I hinted last week that we have made some changes to our backyard, and let me tell you, they are HUGE!…395ft to be exact! 🙂
When Dan and I first moved into our home, we knew putting a fence in the backyard was a priority. What we didn’t realize was how expensive fencing is! Call me naive, but some wooden posts and pickets didn’t strike me as breaking the bank. After getting quotes from various companies, we discovered that our ‘little fence project’, was going to cost us about $15,000?!!
As you can imagine, this was slightly out of our price range, especially after just purchasing a home! Luckily, an old friend of mine had recently put a fence in their backyard, and was a wealth of knowledge on everything from the permit, to tips on materials, and even recommending renting a Dingo to dig the post holes (BEST DECISION EVER!).
After pricing it all out, we found that we could purchase the materials for under $2,500!…and if we had a month off of work, and access to a few more tools, we could maybe put the fence up ourselves (remember 395ft!). Enter our AMAZING family and friends who came to save the day!!
That’s right, thirteen people gave up an entire Saturday to come to our house, and make our DIY fence a reality! Not only that, but our ‘head contractor’ (don’t want to give out names), was there every step of the way with advice on materials, planning, and construction! Incredible, right??!
For anyone who may be interested in putting a fence in their own yard, here is the list of materials we used to complete the project, as well as some helpful tips and tricks for cutting costs, and saving time!
- Posts: 50 post holes needed: 4-in-x-4-in-x-12-ft-2-Pressure-Treated-Timber: 25 total pieces of timber
- Pickets: needed: 5/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 4 ft. Cedar Dog-Ear Fence Picket: Approx number:667 total pickets (18 pickets every 8ft on back, and 12 pickets every 8ft remainder of yard
- Studs: needed 2 for every 8ft. of fence: 2 in. x 4 in. x 8 ft. #2 Pressure-Treated Lumber: Approx number needed:94
- Pea Gravel: needed 2 bags for every fence post hole, plus more for about 10 extra for after the ground settles. Total: 110 bags
- Screws: #10 3 in. Star Flat-Head Wood Deck Screws (5 lb.-Pack), plus 1lb pack for back-up.
- 18-Gauge brad nails: Three packs
Tools and Materials
- Dingo: (For digging post holes)
- Drill with star head
- Table Saw
- 18 Gauge Brad Nail Gun
- Air Compressor (for the nail gun)
- String (to map out the fence and place your posts)
- Spray Paint (To mark the perimeter)
- Small bag of nails (you never know when you’re going to all of a sudden need one)
- Gate Kit or Store Bought Gate
Total Cost from Home Depot with Tax:$1906.09
Cost to Rent Digger: $250
Miscellaneous Costs: $100
Total Approx Cost: $2,256.09
Some Helpful Tips
- Use pea gravel instead of cement for cold winter climates: This tip came from my friend who had put the fence up in their yard, and it’s brilliant! Not only is it easier, cheaper, and faster than cement, but the gravel allows for better drainage, which will help your posts stay in place through the changing seasons
- Invest in a Dingo Post Hole Digger: We rented ours from a local tool supplier for $250, and it made a world of difference!! I would never do this kind of project without it. This baby was able to drill 50 holes in under four hours?!…and I’m pretty sure it even took that long, because everyone wanted to have a turn trying the machine out (It was pretty cool looking 😉
- Use deck screws over wood screws: I didn’t really think this would make that big of a difference, but oh my gosh was I wrong! The star bit used for deck screws allows them to drive into the wood in seconds, and you never have to worry about stripping the screw!
- Enlist help: We were so fortunate to have such a big crew to make our fence a reality. The more people you have, the quicker it will go, and the less frustrated you will get. Grab plenty of beer and food, and people will be happy to stick around. 🙂
- Use a nail gun: If you’re like us and using pickets instead of panels, a nail gun in essential. We ended up buying our own halfway through the project, and my mind is already racing on all the fun projects I can use it for in the future! 🙂 **Helpful tip for air compressors: air compressors actually lose power depending on the length of the extension cord. We didn’t know this, and thought we were having an outlet problem. Either use a short extension cord if possible, or just run it back and forth from the outlet as needed.**
Dan and I were so happy when we finally attached the gate, that we had to make a commemorative video!