Do it Yourself Fencing: A Cautionary Tale

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Fences are gorgeous. Nobody’s questioning that, least of all you since you want to put one in your yard. So, you start looking around at fence companies, looking at prices, maybe getting an estimate or two, and you don’t like the installation cost. Fair enough, people generally don’t like expenses. It’s natural, don’t call your doctor or anything. Anyway, you’ve always been a bit adventurous. You’d probably be a capable romantic lead in a Nora Ephron movie, so you start thinking that you could be one of those do-it-yourselfers if you only gave it a try. It’s got to be easier than sweeping Meg Ryan off her feet.

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You get to feeling that maybe installing the fence on your own would be a quick way to save a buck, so now you’ve convinced yourself that fence building is definitely within your skillset. If you’ve done other sizable home improvement projects flying solo, you just may be able to build a fence all on your lonesome with the right resources. For rookies, there is a slight chance that you’ve got the construction ability of John Henry, but let’s take a gander at what could happen if you decide to install your fence on your own: The Story of Marcel.

The trouble with trying to build your own fence

So Marcel wants to build his own fence

Just to save on a little expense.

Though he’s ready to go,

The poor guy doesn’t know

That the job set before him’s immense.

Marcel, like many before him, picked out an absolutely ravishing fence. It’s like the Mona Lisa of fences but with eyebrows. He set aside a day on his calendar for delivery since he’s a busy person with busy person things to do. The fence company showed up that morning right on schedule with his fence, and consequently, Marcel went outside to greet them. They were taken aback at his unprecedented combination of eagerness and naiveté, but they reluctantly decided to let him go for it after he thoroughly convinced them that he’s “got this,” and he “used to be big into LEGO, so this should be second nature.” Once they hit the road, fully aware of the Herculean task before him but powerless to stop it, Marcel was alone with the fence and his journey began.


His Uncle Luke was an hour and a half late. Uncle Luke is always ready to trade some sweat for Hawaiian pizza, but he was nowhere to be found. And Marcel didn’t want to start without DIY Fencing
him, because last time he did that, Uncle Luke wouldn’t accept his Hawaiian pizza payment since he didn’t believe he’d fully earned it, but he still brought up for
years at family functions how charitable he was for helping Marcel put up shelves in his kitchen for free. At any rate, Marcel later found out from his Aunt Dottie that Uncle Luke went to find himself in the Mojave Desert with nothing more than a few protein bars, his 1981 Buick Estate, and a can-do attitude… again. No matter, however, as Marcel could tackle this fence mano a mano, right?


He decided to go inside for a spell as it was a little bit warmer and a lot more humid than he was prepared for. Plus, he’d earned it after the whole Uncle Luke debacle. Marcel started making himself some lemonade, but he heard a soft clatter from the other room, and upon investigation,  he realized that he had left the TV on after falling asleep to How It’s Made the previous night. The quick fix would have been to find the remote and turn it off. Alas, he could not find the remote, since drowsy-Marcel is inconsiderate and a terrible planner. Suddenly, a piece came on about whistles. He suddenly realized that he had no idea how whistles work, let alone how they’re made, and he was practically forced to watch. The
rest of the day vanished as Marcel learned the manufacturing processes behind false teeth and jukeboxes, but the fence was patient and would be there the next day he was free.

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Marcel didn’t get back to it for a couple days. The fence sneered at him every time he walked past. Eventually, he decided to quit lollygagging, get down to business, and build himself a fence because he totally could. Marcel went outside to face his fence. He stared the fence down in a show of dominance, but though he tried desperately not to blink, the fence bested him handily. He started to stand up a stretch of fence when he noticed that the posts were far taller than he had ordered. Through a couple Google searches and some old fashioned sleuthing, he discovered that he had to dig holes for the fence posts. This was an unexpected, though totally predictable, problem. Marcel walked into his nearest hardware store for a fence post digger. Marcel walked out with a fence post digger and the biggest ladder he had ever seen. It was significantly taller than anything on his property, but he absolutely needed it in case of emergencies that could only be addressed sixty feet in the sky. He got home and became intimately aware of the fact that he had nowhere to put this ladder. How he even got it home in the first place was a miracle in and of itself. Morose, Marcel had to take his super sweet ladder back to the store, and by the time he got back home again, the day was spent, but the fence was patient and would be there the next day he was free.

Building a fenceMarcel didn’t get back to it for several weeks. How could he have let this happen? Woodland creatures taunted him by frittering about between the two sides of his would-be fence. Finally, he was free for a day and woke up at the crack of dawn to start digging fence post holes. Once Marcel woke up at said crack of dawn, he decided that this was way earlier than he had thought it would be and went back to sleep until eight so he could be fully rested. He neglected to set an alarm in his nigh comatose stupor because, once again, drowsy-Marcel has no foresight. He finally awoke closer to noon. He scolded himself sternly, but fairly, then made his way outside to start digging. Within seconds of beginning the digging, he recognized that this was incredibly exhausting labor. Marcel tried desperately to recruit some neighborhood boys a la Tom Sawyer, but his reverse psychology skills were not nearly as savvy as the young Missourian and they just scampered away, snickering at his suffering. The sun rose and the sun set, but like a badger in a coal mine, he just kept digging. Once night had come, he took a step back to admire the not one but two holes and the segment of fence erected between them. Marcel was supremely proud. He took another step back to get the full sum of his efforts in his field of view, and he bumped into the rest of the fence sections. His joy turned to ashes in his mouth. Beaten, he lumbered back inside, intimately aware of the fact that he was in way over his head but far too stubborn to admit defeat. He rested for the night, but the fence was patient and would be there the next day he was free.

Marcel didn’t get back to it for a few months. It was colder then. Much colder. His spirits were dashed each time he remembered the neatly stacked fence in his yard. He was more somber now, more sullen. But one day, he decided to brave the elements and get this fence, and his life, back on track. Marcel went to plunge his tools deep into the earth, but he ran into much more ice than earth. With enough undiluted elbow grease and a little Hollywood magic, a hole got dug and he raised another section of fence. Marcel worked through the night and raised a third section. It was peaceful outside once the town had tucked itself in. There were no more neighbors to scoff at him or middle schoolers to snicker at him. The quiet was soothing. Be that as it may, it was thoroughly frigid, so he decided to wait for the thaw to begin again, but the fence was patient and would be there the next day he was free.

Marcel didn’t get back to it for years. His wardrobe went in and then back out of style. His hair Wood Fencingwent gray despite his best efforts. His three-section fence was functionally obsolete. He couldn’t have guests anymore because they would ask about the husk of a fence that stood in his yard and he couldn’t bring himself to explain it. Marcel couldn’t even enjoy his own yard anymore. The stress eventually caused him to lose everything he had once spent his days with: his friends, his family, his hobbies, even his job.

Hang on a second here.

It hit him one day that his days which were once so busy weren’t anymore. There was time now. Dios mio, there was time now! Marcel set to work, slowly but steadily making progress on the fence. He worked until he was tired and rested until he could work. Life was simple, and in that simplicity, he found bliss. After what felt like ages, he built a fence. At long last, Marcel had a beautiful fence of his own.

So Marcel went and built his own fence.

For his wallet, ‘twas just common sense.

Sure, he spent several years

And his blood, sweat, and tears,

But by golly, he saved a few cents.


Although The Fence Authority is encouraging of DIY, if you want professional fence installation, we excel in that arena! Give us a call or fill out our contact form to discuss your project. 

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