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A FENCE FOR SAGE

October 11, 2016

When we bought our house over a year ago it was inevitable that we’d be building a fence. Our lovable mutt, Sage is an active guy and needs to run frequently. Since we’ve been renovating the exterior of the house he’s either been on a long-line or inside the house -neither are great options for a pup that loves to both be with people and run round. This being said, our last project of the summer was to build a fence.

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Lucky for us, West Seattle is home to some really resourceful and creative people and we found much of our inspiration right in our own neighborhood. Nick and I run after work together frequently -nothing like a spunky dog to get you out of the house – and it was a great way to do research for this fence. We noticed how hog-wire panels: used for fences, gates and trellises were popping up all over. What had been a mainstay in ranches for decades was seemingly rediscovered by homeowners and landscape designers and making a comeback all over Seattle. They are a reasonably affordable and low-profile solution for maintaining an open view while keeping animals in (or out). We weighed the pros and cons of having a hog-wire fence and settled on doing a few sections with hog-wire and a few sections with the traditional cedar paneling for more privacy along the back and side-yard.

What is hog wire? Also known as cattle or livestock panels, hog wire panels are made of steep rods welded at every intersections and galvanized with a heavy zinc coating. Feed supply stores and fence companies sell different styles with different rod-gauges and spacing – we plan on using a heavy gauge so that our fence won’t sag over time.

Inspiration

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A close-up of a hog-wire fence.

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This photo illustrates how planting around your hog-wire fences can disguise the presence of a fence.

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I love how classic this one looks with the hydrangea and the white clapboard siding.


Preliminary Planning + Things to know

Don’t over-span your sections

Before deciding where to put our posts we had to decide where we wanted our gates (we’ll be building 4 total) and then our span sections would be predicated on where these gates are going. We plan to build the fence in sections after sinking out posts. Since sections are typically built in 6-8-foot lengths you know right away that your posts shouldn’t be any more than 8 feet apart. We decided on smaller sections because hog-wire is heavy and we didn’t want the weight of it over time making it susceptible to wind damage.

Sink Posts Straight and Below the Frost

Fence posts need to be a minimum of 2-feet or 24″ in the ground – a good rule of thumb is about 1/3 of the post. Because our fence is only going to be about 4-feet high we plan to buy 6-ft posts and sink them about 18″. Make sure to check where your gass, water and electrical lines run before you dig. We plan to sink a post right next to all of these so thankfully we’ve already mapped where the lines intersect so we know exactly where to dig.

*Currently figuring out plans for where the fence will go, how many gates we plan on having (the answer is 4!) and what style of fence we’re building where. In the front we plan to use the hog-wire, and in the back we’ll use a more traditional and private craftsman fence. Nick is currently tasked with figuring out how we can build a section of the fence to be removable in the back.

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