Above, the fence before. Our dilemma was this: how can we justify a new fence? We hated the color and the toothy look. But the previous owners installed this fence and it's only about 2 years old. To rip out a practically-new fence seems wasteful and profligate. What to do?
Our solution was a face lift for the fence. We asked Dylan the Fence Guru to add trim to the top, sort of like adding crown moulding to a new condo. On the inside, that's all you see (above). But on the outside he added a few strips of trim to add some depth to the fence and to give it a flatter, more square appearance.
Above, you can see the extra trim and the way it makes the fence look more like our house - a low, prairie bungalow. Below, a closeup of the trim Dylan added. You can see that it's basically just a mask over the original fence.
Then we turned to the side yard. Recall that our yard is shaped like an "L." Behind the house is the short end of that "L," and Charles suggested making it into a private garden. Eventually, we plan to install a hot tub on the concrete pad back there. But even before that, making this portion of the yard private (ie, fenced and gated) allows us to keep the dogs back there. Dogs in nook = no poop in the main yard. Hallelujah!
Above, the pergola in progress, with part of the previous fence removed. Those are the steps down to the basement.
What replaced all that? Below, the pergola and fence to the side yard. I took these photos tonight at dusk (in an excess of zeal to get them to you) so it looks darker than it does in bright sunshine.
We employed the ever-useful interwebs to find a fence design. Then Dylan modified it for our bizarre, wonky space (No two panels are exactly alike because the space was all tilty, turny, wide and narrow and it had to parallel the garage and the house and the fence. Poor Dylan!).
Eventually, we plan to plant some interesting things back there (like maybe hops to climb the pergola?). In the short term, the dogs have a private space away from the street. We thought they might bark less, but in fact they're so irritated at being separated from the sidewalk that they bark to get back inside almost immediately. Hmph.
Below, the fence proper. Stained to match the roof of our front porch, the fence is much, much darker than it was. We had to go dark in order to neutralize the incredibly red stain already on the fence. But dark has its virtues. This fence will absorb (and thus, radiate) more heat in winter, keeping the trees happier. It also looks a lot better against the red of our brick house and the sage green of the trim paint.
And I like the way the trees pop against it, too. At first, Iain didn't like it and said so. Repeatedly. But now he likes to point out "my new fence."