board-on-board arrangement is also another privacy enhancement incorporated into our project.  For the small cost associated with the additional fence pickets required for this arrangement, Mrs DIY Landlord and I are very pleased with the total privacy it will provide going forward.  The board-on-board also adds a nice touch of elegance to the fence so this design decision was well made.

Engineering and Design

Since this is my first time building an 8 foot privacy fence with steel posts as a DIY landlord, I had to engineer and design much of fence construction plans myself.  So far all the different components of the fence design have turned out great and have not presented any issues.  Our initial plans for the fence height, fence post spacing, rail spacing, fence board overlap, and fence board spacing off the ground have all worked out perfectly so we will not be changing any of these plans for the second phase of this project.

Equipment Rental

The upgrade to an 8 foot fence necessitated that post holes be dug an extra foot deep.  This added significantly to the labor for post hole digging. While the auger we rented made the task easier for the first two feet of digging, it didn’t help as much on the last foot.  The auger also as easy to operate for one person as I had hoped.  The wheels do not lock so the machine has a tendency to move during use and sometimes caused the hole drilled to not be straight.

The removal of old fence posts, while manageable with the farm jack we purchased, has consumed quite a bit of time and labor.  This is definitely an area of improvement for the second phase of this project.

To address the issues with post hole digging and removal, we have decide to make a change to our equipment rental for the second phase of this project.  We will not be renting the Towable Hydraulic Auger again.  Instead, we will be renting a Mini Skid Steer System from Home Depot.  The Mini Skid Steer system comes with auger attachments.

With the auger attachment the Mini Skid Steer makes very quick work of post hole digging.  I rented one of these about nine years ago when I build a privacy fence around House 7 and was able to get some 30 or so post holes dug in under two hours!  With the included bucket attachment, I am also hoping that it will make quick work of removing the old posts.

The rental of the Mini Skid Steer System runs $249 per day.  While it is called “mini”, the skid steer is still considered heavy equipment and is far more than I can tow with my car.  So I will need to have the Mini Skid Steer delivered for a cost of $69 each way, for total delivery charge of $138.  So the total cost to rent the equipment for one day will be $387.  This is $278 more than the Towable Hydraulic Auger we rented for the first part of the project but I believe the labor it will save us will be well worth the added cost.

Stay tuned as we move on to the second phase of this DIY landlord fence remodeling project in our next post!


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