Friday, January 22, 2010

Home made Victorian style fence




Modern landscapes are often soulless, and the classic elegance of a white Victorian wrought iron fence is a sure cure. But who can afford one since even a starkly simple, hollow aluminum "wrought iron" fence can run $22 per linear foot?! But we can easily add "fu fu" to a basic double rail wooden fence and create a sturdy, charming design feature unique to our home and personality.

Tap into your creativity and frugality and go to businesses that sell the cast aluminum decorative add-ons for home security doors, often a wrought iron contractor’s supply store. They come in different lengths and styles and prices; I chose an elegantly simple Victorian swirls pattern, each measuring 30 inches in length. Four holes drilled easily through them made it easy to use wood screws to attach them sturdily to the basic fence I had built in advance.

Between rot and insects and hurricanes, fences in Florida need to be sturdy if they are to last and not be a maintenance nightmare. I cut ten foot lengths of "wolmanized" 4 X 4's in half and sank each five foot section vertically one foot deep in holes made with a post hole digger that were then half filled with a bag of concrete mix on sale. A carpenter’s level insured they were perfectly straight and vertical. A vinyl fence post cap atop each one sealed them from rain plus began the Victorian "fu fu" theme. In two days the concrete was fully set and I could proceed.
I spaced the posts eight feet apart and linked them with two parallel eight foot lengths of wolmanized 2 X 4's, easily attached to the posts with standard galvanized fence brackets sold at hardware stores selling the lumber, concrete, wood screws and vinyl caps needed for the project.

The aluminum security door add-ons become "pickets" when screwed into place on the fence rails, adding both strength and beauty. Eight foot lengths of 1 ½" X 1 ½" square hollow white vinyl fence tubing, screwed across the center of the backs of the row of "pickets" adds a nice visual solidity and additional barrier against entry by dogs.

Once you have built your "one of a kind" Victorian fence, apply two coats of a white gloss enamel, such as deck enamel, to seal the wood, join seams and make them disappear visually, and to unify the disparate elements of metal, wood and plastic into one uniform texture. My fence spans nearly my entire yard across the front and one side, offering over 80 feet of Victorian grace for a little over $300. Now 9 years old, it didn’t shimmy a bit during all those hurricanes, shows no sign of decay, and boldly defines my collection of nearly 170 roses and a jungle of perennial flowers. And it is so strong I can stand on the top rail and use it as a "ladder" while training my climbing roses!
I placed cheap white plastic rain gutters on the ground below the fence as a visual highlight, plus to hold in place the mulch behind the fence line. I think a 10 foot length runs around $6 now.

So take a look at your yard, and imagine starkness replaced by the charm of our great grandmother’s garden. Yup, you can do it too!

5 comments:

  1. This blog is very informative. Security Window Gates not only enhance security but can be tailor made to fit well within bars, serveries, windows and doors.

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  2. A Retractable Gate is ideal for homes or commercial areas that require medium security levels. They are ideal to provide utmost security and strength as they are generally made of galvanized steel. They are designed in a way that light and fresh air can come in without compromising on the security or letting intruders in and have multiple locking options.

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  3. Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your


    Iron Fences


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  4. Hi,

    The above pictures are very nice, the aluminum security door is strong and can protect your farm from animals. Many organizers try to modify the course about softening high fences and improving landing areas and course irrigation, Thanks a lot.

    Ranch Fences

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great idea. Thanks. I've been trying to figure out how to have an attractive fence thatthe dog can't go through but that doesn't take the whole yard budget.

    ReplyDelete