Till this week we have been living in our ranch house for 7 years. We spent the first 5 years renovating the interior of the house, room by room. Looking back at pictures we took during the closing, we definitely accomplished a lot.

The old living room before closing:

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The new living space:

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The old kitchen:

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The kitchen now:

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The main floor bath, 2017:

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The main floor bath, now:

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The basement in 2017:

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The basement now:

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We did not just worked on interior. We also replaced the roof, rebuilt the garden shed, and planted lots of flower beds and a vegetable garden.

The front of the house in 2017:

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The front of the house now:

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The front yard in 2017:

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After planting in 2018:

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And now:

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The backyard and the shed when we bought the house:

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The backyard and shed now:

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Also the backyard when we bought the house:

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which has been converted into a vegetable garden:

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The biggest changes we did to the exterior of the property must be the horizontal fencing. This was a DIY built to replace the chain link fence there before. By doing everything ourselves, we were able to keep the fence under budget. It was our most impactful project to date and we still enjoy looking at the fence every day.

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However, when we did the fence project in 2018, we did not have time to replace the wooden fence along the back of our property. This 87 feet long wooden fence were a patchwork by multiple previous owners and the construction was done poorly. Not only the pickets were in different colors, several posts started to lean when we moved in.

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It has always been on our to-do list to replace this wooden fence with the same style of horizontal fencing. But building a horizontal fence, although not technically challenge, does take a lot of time. For a few years, Slav was busy at his office job and simply did not have time to replace the fence. This summer, he took a well deserved break, and we are finally tackling the back fence!

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As you can see, we marked on the old fence where the fence posts needed to be, and Slav started digging the fence holes by hand. To keep our dogs inside the property, we will not demo the old fence until the new horizontal fence is in place, so all the post holes were dug just in front of the old fence panel.

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I also cut back all the climbing roses and blackberries near the fence before the project started. The climbing roses and blackberries are all the thorny varieties. We picked these varieties to add security to our back fence, but for the same reason, they are too prickly to work right next to.

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We neighbor two properties on the other side of the back fence. The first 1/3 of the fence is behind the vegetable garden and one neighbor’s backyard is directly behind this section of the fence.

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The rest of the back fence spans ~60 feet and other neighbor’s backyard is behind it.

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At the corner, you can see that our back fence butting against the northern side fence. This side fence belongs to our neighbor so we will not be replacing it.

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After a few days of work, Slav dug all 15 fence post holes. These holes are about 2 feet deep and around 1.5 foot across. One 4 x 4 post will be set into each hole. Sometimes, the new post hole sat pretty close the the old post. To ensure the structure remains solid, We will not remove the old post and the concrete in the soil, but simply cut the old posts flush to the ground instead.

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After all the post holes were completed, Slav purchased the same type of lumber we used for our last fence project (from the same company too). In total we need 16 of 10-feet cedar posts (in some places we have to bury the post over 2 feet deep or build up a bit more than 6 feet due to the slope). He also got a whole pallet (56 bags) of concrete mix (60 lbs per bag) which is just about what we need.

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We will be setting all the posts next week, then attaching the horizontal pickets and demo the old fence. We will follow the same process as that during our 2018 fence build (here, here, and here), except we will not be building a gate this time. I will come back in a couple weeks to hopefully show you the finished back fence. Wish us luck!