House 9 Remodeling: Fence Replacement – Day 3
In our last post we evaluated the success we achieved as well as the challenges we encountered during the first half of our DIY privacy fence reconstruction project at House 9. Having come up with some ideas for improvement, we were eager to tackle the second phase of the project over the course of another weekend.
The Mini Skid Steer
While we managed to successfully remove the old fence posts in the first 40 feet of the fence line during the first phase of our project, it was a labor-intensive and time-consuming ordeal. The Towable Hydraulic Auger we used in the project’s first phase also didn’t perform as well as we hoped since it became a struggle to maneuver past two feet depth. We decided for the second phase of the project to rent a mini skid steer from Home Depot hoping it would solve both of these challenges.
The mini skid steer delivery was scheduled to arrive on Friday between a 2 to 4 PM window. Now that we are in the fall season, daylight is ending earlier with sunset occurring around 7:45PM. I was hoping to get some of the work done on Friday since the mini skid steer rental was for 24 hours and there was some rain in the forecast for Saturday.
Removing Old Fence Posts
Unfortunately, the mini skid steer delivery did not arrive until 4:30PM. After getting a quick 5 minute refresher course on its operation, I quickly put it to work. By this time Mrs. DIY Landlord and I had already removed all the remaining old fence panels so we were ready to begin removing the old fence posts. During the first phase of the project, it took us on average 10 to 20 minutes to remove each old fence post with a farm jack. We were hoping the mini skid steer would make easy work of this laborious task and it did not disappoint. With the bucket attachment installed on the mini skid steer, we attempted the removal of the first fence post and the mini skid steer effortlessly removed it in less than 15 seconds!
Digging the Fence Post Holes
After quickly removing all the remaining old fence posts, we still had daylight left so we ambitiously moved on to digging the new fence post holes. We swapped out the bucket for the auger attachment and initiated the digging of the first fence post holes. In less than a minute, the hole was dug all the way to 3 feet depth with no issues whatsoever. We moved on and quickly finished digging the majority of the remaining post holes.
Setting the Fence Posts
With daylight still remaining, we began hand-mixing concrete to set the new 11 feet long galvanized steel round chain link terminal fence posts. We worked past sunset and was able to get 4 posts set in concrete by the end of the night. Here is what things looked like the next morning.
Extended (and Free) Rental
The next morning, we finished setting the remaining fence posts with the exception of two which required manual digging due to the fact they are located on a slope and also closely situated to the old fence post hosts.
After finishing setting the posts, we still had several hours left on the mini skid steer rental so we decided to put the fence reconstruction on hold and tackle some landscaping work. The mini skid steer is so capable and versatile that in just a few short hours we were able to use it to level the side yard, remove a large 6×6 fence post, and load all of the old fence post concrete debris unto the trailer.
Just when we thought we had made good use out of our one day rental of the mini skid steer, the delivery driver called and apologized that he was overbooked for the day and would not be able to schedule the pickup until the next day. He said we would not be charged for the extra day and actually encouraged us to continue using it. So we did just that. Turned out they were too busy the next day as well and the mini skid steer did not get picked up until Monday afternoon. By that time, we had dug some more post holes for future privacy fencing along the back property, performed some preemptive grading work in anticipation of some future landscaping project we had planned for the backyard, and removed many large hedges which create lots of yardwork for us each year.
While the extra free hours we unexpectedly received on the mini skid steer rental sidetracked us from the fence reconstruction, it saved us a lot of manual work for the future and all at no extra cost to us. The mini skid steer had allowed us to get so much backbreaking work done that Mrs. DIY Landlord and I were both a bit sad when it came time to say good-bye. If you have not rented one of these compact yet capable workhorses, take the opportunity to become familiar with their use and application. At a width of just 43 inches and being easily maneuverable, the mini skid steer is the go-to tool for the DIY landlord when confronted with large scale outdoor projects on small residential lots.
In our next post, we will return back to finishing our DIY fence reconstruction at House 9.