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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Thinking About : Fences

Modern Horizontal Fences
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Hey, Guys! The old man (aka Jeff) and I have a house-to-do-list chocked full of big ideas, budgets and timelines. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be getting a new backyard fence this summer. It’s a big landscaping year and I am so excited!

I just recently started day dreaming about fencing options. Looking at fences, backyards and gardens has been a great cure for my winter hangover, I’m getting excited for spring and feel like I can confidently say that it will happen… someday!

A little background info:
We currently have a four foot fence around the backyard, and it’s great, especially with the kids. The current fence isn’t anything special though, it’s a simple chain link fence with green plastic slats. Let’s just say that I’ve been trying my hardest to ignore it for the past four years.

Our house is sandwiched in between two rental properties, not ideal, but we live in the city and it is what it is. One of the rental properties is owner occupied and we are lucky to have a fantastic relationship with that neighbor. Unfortunately, the full time rental property doesn’t make for the best neighbors. Over the years we have had been lucky enough to have some super friendly neighbors as next-door-tenants, but there has also been some really awful ones. Since we have no control of our ever changing neighbors, we’d like to build a privacy fence on that side of the yard, maintaining the four foot fence around the rest of the backyard. I have concerns about building a six-foot privacy fence; mainly that it would make us feel like we are in a backyard jail and would be perceived as unwelcoming to the rest of the neighborhood. However, I feel confident that we can find a solution that is modern and airy while adding dimension and texture to the backyard.

There are other things to consider too. We are trying to decide whether or not we should expand the yard and fence in a parking space that sits next to our garage. We’ve never used the concrete slab for parking in the four years we’ve lived here. Fortunately the slab is only thirteen years old and in great condition. If we fenced in the parking space and incorporated it into our yard we could have a play space for the kids – they could ride bikes and tricycles and bounce balls. Further on down the road we’d have options; we could add a pergola over the slab and create an additional outdoor seating area, remove the concrete and replace it with sod to increase the size of the yard, or turn it back into a parking space for our future teen kids. “Future-teen-kids” sounds so highly cool, you guys.

Modern Horizontal Fences
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Besides having the house painted, this is going to be our first big homeowner investment. I’m excited! We are planning on meeting with fence builders over the coming weeks – hopefully we can have the fence installed as soon as the ground thaws. I’d hate for my garden to get trampled if we waited too long, plus I want to be able to enjoy our new fence all summer long.

I’d love it if you guys had any recommendations or advice for me as who to contact locally in Minneapolis. I am also on the fence (can’t resist a pun) on whether or not we should really go for horizontal fencing. I love the way it looks, but I am worried that it would warp and sag over time. Do any of you have a horizontal slatted fence? What do you think? Lastly, dark stain is awesome and I love the look of it against plants and the lawn, but wonder how it would wear over time. Any dark stained fence lovers out there that could add their two cents? Thanks in advance for any advice!

27 comments
in gardening, Inspiration




24 comments… add one
  • wendy February 4, 2014

    we just put in a horizontal fence last summer and i’m loving it! the posts are only 6ft apart instead of the standard 8 ft width, so the boards don’t sag, and enables you to use standard 6ft high boards to span the posts. i wish i had a pic online to show you… maybe i’ll email it directly.

    • wendy February 4, 2014

      aha! i posted an fb album to your fb post.

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Hey Wendy! Ahh, so that’s the trick to the horizontal fence, 6ft wide posts. Thank you so much for posting your pics on facebook. I’ll be using them as reference for sure.

  • caroline [the diy nurse] February 4, 2014

    Man I looove horizontal slat fences like the ones you showed. I cant wait for the day we have a dream house and I can go fence crazy. I’ve seen large fences with potted plants dotted across. Or you could make the fence kind of thick and build in space on the top for rectangle planters. You can add plants like ivy or a plant that ‘drips’ down the fence. I’m no plant person [obviously] lol. So excited and kind of jealous that you have something springy to look forward to!

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Hi Caroline! I love all your suggestions! I think that adding planters would have to be something we would consider doing later on down the road, but that is totally something I would love to do. I think having vines that drip down the fence would be so amazing! Uh, a girl can dream, right? Can you imagine how much it would cost to fill all those planters every year, but it would be so great, wouldn’t it?

  • Fran February 4, 2014
  • Cam February 4, 2014

    Sparrow Carpentry was our dude. He really is a skilled carpenter and can do pretty much anything.

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Thanks Cam! Did you have the posts put on the inside of your yard, or outside. Someone in another post mentioned that the pretty side has to face out. I’ve heard rumors of this…

      • CAM February 6, 2014

        We put them on the inside, which is kind of silly if you think about it. You’re the one who looks at it all the time. I guess it’s a courteous neighbor thing? Or is it mandatory?

  • Lea February 4, 2014

    My parents just put up some new fencing last year and my mom was really unsure about doing a privacy fence as well (they’ve had a 4 ft fence for 30 years at that house) but it got to a the point where she just couldn’t look at the neighbor’s rotting garage trim or “natural garden” anymore – (they plant it every year with high hopes then just abandon it to rot and die).

    My parents replaced the panels on just that side and she LOVES is. So much in fact that they are going to do the rest of the yard in a privacy fence this year too. They did their own, building the panels and using the existing posts from the chain link fence that are cemented into China and bolting wooden posts around them – you can’t even tell.

    It’s like an oasis she said (they also have a pond and waterfall so that helps) and many neighbors have commented on how nice it looks. When it comes time to replace the privacy fence around my backyard, I really want to do a horizontal one as well, they just look so much better. Can’t wait to hear what you end up doing!

    This is my current dream fence right now – http://styledcreative.com/styledblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/48-fulk-vintagechairs-0708-xlg-41609893-12916217.jpg

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Hey Lea! Covering the existing posts is such a great idea. When we begin talking to builders I will bring this up for sure – in case it can save us money and make the job easier. I imagine that our posts too are cemented to china, as you said.

      If we pursued the horizontal fence we might have to do posts every 6 feet to reduce sagging or warping – I’m pretty sure our current posts are 8 feet apart. That’s something to consider too, but I appreciate your advice, especially if it can save us some dough.

      That’s so good to hear that your parents are loving their privacy fence. I’m sure it can be great and make the yard feel like a garden oasis.

      Thanks for the dream fence link, I love the criss-cross on the inside! Such a great idea!

  • Shavonda@AHomeFullofColor February 5, 2014

    Looove horizontal slat fences. I think Ill definitely go that direction when we move. I cant wait to see what you do! I can see it being awesome!

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Hi Shavonda! I hope we can come up with a great fence solution, my head is swimming right now and I can’t wait to talk to some potential contractors.

  • J February 5, 2014

    I like the look of horizontal fences, but all of the ones you’ve posted only show one side of them. I believe in Mpls a homeowner is legally required to make sure that the side facing the neighbors (and alley/street, I assume) is at least as pretty as the one facing them. It certainly is the more courteous thing to do. It looks like the one Lea links up to solves it nicely.

    • Scoops February 5, 2014

      Hey J! I’ve wondered this too. Some of my friends have said their are all sorts of rules when it comes to building a fence. I’m sure a lot of these questions will be answered when we begin to talk to contractors. Hopefully they will have advice and suggestions to offer so our fence can be pretty on both sides. Thanks for the tip!

  • Jasmine February 5, 2014

    I can confirm J’s comment about the fence facing outwards. The “nice” side needs to face outwards or both sides of the fence need to be the same. We’ve been looking into installing a privacy fence as well and there are lots of building regulations associated, including how high the fence is on the side yard (depends on how close you are to the neighbors) and how close to the front of the house you can start a 6′ fence. This is a PDF that I found on the city website about fence guidelines. I’m sure that your contractor will be aware of these, but that could be a good interview tactic – if they don’t know, maybe they’re not the best fit! Maybe I’m too uptight, but the thought of building a fence only to have to tear it down because of neighbor complaints, makes me sweaty…

    http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@regservices/documents/webcontent/convert_268270.pdf

  • Meg@ourwaytoeat.com February 5, 2014

    A privacy fence is at the top of our list too. When we moved in, there was a hideous fence between us and one neighbour. It was on the neighbour’s side, so they tore it down when they were selling their house. They replaced it with some sad shrubs. The fence was ghastly, but I miss the privacy and also the help it gave me in fending off excessive squirrels and rabbits that are grazing free range and are practically domesticated by a neighbour a few doors further down. We spend all waking hours in our back yard in the summer, and we’re the “kids” in the hood, with day jobs (aka less time for perfect yard maintenance), late night gatherings, etc. We need that fence back. I have had a very hard time deciding what I want. Fortunately, I think the new neighbours are interested in one too, so hopefully we’ll collaborate. It will have to be a neutral fence, but hey, a fence is a fence. I have seen some great horizontal fences. I am going to email you the deets of a contractor that I would recommend.

  • ES February 5, 2014

    I have a similar issue and also live in Minneapolis. One of our neighbors is a neglected rental house and the other is a very well kept up single family home. I would like to create more privacy in our yard, but also want to be “neighborly”. The nicer house next to ours put up a new wood fence not long ago, but it is shorter than I would have chosen. Right now there is a hodgepodge or chain link and wood around our yard. I will be interested in seeing the solution that you come up with!

  • ES February 5, 2014

    I forgot to mention that our neighbor with the nice fence used Peckels Fence & Deck (although their fence is vertical slats). They referred this company to us for future use. Hope this helps!

  • chad April 5, 2014

    Hi there, found your blog (and this post) while searching for fencing contractors in Mpls. You and I have the same tastes in fencing, as well. I haven’t found anyone that builds these types of fences and was curious if you had any luck. All I can find are contractors that specialize in generic options that we’ve all seen a bit too much now at this point. Awesome blog, btw. So glad I found it.

    • Scoops April 6, 2014

      Yo Chad! Glad you found me. I have to recommend Fencein Deck (I know funny name). The main guy I work with is Dave Campbell, he made my friends fence so I found him on good recommendation. I designed my own fence and he is going to build it for me! The price seemed really good to me too for the quality of work. They are coming in a few short weeks to install, I was going to do a whole post on the whole process soon, so I’ll have even more info about it. The Fencein Deck company seems to be all about customer service, quality materials, and making it the way you want it. That was just what I was looking for.

      Oh, and they mill slots in the posts so they can slide the fencing in slats in so they sit in the center of the post. It will look exactly the same from both interior and exterior sides. Hope that helps!

  • Chad April 6, 2014

    Awesome, thanks for the info. Look forward to seeing that post on your blog. Sounds like you had to do what I was thinking I’d need to do – design your own since it’s hard to find someone that has already built these styles that we like. I’ve found quite a few of them in California, haha.

  • Hi! I’ve been reading your ste for some time now and finally got the courage to go
    ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock
    Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent job!

  • Longini December 28, 2015

    I love your orange taped lenierttg. Did you just tape over the chain link or what did you use. I am a volunteer for the City of Nashville Beautification Commission and am looking to do just what you are showing. We have recycle center that needs something exactly like this. CAn you help me get started. Brad Emmett

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