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Deuce Cities Henhouse

Fence in Progress : Part 2

Horizontal Fence
Guys! The fence is like, technically done, but (and that’s a big but) I didn’t want to call it the official ‘after’ just yet – there is still work to be done, people!

In case you didn’t notice, Minnesota is probably the last state out of all 50 of them to experience spring. We barely have buds on the trees, nothing is green and beautiful, and it’s still cold most days. It’s all brown and yellow and slightly greenish, but not green in a way that reads lush and full of life. Definitely not ideal for an official fence after shot, we need the green stuff!

Brown aside, I am really loving the way the new fence turned out. We decided to leave a bit of space between the horizontal slats so that our backyard didn’t feel closed in. We weren’t interested in cutting ourselves off entirely from our neighbors or the neighborhood – so to us, it seemed like a good way to go about it.

Our plans included extending the fence to incorporate the parking pad located next to the garage. We weren’t using it, and thought it could make a great space for the kids to play. Eventually someday, it could be a great future outdoor hangout space (aka patio).

Our neighbor was on board with the new fence, and thought it would be good to add a six foot privacy fence along the alley side of our lot. In essence we transformed the back of the yard into a high security fortress, all we need is a moat and some battle axes and this would be a fully functioning castle. Fer real though, there has been quite a few garage break-ins lately, and we wanted to keep our shit secure – a six foot fence on the alley seemed like a good idea.

Horizontal Fence
We added a six foot “privacy” fence on the north side of our lot too. Our neighbor on that side happens to be a duplex, and its tenants are changing regularly – a taller fence just made sense.

Horizontal Fence
Remember in Home Alone where the Wet Bandits have their signature move of clogging drains and running water before they leave each home they’ve burglarized? Our fence builders do this too, although their calling card won’t make you really mad. The guys at Fencein Deck (our fence company) add an arbor over the gateway of every yard they fence, kind of super adorable and funny, huh?

Horizontal Fence
Here in Minneapolis, there is a city rule that says homeowners need to have the pretty side of the fence face outwards, leaving the not so pretty fence posts showing on the interior. This isn’t ideal, but our builders were able to come up with a solution to incorporate the posts in a tasteful way. The guys made the interior of the fence mirror the exterior by sandwiching the slats in between two pieces of wood around the perimeter of the fence (shown above here). They basically frame out the posts with 2×2 giving the fence a really nice finished look. I way prefer this look over seamless horizontal fencing.

Horizontal Fence

Horizontal Fence
On the south side of the yard (the side that wasn’t shared with a duplex), we had a four foot fence installed all the way back to our alley. I was able to design my own pattern for our builders, because those guys are all about custom jobs – the four foot fence is identical to the 6 foot fence from the bottom up.

Before I can take the official ‘after’ photo I need to remove some of the over hanging cables, seen above. These cables extend from the corner of our house out to the alley. As far as I can tell we have three separate coaxial attached to our house, and it just doesn’t look good! Last fall we got rid of our cable and cable internet! We were so sick of the monopoly Comcast had in our area, plus the price is outrageous, it’s so not cool. The city just started providing folks on our block with fiberoptic super-high-speed internet that can be run underground from the street, and it’s affordable, isn’t that awesome? We get all of our television-media-consumption via Netflix, Amazon Prime and our digital antenna. I don’t miss cable one bit!

Anyway, we don’t need all those cables hanging over our backyard! Has anyone had experience removing cables like this? How’d you remove ’em?

Horizontal Fence
Onward with the tour. Here is the parking pad turned play space located next to the garage. It’s not glamorous or beautiful, but it is highly functional. Obviously, I’d like to make it much prettier. I’m probably going to figure out a way to stain the concrete a dark grey, and ideally we’d like to add some all weather patio gear in the future, Ikea has some really great affordable options. There needs to be a low lying garden planted in that dirt patch next to the fence, and I envision some container trellises lining the garage. There is most def room for major improvement here.

Horizontal Fence
We now have this very funny little garden where the fence used to end. It butts up against the concrete pad. As you can see it looks very sad and homely right now and it needs some TLC. I foresee two possible options. We can either remove the garden all together and replace it with sod, OR figure out a way to make plants, trees and bushes act as a natural wall between the two spaces. We’re still trying to figure out what option would function best for this space – but you have to know that I am totally leaning towards the option that involves planting stuff.

Horizontal Fence
Lastly, we need to stain or oil this guy. Much more research needs to be done as to what the best approach is. I don’t want to have the fence grey naturally, I’d like to preserve or enhance the natural color if I can. Please, if you’ve had experience with fence staining or oiling, let me know what approach you used and how you feel about the results. Our fence is all cedar, if that helps with your diagnosis. Thanks!

in Exterior, Outdoor

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Colz April 23, 2014

    Scoops! These guys did such a great job for you! I think your fence turned out real awesome and I can’t wait for our first summer hang sesh!

    • Scoops April 23, 2014

      Thanks, Lady! I know, so many gin and tonics, right?

      • Colz April 25, 2014

        Most def!

  • Becky April 23, 2014

    The fence turned out really well. Your garden is going to look awesome with the fence as the backdrop. Question for you regarding dahlias–do you start them inside or straight into the garden?

    • Scoops April 23, 2014

      Becky! Funny you asked, I just ordered my Dahlias minutes ago. I know I posted and said I was going to order them a few months ago, BUT they were not stocking the kind I had last season – so I waited. As for your question, I plant them right in the ground. In Minnesota we’re supposed to wait until around May 15, they usually take 90 days to flower so if the 10 day forecast is looking good at the beginning of May I usually plant them early around the 1st of the month. I want to get the most blooming time I can get out of them for the summer. Hope that helps!

      • Becky April 23, 2014

        That is a funny coincidence. I ordered seeds in the morning and read your post about buying seeds in the afternoon–clearly we are in sync on the gardening front. My first instinct was to plant the dahlias straight into the ground but only because I am a lazy gardener, so thank you for confirming.

        My advice for the garden near the parking pad/play area (between the lawn and the pad) would be grass because anything you plant there will be run over by ride on toys/bikes/skateboards/scooters/balls/kids. That parking pad could morph into a great spot for basketball as the kids get older–not what you want to hear I know.

  • Scoops April 23, 2014

    I’ll send ’em right over ;)

  • wendy April 23, 2014

    remember me? i shared my new fence when you were looking for ideas a few months ago. your fence is gorgeous!!! love how our fences are so similar but still unique, a huge plus with horizontal, as you can adjust so many things. on to the finish… i’m going to put an oil-based clear coat on mine, when i get a run of dry days, over 50 degrees, so probably not til late july! (it’s wet here in olympia, wa)

    • Scoops April 24, 2014

      Hey, Wendy! Yeah, I totally remember your fence – you are right they did end up looking so similar didn’t they? Thanks for letting me know what you are using to seal yours. Is there a specific brand that you are going to buy? I was considering using teak oil, but I don’t know if that would be proper.

  • caroline [the diy nurse] April 23, 2014

    It looks killer! I love it although I know nothing about the whole oiling a fence thing. Gotta love a free arbor too, what a great company!

    • Scoops April 24, 2014

      Thanks, Caroline! Yeah, those Fencein Deck guys are pretty great, funny name though :)

  • Ummm can I get a HELL YEAH!!! its awesome, like awesome AWESOME. I love every detail, especially the signature arbor:) Pinning this by the way.

    • Scoops April 24, 2014

      Thanks so much, Shavonda!

  • Colleen April 24, 2014

    Wow it looks wonderful – congrats! We had a slat fence built for our investment property – we stained ours with a jarrah oil, the only problem is you need to redo it once a year (well you do with the Western Australian sun) and that’s a lot of fence you have (if it will need to keep being restained…) look forward to seeing your garden

    • Scoops April 24, 2014

      Colleen – Thanks so much for the insight. That is what I am worried about with oil, I get tired of oiling the patio table so I can’t imagine doing the entire fence every year. I appreciate the tip!

  • Sheree April 24, 2014

    Beautiful fence! Doesn’t look closed in at all. I like that you left it lower on one side. When we first had our fence put in I succumbed to the online videos of “Five Minute Fence” http://www.fiveminutefence.com/
    It’s a water-based stain that you hook up to your garden hose and spray on. We joked that it was more like “4 hour fence”- but it did go on remarkably quickly for the entire thing, front and back. Looked spectacular for, oh, about a year. Then it started fading dramatically and unevenly. Not shocking for a water-based stain. After 3 years we finally mustered up the energy to stain it the “right” way, with a brush (it makes the stain soak in better than a sprayer), full on Mr. Miyagi style. We used Cabot stain which was recommended by the gents at Sherwin Williams. It still looks beautiful 3 years later.

    • Scoops April 24, 2014

      Thanks, Sheree! Oh man, that totally stinks for you, but I really appreciate the heads up. I too was looking at the cabot stain. Can I ask what color you used? It’s so good to hear that stain stands up well year after year, I will for sure have to take that into consideration.

      • Sheree April 24, 2014

        I could be wrong but I believe we used something like “clear”- it just gave the fence a deeper cedar tone. We didn’t want to “color” it too much, just make it look naturally cedar but not gray.

  • Scoops April 24, 2014

    Woah, Thanks Amanda! Yeah, Ikea will be my first go to for sure. I am not sure if we will try and get something for the space this year or next. I can’t wait to get that space whipped into shape!

  • Colz April 25, 2014

    Fergot to mention this to ya. We are gearing up to seal our fence this summer too. I’ll keep you posted. All I know right now is it will be clear and I will spray it on. These sound like my coolest and most efficient options.

  • Anna April 26, 2014

    We put in a new cedar fence a number of years ago and it still looks great thanks to the staining. I believe we let it weather for at least a few months or maybe even the first season (it has been too long, I can’t remember) and then used a cedar-toned stain from Sherwin Williams. My husband put it on with a paint brush and it was a total pain in the neck, but the durable results are totally worth it and have held up to MN winters.

    • Scoops April 28, 2014

      Hey Anna, Thanks for the advice. It seems like the brush might be the way to go as opposed to spraying on stain. I’m sure it’s a pain in the neck, but I want to do this project right the first time. I was planning on waiting till late August before I went ahead with the stain job. I’ll be looking for that cedar-toned SW stain.

  • mallory April 27, 2014

    This looks AWESOME. I love it! Nice work.

    • Scoops April 28, 2014

      Thanks, Mallory!

  • daniel | Manhattan Nest April 28, 2014


    We have a horrible falling apart chain-link fence around most of our yard, and I can’t WAIT until it’s GONE! I have so much fence indecision on how to replace it, though…horizontal, vertical, height, finishing details, color, OH MY! Yours looks incredible!

    • Scoops April 30, 2014

      Hey-O, Daniel! Choosing a fence is hard work, bro. I still have fence indecision, but I am feeling less worried about minuscule choices that keep me up at night. I too didn’t know if a horizontal fence would work with my old house, or if I should do something more traditional. In the end I figured the horizontal slats would go well with the broad horizontal siding on our house. I’m excited to see what you do with yours!

  • the cape on the corner April 29, 2014

    i love that look! enjoy!

    • Scoops April 30, 2014


  • Lea April 30, 2014

    Love it! I’m planning on putting a short fence on one side of my front yard (thanks to renters next door) and love this look but I need to tie it in with the existing standard privacy fence I have going on in the backyard. I’m thinking about doing something similar as far as different width boards to modernize it a bit but still running them vertically.

    You just spent all this effort to include the parking pad into the backyard, I wouldn’t necessarily section it off completely. Another (larger) arbor with a trellis on each side could look very inviting, tie it in with the front gate and still make the space feel intimate. An attached pergolas is always nice too.

    • Scoops April 30, 2014

      Hey, Lea! You could totally do this design or something similar to it in a vertical fashion. I bet it would look great. I like the trellis idea, I def have some good ideas to consider before I dive into that weird transitional space.

  • Anna May 3, 2014

    I just found the can of stain we used on the fence: Sherwin Williams Woodscapes exterior house stain in Cedar Bark (#3511). My husband tried using a hand-pump type sprayer and it was a drippy uneven mess, brush is the way to go especially with all of those slats. I’ll email you our address so you can get an idea of how this looks (and weathers) if you’re on a neighborhood walk. P.S. I love your fence!

    • Scoops May 6, 2014

      Thanks Anna, I’ll for sure check it out the next time I’m out for a walk. Thanks!

  • Brooke May 7, 2014

    I love horizontal fences and yours turned out top notch! It’s gorgeous!

    But wait, what is this about Minneapolis’ fiberoptic internet!!? What neighborhood are you in? Is it only on your block? I’m in Fulton and would love to ditch my shitty internet. How’d you find out about it? Where do I sign up?

  • Julie Chaet June 16, 2014

    Hey! So excited to see the progress! I saw your original post about getting quote and I have a call in to the guys who did yours! I have been wanting a horizontal fence so bad too! We’re in Minneapolis and I can’t wait until they come quote us! I LOVE how yours turned out! I’ll keep checking to see how the stain turns out :) Congrats!

    • Scoops June 17, 2014

      Yeah! You’ll love those guys. Let them know that you got the referral from the blog. I’ll for sure be writing a stain post in the future.

  • jojo August 13, 2014

    beautiful! thanks for sharing all the great info and pics! i’m also in mpls and have been searching everywhere to build out a fence like this – PERFECT referral!! Thanks :)

    • Scoops August 18, 2014

      So glad it can help you, Jojo! Good luck with your fence!

  • Casey July 1, 2015

    I know I’m way late to comment, but I just stumbled across your blog. This post is perfect… I’m just outside of Minneapolis and just started looking into fencing, but no one seems to want to do the horizontal fences. Thanks so much!