How to Install Empire Fencing from Lowes
Saving My Garden from the Puppy
Every year I try to grow some sort of vegetable garden. I've had a wide variety of Successes and Failures. This year was a bit different than past season. This year we have a puppy. She is a wonderful animal, but she has something against any kind of living plant that was in our backyard. She even went as far as trying to dig up the apple trees and pear trees that were only there for two years. Luckily she didn't did too deeply and I was able to thwart her by placing stones at the base of each tree.
We finally decided that we needed some sort of gate to keep her out of part of the yard so we could grow something this year. We went to Lowes and priced some of the fencing. We looked into the plastic stuff, but I knew it would not last more than a year or two. We looked into several of the wooden versions, but I really didn't want something that was going to be difficult to put together and I didn't what to have to attach it to the fence or the deck.
We chose the Empire Base Fencing from Lowes. If we bought it new, it would have cost us about $280. We went home and looked on CraigsList and found it used for $5 per section. That dropped the price down to $91. It was a great discount and the fencing was in great shape. I thought I would take a moment and show you how to install it if you decide to get this fence for your own yard.
Run a Strait Line - To Keep Your Fence Strait
So I could keep the fence strait as I installed it I ran a bit of twine from the deck to the fence. This helped me to make sure the fence was going to be strait as I put it together. There are several other ways to do this. You could run a chalk line or spray paint your line. You could eyeball it, but I didn't want to risk it.
Line Up Your Stake - So the Pole will Slide Through All The Holes
If you just pound your stake into the ground without looking, then you will most likely not line up when you go to slide your post through the fence and into the stake. Then you will have to pull it out and hammer it in again. This is a lot more work than I am willing to put into my fence, so I contantly make sure that the fence is lining up with the stake after every few blows of the hammer.
Read the Fence Bible - It Will Make Your Fence Building Easier
You may want to have this book for your Gardening bookshelf. It goes through everything you need to build just about any kind of fence. Take a moment to visit the Amazon.com page about it. You can view the first few pages for free.
Tip to Make it Easier
Run the sprinklers for a little while before you start to drive the stakes. The water will loosen the ground a bit making it easier to drive them into the ground.
Tap the Stake in with Your Hammer - Not to Hard this Time
The idea is to get the stake started. You don't what to hit the stake too hard or you will start to deform the stake. Then the post will not fit into the stake. Double check your alignment. You don't want to get the stake driven into the ground just to find you will have to pull it out again.
Pound in Your Stake - Using a 2x4 to Protect the Stake
This is when you are going to need a bit of strength. You can get out all that frustration and get a little bit of a workout at the same time. Make sure you use a 2x4 or another piece of wood to hit with the hammer. This will allow you to pound in the stake without doing any damage to it.
Stop Pounding - When Your Gate Swings Over the Hole
I try to make sure the cross pieces are below the dirt surface so no one will kick it and hurt their foot. If the hole of the gate swings evenly over the hole of the stake, you are in good shape. If you are off by a little bit, you can use your hammer to knock the stake over a millimeter or two. If you are off by more than that you will have to pull it out and start over. I find a pair of pliers work well to get it back out.
Slide in Your Post - This is your real challenge
Did you get the stake driven in strait? This is where you find out if you did a good job. Slide your post through the holes on both pieces of fence. Then slide the post into the stake. You may have to make a few adjustments and pound with your hammer lightly (don't scar your new gate).
Hammer the Post into Place - Without Scaring the Ball on Top
I found if you use the same 2x4 to knock the post into the stake, you will have an easier time getting the post to sit a bit lower. If you can make them all even, then they will look better.
Here is the Finished Gate - It didn't take too long to install
What I like about this Fence is that I can Pull it all out and put it somewhere else. I can move it. I can paint it every year to keep it from getting rusty. It is made out of metal, so it should last for a while. I look forward to planting my garden behind it.