Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fence Sealing DIY

Ever since the fence was built last fall I've needed to apply a water seal to protect it. I started on this briefly a few months ago but didn't get a chance to finish. I finally got around to doing so this past week.
I used a five gallon bucket of Thompson's Clear Waterseal to get the job done. In retrospect I should have spent a little more and gotten a slightly tinted version. At times when I was applying it I couldn't quite tell what I had covered or if I had applied enough. (Especially with wearing sunglasses.) I also wasn't sure if it would be enough but I ended up having about a gallon leftover at the end. All told it was roughly 380 feet of six foot tall fence. (Counting both sides.)

To apply it I borrowed a Wagner power sprayer from my father-in-law. (I initially tried using a roller brush but I quickly found this would have taken a long time to complete this way.) Using the sprayer I was able to do all of it in under two hours. It would have been quicker had the paint container had held more. One important thing to note however with going this route. Take the appropriate safety precautions. I wore my sunglasses for eye protection and a respirator to avoid breathing in the spray.
I still need to take a brush to a few spots that I missed or undersprayed. I also need to hand paint the edges of the fence where it meets the house. I avoided spraying too closely lest I cover the siding in sealant.
It's a little hard to tell because it's clear but this was how the fence looked after applying the sealant.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


When we had our 14 Day Meeting with our sales rep we had priced out what it would cost to have a deck built with the house. At the time however we were on the fence about whether we wanted that or a patio and after the sales rep told us we could get it done cheaper later than what Ryan Homes was going to charge us for it we decided to wait. I've regretted that decision to some extent since then because I felt like we were missing out on full enjoyment of the yard without one. (That and it's a pain to have to move our grill and other things that would normally be found on a deck every time I mow the lawn.) This week that was finally rectified with a 12x16 platform deck.

After some discussion and seeing a platform deck on a friend's house we decided that was the route to go with ours. We liked the look and on top of that it was cheaper (over $1,300 less) than a similarly sized one elevated one with stairs. After getting some quotes we went with the father of a friend from college that owns a deck building company.

Before photo. The steps are a set I built last summer.

The weekend before the build started.

Digging the post holes. For the holes further away from the house the posts sat on those large concrete blocks.

The holes against the house were dug down to the foundation footer and the posts sat on those. 

All the lumber needed. (It was less than I expected.)

Close up of one of the post holes showing the different layers of dirt.

Day 1 progress. Posts and outline frame completed.

Day 2 progress showing the completion of the frame.

End of Day 2. The diagonal placement of the boards looks so much better than if they were laid straight. 

Day 3: The finished deck.

To say we're happy with the results would be a vast understatement. The builder, Jerry Clay, did an amazing job and it was clear he took a lot of pride in his work and making sure it was done correctly. The diagonal look really sets it apart and I'm told by others takes more experience to do right. Now we just need some furniture for it.