Winter has finally hit Texas. And I say “hit”, because that is exactly what happens. Canada takes a deep breath and exhales gently and sends cold air headed down South. This gentle exhalation picks up steam as it travels over the States and by the time it reaches Texas, it is gale force winds!
That is totally and scientifically accurate, by the way.
Okay, no, it’s not. But it is totally how it feels!!
Anyway… I went and ran a few errands on Friday and came home to a fence section being down. I’ve decided to share my knowledge with you!
I rushed inside to see if my dog had gotten loose and if I needed to track him down; however, the little dude popped his head out from under the blanket and looked at me like “shut the door, it’s cold out there!”
He’s not spoiled or anything! But he does lead me right to Step 1:
1. Go take the broken fence panel and wedge it about 3 feet back so you can work, but your dog won’t escape. Decide that it’s already getting late, on a Friday, you really can’t accomplish much anyway, so go inside and bundle up and catch up on your DVR
2. Get up bright and early Saturday morning and head to Home Depot to buy a shovel. If you wear tie-dye and have a purple purse, the employees will NOT ask you if you need help. Home Depot profiles people apparently, so you will wander for a bit before someone finally does ask if you need help. They will then send you to one side of the store. The shovel you want will not be there. You WILL run into this same employee on the way back and he WILL send you all the way to the other side of the store and out into the cold. The shovel you want won’t be there either. Eventually, you will discover that Home Depot does not consider shovels to be “tools” or “construction”, but “lawn” equipment and you will find it when you decide to stop and see if you need a new grill because obviously the fence isn’t happening.
3. Buy the shovel and decide that for $30 that sucker better dig up the old fence posts without any help from you!
Stop and take a moment and admire the posts and concrete stubs that you dug out of the ground, you have totally earned this!
4. Go back and dig deeper holes because obviously the person before you didn’t have a clue how to do this properly. When you discover a beam of your retaining wall, and a piece of some type of pipe, don’t admit that maybe the person before you did have a clue – never admit that! Just get to work on the other hole and pray there isn’t an obstruction!
It’s perfectly normal to admire your newly dug hole and give the new shovel a pat on the back!
5. Now that you know you can replace the posts, and you won’t have to mount the fence to the house, head back to Home Depot to buy supplies. Wear a jacket over the tie dye shirt to see if maybe this time they will ask you if you need help. Discover that it’s the purple purse that must be the issue, and then load up your dolly with some metal poles, brackets, 10′ 2×4’s for bracing and some panels. Make sure you pull out your phone and take a look at the picture where you measured the space to make sure you get enough panels to cover the space.
4a. Before going to Home Depot, measure the space and then take a picture so you don’t forget!!
6. Your dad should call about this time to see if you need help. He’ll come over to help you mix up some Quikrete. He will bring a magical tool that attaches to a drill that will make your life so much easier and make you wonder how you ever thought that a trowel and some sticks would ever mix up Quikrete. Also, you will probably want to get your son out of bed, it is noon after all, and those bags of concrete are heavy! Plus, he’ll enjoy using the power tool to mix the concrete!
7. Make a trip back to Home Depot, because your dad said you needed deeper holes and now it takes (2) 60 lb bags of concrete just to stabilize one pole. Decide that this fence section will be standing long after your house is gone.
8. Pour the concrete, level the poles and then sit back and admire. And then stomp off because it is so cold that there is nothing “quik” about the Quikrete and you have to wait until the next day to finish the fence.
9. First thing the next morning, let every one know how sorry you were for complaining about how cold it was on Saturday when you were digging holes and pouring concrete, because now, it is cold, but it is also raining on you. And it has rained for hours, so the side of the house is all muddy from the aforementioned holes in the ground. You should also stand around a bit to try and figure out how to attach the metal-to-wood adapter brackets, and get them level and hold the 2×4 in place and keep it level while you attach the screw. You should also spill your coffee at this point. It just makes the morning better!
10. Give yourself massive kudos that you didn’t drill into your hand as you do that two more times!
11. Start attaching the fence panels. Bend two nails right off the bat. Discover that your hands are so cold that hitting your thumb with the hammer doesn’t even hurt! You’ll think to yourself “Self, you’ll probably feel that later!” And you would be right, but at this moment, that’s for Future You to worry about.
12. At this point, you should decide to cheat. Go get the drill, and do the cute girly pre-drill thing, creating holes for your nails on the panels, and then one by one, nail by nail, panel by panel, create a master piece!
You are done! You have replaced your fence section in 12 easy steps! All you have left to do is clean your tools, and this part is purely optional, but you can take a picture of how muddy it was and share it with the world! You know, just so every one can tell how much your really did suffer! Again, purely optional!