Please, fence me in!

(All apologies to Cole Porter.)

But seriously.  If there’s one thing I wish had come with this house, it’s a fenced backyard.  Ex, shmecks; I realize my ex-bf had my best interests at heart, which included the ability to have parking in the back of my rowhouse so I didn’t have to rely on on-street parking.  But this wide-open space?  Here in the city?  Not cool.  I’m a homebody, and even if I’m living in the city, I want to be surrounded.  By safety.  Or safety-ish.  It’s a word.

So now, it’s time to figure out how to get that done.  And yeah, money?  Not so much with the availability of funds.  But y’know, since I have no other debt ‘cept my mortgage?  (Oh, and a few thou’ for the siding I’m still paying off?)  I figure if I can swing a sweet deal with a fence like I did with the siding (read: 6% interest or so), as much as I fear debt like a scary thing to be feared?  It’s time to, as Larry The Cable Guy so eloquently put it, git ‘er done.  Or at least lay the groundwork and see what this would cost me.

First things first: get an accurate picture of my property lines.  Why?  Because my HVAC fan/outside motor thingy looks like it creeps over onto Red’s land.  Even though my Survey Map that I got for settlement shows that it’s juuuuuuust on the property line between the two homes, I’d like to be absolutely sure.  Also, a few fencing contractors I asked late last year all said something to the effect of “well, we can fence AROUND the HVAC…so there’d be a hole for it.”  Uh, what?  And, uh, no.  The whole idea of fencing my yard is to keep people from easy access to my yard!  (Okay, and to make it all pretty.)  Not so someone can push the HVAC in/out and crawl right into my yard?  Don’t think so.  If someone busts down the fence/fence door?  Hey, props for wanting to wander into my yard…if someone wants in that bad, then have at it.  But for the most part, a good fence makes good neighbors.  Or at least that’s what Bob’s always said.

And I really want to pretty up my backyard!  Okay, and finally buy a trashcan that lasts more than three weeks without getting stolen/having the bottom drop out/cracking in half.  And fencing the backyard would = being able to keep the trashcan on the ground, so no drops from deck-height.  And I could put in raised flowerbeds, and a few pieces of backyard furniture.  I lust after Pier 1’s hanging chair thingy.  Awesome, no?  Yes.  (Though it’s pretty dang expensive, with the chair, pads & stand)

In order to get all this done, gotta get a land survey done.  Did I want to get this done before I settled on the house?  Yes, yes I did.  But did my half-baked real estate agent (motto: “I sell you a house and then drop off the face of the earth”) do what I asked?  No, no she didn’t.

Unfortunately, trying to figure out how much a land survey costs is a tricky proposition.  Mostly because there are so many variables, like size of the land, stuff on said land, and exactly what you need to know.  The Land Surveyor Web Site has a good description of why they can’t just throw numbers at you when you ask about a land survey.  I’m hoping that it’ll cost less than $400 bucks.  (Okay, I’m really, really, really hoping it’ll cost less than $200.  Keepin’ hope alive here peoples.)

I sent a request to a local land survey company, and they should call me to give me a free quote.  That’ll be one step toward figuring out how much fencing the rest of my yard will cost.

Next?  Getting a few more estimates (I have two so far, neither of which allow for payment plans.  So back to the drawing board.)  Should be less than 2k for a fence that matches up with the fence that my neighbor has, which is a pretty awesome fence.  No gaps to speak of, and a 2×4 “topping” that classes it up a bit.  I’d want a door on the back as well, and I think that was included on both estimates.

Finally, once I get an idea of the survey & fencing cost?  Making sure I don’t need a permit, or if I do that the fence company handles it…if not, I’ll have to figure that out too.  But I’m hoping that’ll be a built-in on the cost of my fence.  She said hopefully.

Phew.  Any wonder why I’ve been so focused on the inside of my house?  Because this is a pain in the tuchas!

Next house?  Fenced.  Fo’ sho’.


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