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On Fences And Neighbors

March 16, 2020

It’s for my grandkids. The oldest is six years old. The youngest is barely crawling. The others are somewhere in between. And they want to play outside when they come to Grammy and Papa’s house.

We have a nice backyard. But, we also live on two corners. Roads run along the South, West and North side of my house. The roads aren’t busy, but they are travelled on at all hours.

One child you can keep out of traffic. Two can head in opposite directions. Three are impossible to keep corraled. We finally decided to install a fence.

It’s not an action taken lightly. And if forces you to talk to your neighbors. I have two neighbors. They both already have fences. And their fences tie to each other.

Fortunately, I get along well with my nieghbors. One is my son’s football coach. I was an assistant when he was Scoutmaster. I don’t know when the former scoutmaster built his fence, but the football coach built his fence just a couple of years ago.

We have always been a family who did stuff for ourself. Even if we didn’t know exactly how. That has become much easier since Youtube became a thing. So, naturally, when it came time to put up a fence, we decided to do it ourselves. After all, how hard could it be?

And that’s what we did. We bought the panels and the posts at Home Depot along with a post-hole digger. And we started digging holes. Oh, we had to work with the football coach to make sure we were placing our fence right on the property line. It’s not that either one of us cares much about a few inches either way, but we both have sprinkler systems. And we had to make sure the fence posts threaded the needle between the two without breaking any lines.

I didn’t do it exactly right on the first post. I had to figure out how to remove panels that turned out to be slightly off plum. And I did it twice.

We are about 2/3 complete. Most of the panels are in. We have the gates to build and install, one more post-hole to dig and a couple more panels.

My neighbors were slightly shocked. They only installed their fence because they got a dog. They laughed that it turned out to be an expensive dog when you counted the cost of the fence. They paid a fencing company to install it.

Building a fence isn’t cheap. Even when you do the work yourself. vinyl fencing adds value to your house because the fence itself has value. Our fence is the “privacy” style. It’s six feet high and the panels are eight feet long. They are solid. It’s the fence we wanted to give our grandkids privacy. when they are outside playing.

My neighbor installed a four foot tall slated fence. He did it to try to maintain a feeling of openness. And I can sympathize. Utah, especially the area I live in is exceptionally beautiful. To the North and East the Wasatch Mountains rise 8,000 feet above the valley floor. To the West the valley stretches out until it meets teh shores of Utah Lake. On the other side the Oquirrh Mountains rise, more gentle and rounded but equally beautiful.

Our backyard fence only cuts down a little of our views.

Still, it’s allowed me to draw closer to my neighbors. And, it’s important after all, for our grandkids.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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