We got a lot done on the second day and actually finished early on the third day. On our last day though, we encountered the toughest fence post replacement yet and took a lot more work than the previous days. This post holds up one side of the gate. It was rotting from ground level so it broke off with not much effort, but the part that was encased in concrete was stuck and wouldn't come out. Justin and my dad took turns digging and breaking up the concrete with a pick axe, sledge hammer, and shovel for almost an hour. Then we had to back filled the huge hole we dug up and place the new post in ground and secure it with concrete all before lunch. After this little hiccup, the rest of the work day went pretty smoothly. We are sore and exhausted from four days of hard labor but so happy and proud of the finished project.
So how much did we save by doing it ourselves?
The highest bid we got for the job was $4000. This was from a guy we wanted to use because he's experienced and seem to care a lot about the workmanship and he and Justin have somethings in common. After crunching some numbers though, we figured it's something that beginners like us can handle and save a lot of money too. So that was how I convinced Justin to go the DIY route.
Bid breakdown: Side fence - $2650, side fence repair: $480, front gate: $870 (including arbor).
We got a bid from another company for the front gate: $570 (for a basic double gate). My plan is to ask them to leave the posts on each side of the front gate taller then we can add a simple arbor on top ourselves to save couple hundred bucks.
Here is our cost cost breakdown: new side fence plus repair on the other side $900.
We had to buy: circular saw.
hole digger thing
pressure treated 4x4s, 2x4s
nails for the nail gun, screw
metal braces to connect old short posts with new posts to add height
2 metal spikes
The Sawzall and nail gun were borrowed. Already own an air compressor and electric drill. The work took about 18 hours over 4 days to complete. Even adding the cost of hiring a professional to install the new gate, we will still save over $2500! Yay, money saved for our other projects.
Second day. Clearing the bushes that was growing along side the fence. So glad my dad was here to help with the project and babysit little D.
The 2x4 rails on this fence were all rotting away.
Couple of posts were so badly damaged inside the concrete that we pulled the whole thing out with little effort.
After we removed the post, it left a hole in the concrete.
So to avoid spending half a day digging out the concrete, we bought these metal spikes that get pounded into the ground then insert the 4x4 post and tighten the bolts to keep it in place. Now we have a sturdy, easy way to hold up the post.
Last day, digging and more digging. We couldn't use the metal spike thing here because the wooded post was still in the concrete, because the spike is meant to go in dirt.
Had a gallon bucket lying around and finally got a good use out of it.
It's almost time to call our neighbor Thor to take all the trash to the dump.
The concrete we bought this time cost a little more, but it sets in less than an hour instead of the 24 hours like the regular stuff. Time is money, thus time saved is money saved. :)
Our original plan was to replace this gate with the new fence for added security. But after much debate and feedback from our tenant in apartment 951, we decided to keet it for now. A taller gate will go in eventually to blend in with the look of the new fence.
I found this goodie while looking for a before photo of the fence. The trees on the side blocked out all the morning light on the east side of the house.
After the trees were trimmed this year. Without the lower branches, there were no more loquat fruits to pick off the trees.
Here is how it looks now, not too shabby...