It’s time to introduce a new home renovation project: our to-be-installed black chain-link fence! In case you missed it, we recently adopted a four-and-a-half-year-old rescue dog. It has been two months since we welcomed her into our lives, and we’ve spent the last eight weeks getting to know each other and our respective routines.
Adopting an older dog has definitely come with its unique challenges, one of which being getting to know her established habits. We learned pretty quickly that she wasn’t used to being taken out on a leash because she refused to go to the bathroom in our neighborhood despite extra long walks. Then, we happened to take her over to my parents’ fenced-in yard for a visit, and she immediately went to the bathroom. It felt like such a breakthrough, but it also meant that we ultimately needed to consider the addition of a new fence for our yard.
Of course, we know that she will get used to being leash-walked and that it’s silly to splurge on a very expensive new fence just to give her a pee spot. After continuous walks in the neighborhood, our dog has actually gotten much better about doing her business while on a leash. Even still, we love the idea of getting a fence so that she can run/play/pee, and we figure a fence is also good for resale, so it’s not a bad investment either way.
The first three photos above were taken from our second story window so you can get a bird’s eye view of our yard. It’s not big by any means, but it’s just large enough for us to spread out in and will give our dog plenty of room to roam. Now that we have our new DIY platform deck in place, we’re spending more and more time out in the yard, so we’re excited to add a fence to gain a little separation from our neighbors.
Speaking of neighbors, the tight layout is definitely another major reason why we’re planning on getting a fence. If you remember, we planted a line of privacy trees last year that we hope will fill in and give us some privacy from our immediate backyard neighbors. They have a couple of rambunctious kids who spend a lot of time playing outside (which is awesome and so charming to see), but it would be nice to have some kind of barrier to give both of our families some sense of seclusion.
If you want to understand our property demarcation better, the line of trees is a general marker for the back of our property, the rear of the shed is the righthand line of our lot, and the gravel rock bed with the mature privacy trees is the start of our neighbors’ yard on the left.
John and I spent a lot of time plotting out the plan for our new fence, going back and forth over different possibilities. Do we run the fence up to the back of the sunroom (seen to the right of the photo above)? Or do we just keep it a nice clean rectangle along the back of the house? In the end, we decided to go all the way up to the sunroom so that our pup had a little hill to run around on, and we’ll keep the other side of the fence lower down and parallel to the back of the house.
We also went back and forth over whether or not we wanted the fence to enclose the privacy trees within our yard, or run the fence on the inside of the trees. I wanted it on the inside of the trees to protect our brand new fence from the neighbor kids who tend to climb, pull on, and throw balls against their neighbors’ existing chain-link fences. John was adamant about having the fence on the outside edge of our property, though. He won this battle, but I’m ready to say “I told you so!” when the kids wreak havoc on our new $4,000 fence.
Our fence has yet to be installed, obviously, but I wanted to break down a handful of things that we’ve learned throughout the process of planning this addition to our home. First, we got two different quotes from a couple of local businesses here in town. The first quote was much higher than we anticipated (thanks, inflation…), and when the second company came out, I decided to be pretty blunt about the first estimate, saying that it was much more than we thought it would be. I think it was for that reason that the second company (the one we ultimately decided to go with) offered us a $700 discount on the estimate.
We also made sure to ask about the finish of the fence. We really love the look of black chain-link in comparison to the standard silver, but we were concerned about finish longevity. We were told by both companies that they use powder-coated fencing with some parts vinyl-wrapped. Knowing that both companies use the same product was comforting. It sounds like that’s the industry standard.
The contract we ended up signing specified that they aren’t responsible for marking the actual property lines. We have never had a surveyor come out, and we’ve yet to find any pins in the ground to specify where our lot begins and ends. I reached out to a local surveyor just to get a ballpark figure for marking our lines, and it came to about $500, which just isn’t happening. Instead, we’ve marked out the fence line well within what we assume is our property line. We’ll probably lose out on square footage in our yard because of that, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. We used orange lawn flags to map out the design of the fence ahead of time so there’s zero room for error when the team finally comes out to install our fence.
The final thing to do to prep for our new fence was to contact Virginia 811 to mark utility lines. We’ve done that and they’ve come out to mark our property already—no conflicts with gas or water lines, so we’re good to go! We’re now just waiting for the fence company to call and say they’re ready to come do installation (should be in the next month or so).
P.S. I took the photo below while John was in the process of mowing the grass, which is why you see that visible curved line around the garden bed. Our lawn is usually all level and clean—just FYI!
I can’t wait to share the final reveal of our new fence with you, and I will absolutely update you on how the process goes. If you’re local, stay tuned because I’ll also have a full and honest review of the fence company we used. We actually landed on this company because they had done another black chain-link yard in our neighborhood and we noticed their company logo on the fence, so we gave them a call. That fence survived a recent tornado in our area, so we think that’s a good mark in their favor. At any rate, hopefully the company “wows” us with their work and then I can happily recommend them to you. Check back in July for the full story, and in the meantime, let me know in the comments if you have had a fence installed, or if you have a picky pup, too.
UPDATE: Here’s the fence reveal in case you want to see the conclusion of this story!