So the old nasty fence (which belongs to our neighbor, the guy who owns the grocery store/laundromat building whose parking lot is behind us) is still leaning precariously, and now is the time to build our own nice, strong fence on our side of the property line.

Only, where is the property line? Looking at the plat map, it seems the neighbor's fence may be on our side of it, and indeed all the fences at the back are on our side. And they're not exactly straight or square, either. So we just sort of drew a line from one edge to another, keeping the line itself straight, and that's where we're putting the fence. A foot or so either way really doesn't matter much (adverse possession in California would require them to pay the property taxes on the land, so we're not worried about losing ownership of the property on the other side of the fence).

So we set the first corner post. On this side of the yard, neither the fence that runs along the property line (visible in the photo) nor the fence that divides the two neighboring properties and is perpendicular to the visible fence has a post at this point. So we decided to put a post here and tie the visible fence into it, because three fences meeting with no post seemed stupid.

Location of the first corner post

You will note that of course this is right next to the Mme. Carriere rose I moved this winter. Of course.

For this job we went and bought a post-hole digger. We'd been borrowing one from our neighbor, but hers is fairly simple and there are all kinds of fancy improvements in newer ones. This one has really big scoops, and also a handle that is shaped so you can't whack your hands on the handles all the time. Nice. Noel's going to be digging eleven more post holes with this this weekend, and then some more holes for the upcoming deck construction, so it seemed worth it to get something more comfortable to use.

Fancy new post-hole digger

And in no time at all, we had a nice, straight post. Nothing else back there is straight, so every time I look at it it seems to be leaning, but the level assures me that it is dead-on.

New post

And speaking of the new post, it turned out that the only fence posts of reasonable quality that were not pressure treated (which I didn't want for both aesthetic reasons and because at one corner the fence will be in the chicken yard, and the chickens will definitely peck at the fence and I don't care to ingest whatever they use to treat the wood in my eggs) were FSC wood.

FSC certified wood is sustainably forested, so you get to feel like your fence didn't mean clear-cutting an old-growth forest. It costs a bit more, but not much on the larger scale of things (about $3 more per post). But even better, the quality of the wood was notably much better than the quality of the redwood posts that were not FSC certified. So you could say that the certification of the wood was free; we just paid more for a higher grade of wood.

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posted by ayse on 04/11/08