The ‘front’ door in our model is at the side –accessed via this path, open to the street. We plan to add a secondary front door/fence, to create a more private courtyard entry. Regulars will know (and likely be sick of hearing about) this change, as we’ve been plotting it forever.
But now we’re finally doing it. The fence will begin just past the mail slot, lining-up with our cinder-block wall (out of shot) to the left of the garage. It’ll be in two sections, with a path-width door in the middle. Here, you can see how open the courtyard is to the street.
First step, digging –one hole on either side of the path, and one near the neighbor’s fence. The new fence will be six-feet high, so the holes must be a minimum of two-feet deep, apparently. Not deep, but awkward to dig, thanks to path proximity.
Time for the posts. We’re using 4 x 4″ pressure-treated lumber. We put a small layer of pea gravel in first, then mixed the concrete. Karen was on post-holding duty while I poured.
The tricky bit was keeping the posts straight, while maneuvering the concrete into place. We left them overnight to set. Next day, all three posts were super-sturdy…
…and dead level. Result.
You’ll notice the right-hand post is a little higher than the others. That’s thanks to a gas pipe, preventing digging any deeper. Still feels very secure though. Plus, that portion of fence is less than two feet wide, and will be anchored to the house. We should be good.
We added a vertical 2 x 4″ house-side, plus some horizontal supports, then trimmed the posts, so they were all level. This helped us visualize the door itself, and we realized that a path-width (42″) door would feel very wide, compared to our standard 36″ front door. Maybe too wide. More on that later.
Next, we clad the fence in the same wideline Eichler siding as the house. Over the last few years, we’ve saved off-cuts from our own repair projects, and accepted neighbor donations. It took some figuring out, and plenty of cuts, but we had just enough to cover both sides of the fence.
We painted the siding the same mid-gray as our house (Pier, by Behr) so it should look ‘right’ from the street. I like the way the fence kind of disappears into the side of the house, now the color matches.
We took a break from the fence, to tackle our path edging. We inherited these long strips of wood, which aren’t holding up too well –rotted-out here and there. When it rains, water gushes from our downspout, onto the path, along this strip, down our ski-slope driveway, and into the street.
We wanted to retain that functionality, while installing something more weatherproof. We did buy some metal edging, but it wasn’t quite right for this spot –we’ll use that elsewhere. Instead, we used long sections of L-shape flashing, leftover from previous projects. We love the low-profile look.
We added 2 x 6″ strips to the internal sides of the fence, but left a gap to the flashing below, allowing water to flow through. These strips narrow the path gap by three inches, meaning our door won’t need to be so wide. We also added 2 x 8″ caps to the top of the fence, then 2″ trim to mimic the house.
Here’s how the entry now looks from the street. Can you spot the other new addition?
It’s a Spore doorbell (same as our actual front door) from local favorites (and friends) Lumens.
Here’s the new view to the street. Even without the door, there’s a far greater feeling of privacy. We won’t be adding the door just yet –partly because we kinda like it this way, and partly because this project has gone so smoothly up to now, and the door could be tricky.
It will be a custom size, and we’ll make it ourselves –sounds like fun, no? When it’s done, we’ll paint it the same muted green as our main front door –should provide a welcome ‘pop’ of color from the street, in contrast to our monochrome home.
Apologies for not sharing a 100% finished project –honestly, we’re enjoying the pedestrian pace of this job, versus our pre-tour stress fest. Speaking of which, things have been hectic here, in our non-fogmodern world, but we’re getting back in the swing –more on the way…