Just a few short years ago, many of us wouldn't have thought twice about replacing our worn out wooden fences and throwing those costs onto our home equity lines of credit.
One of the trends I see now a days is that folks are more careful about what they spend their money on and they're getting more creative. Rather than replace a lot of things more and more people are opting to repair or re-purpose instead.
This page is dedicated to all those with sagging, or rotted wooden fences who are worried about how they can fix the problem without creating a new one ~ called credit card debt. I'm going to show you how you can have a beautiful lattice fence design that looks better than the original and save over half the cost.
Photo of lattice fence design shows salvaged panels blended with new fence posts, trim, and caps. Once painted, the whole thing will look brand new.
I have two of the coolest neighbors (Kevin and Jim) whose shared fence was falling down like mine, but instead of replacing it, these two guys came up with a great idea and then got busy mending fences.
Here's how they salvaged a twelve year old cedar fence design, AND made it look way better than the original. By sharing the labor and expenses, plus recycling materials, they were able to do it for a fraction of the replacement cost.
TRIM ~ The first weekend was spent trimming overgrown vines and shrubs and taking the organic waste to the recycling center.
DISMANTLE ~ Then they were able to dismantle the old cedar fence design and cut off the original fence posts rather than trying to dig them out.
REPAIR OLD SECTIONS ~ By cutting off a uniform portion across the bottom of each fence panel, they got rid of the rotted wood.
INSTALL NEW POSTS ~ Next, they installed 4" x 4" x 10's of treated wood to hold up the new fence
INSTALL NEW TRIM ~ Wood trim was used along the top and of the fence boards and then panels were connected the posts.
CAP ~ Then, they put a 6" wide flat cap on top, but in 18' lengths so they could cover 3 fence panels at a time, giving it more strength.
LATTICE ~ (this is brilliant) ~ they added a one foot tall redwood lattice panel to the top of each section, and then capped that with another 6" wide board running 18' in length. Keep in mind that traditional lattice fence designs don't have these caps and are nowhere near as strong as Kevin and Jim's.
ENDS ~ The ends of the fence got triangular lattice panels so they could step down gracefully.
You'll notice that a few new fence panels were mixed in because the old sections were just too rotted to work with. What's amazing is that idea only cost them around $7. a linear foot in the sections where they recycled old the fencing, yet they ended up with a much sturdier and more beautiful wooden fence design. It's now 6 foot tall instead of the shorter 5 foot version the houses came with, giving both neighbors more privacy.
Lattice fence designs have another benefit. Air moves through them, which can help dissipate heat reflected off buildings and concrete, plus they're great framework for vines to cling to with the help of a vertical arbor. Just be sure to trim back vines every few years and reseal your wood to prolong it's life.
This photo below shows how they ended the lattice part of this wooden fence design with a gentle taper, and used new materials with the old, where needed.
If you don't want the flat cap on top, you can attach trim along the fence posts that extends up to the top of the lattice to cover the seams. Then you're nailing the lattice to one vertical trim piece plus one or two horizontal trim pieces across the top and bottom of the lattice. (see example of modified lattice fence design)Kevin also salvaged wood sections that ended up too short for the fence, turning it into a serving table and patio benches.
This is definitely a two person job, so don't try to go it alone. Plan to do it in stages as it may take several weekends to complete.
Don't worry about digging up your old fence posts, instead, cut them off just below ground level and dig new holes.
Using longer boards to tie the fence top together saves time cutting and makes your fence twice as strong with less seams.
Gently power wash the older boards on your fence after it's finished to remove loose paint or stain and let it dry completely before applying new materials.
Save time painting, staining, or sealing larger fences, especially lattice fence designs, by using a spray gun. A multi purpose spray gun can also be used to paint kitchen cabinets, or stain concrete.
An old fashioned paint roller works just fine too, but use the bigger ones. A weenie roller is great for small jobs or tight spaces, but can take forever on a job this big.
I hope that you got some great ideas and that you'll share these lattice fence designs with family, friends and neighbors who may be in the same boat.There's a lot more yard/garden ideas, plus remodeling and decorating tips throughout this site. Just follow the links below.