Backyard Reno: The Fence Reveal & Our Favorite Tools for DIY Projects

The fence in our backyard is finally finished! A quick pause for celebration... πŸŽ‰πŸ’ƒβœ…πŸΆπŸ™Œ!!!!!!!!!!!


This project definitely took longer than we thought it would take (close to 4 months including removing all those pesky juniper bushes) - life happens, things come up, weather delays plans, etc. If you remember from our previous post, we began this project by removing a bunch of juniper bushes in our backyard and rented a wood chipper to "dispose" of all those juniper bushes. John used an auger to drill the fence post holes and set the posts in concrete and then built the framing for the pickets to attach to. 


You can see in the picture below how John attached the fence posts and then went back with the circular saw to cut off the dog-ear ends of the posts (the left side of the gate still shows the dog-ear ends and the right side of the gate shows where John already cut them off).


Then, to cover up the screw heads, he attached horizontal trim to the top and bottom of the vertical pickets. We could have left out this step but it really made the fence look finished, tidy and just really really nice! 


Lowe's had these beautiful copper plated post caps that we glued on all of the posts. It was an easy detail to add that makes a big impression and serves a functional purpose to protect rainwater from deteriorating the cut end of the posts.

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We have LOVED having an enclosed backyard! We keep saying to each other that we don't know why we waited so long to install a fence. It is so satisfying to see the fruit of your labor put into renovating your home - it's such a good investment! John was able to build this fence with the help of several tools that make projects SO MUCH EASIER and realistic to finish.

Since we are DIYers and would rather poke our eye out with a sharp stick than pay a contractor to do a project that we are capable of doing ourselves (I'm kidding... kind of), John has accumulated a few power tools that make those larger projects around the house much more approachable and realistic to complete ourselves. And, honestly, having the right tools allows us to do more ourselves and makes the project, dare I day, FUN! It's an investment on the front end but, I promise, it will save you thousands of dollars on the back end. Plus, (ehem!) Christmas is just around the corner and these tools make great gifts for the men in your life. These tools were huge time savers when building the fence and are incredibly useful for lots of other projects around the house, too.

 1. Drill - Owning a drill is as essential as owning a nail hammer. You will use this for everything from building a fence or a deck, hanging art on the walls, installing light fixtures or ceiling fans, etc. 

2. Collated screw gun - This screw gun is new to John's arsenal of tools in the garage. It's a little more of a specialty tool that you won't use for every project. But when you do use it, you will be so glad you have one! It allows you to screw in hundreds of screws in minutes! Seriously. Our new fence has A LOT of screws. This tool allowed John to drill 2,000 screws in about an hour and a half! To say this was a time saver is the understatement of the year.

3. Reciprocating saw - Before we had a chain saw, John would use his reciprocating saw as a chain saw to limb up over grown trees and shrubs. When we tackle our master bathroom remodel, we will use this tool to cut out the fiberglass shower stall insert. This saw is really versatile and works great for a wide variety of projects.

4. Nail gun - This finishing nail gun has come in handy so many times. John builds furniture with this gun, he used it to temporarily attach the stabilizing stakes to the fence posts while he poured concrete, and he used it to attach wood paneling to our kitchen island to give it a beautiful shaker style (this was a tester project for when we tackle our kitchen reno in the future). 

5. Chop saw - This chop saw is a sliding compound miter saw. When you pull the handle down to make a cut, you can also slide the saw front to back while making a compound or miter cut; this is great for boards up to 12" in width. Every time John is doing a project that involves wood, he is using this saw to cut pieces to length. Great staple tool for any DIY man.

6. Circular saw - Last but certainly not least, the circular saw is a great "free cut" saw. What I mean by that is that you can make long cuts in plywood and such without being set to a fixed angle or line (like the chop saw). Just today, John used his circular saw to cut the dog-ears off of the fence pickets in preparation for the finishing trim. This saw can also be used to saw curved lines on an organically shaped deck or specialty projects. 

Let me know if you have any questions about any of these tools or how to use them! What are some of your favorite go-to tools for DIY projects? I'm always on the hunt for tools to gift John (big or small). Would you attempt building a fence in your backyard like we did?? With the right tools, you totally can!! So start planning and drawing your next project and get after it! You will be surprised what you are capable of when you have the right tools to accomplish the project.

Emily WardComment