Part 3 of our Outdoor Living At Its Best web series really shows the scope of this massive project.
We removed the old dilapidated fence and built a new 8-foot privacy fence in its place with YellaWood treated pine. In the outdoor kitchen we installed a vent hood from Broan and the concrete pendant lights that Chelsea created over the bar. The Overture folding patio door goes in, and landscaping is under way.
Don’t miss Outdoor Living At Its Best: Part 4, the final webisode in the series.
When we started planning for an outdoor kitchen in our backyard, the project seemed like it was confined to a relatively small area. But as we looked at the space and how we wanted to use it… the footprint got bigger and bigger until the whole backyard was affected. We’ve created more covered area for cooking AND relaxing. The cabinets and the countertops for the kitchen area are looking good now, so shortly after they went in we started installing the vent hood that will capture and remove the cooking fumes. This Pro Style hood from Broan is specifically designed for outdoor use with a Powerful 1100 CFM internal blower that is both quiet and dependable. While we’re waiting for the other appliances and accessories to arrive there are repairs to make to our existing patio furniture. Rather than replace it, we’ve decided to fix what’s broken, scrape off the peeling paint and re-paint it with metallic spray paint. This cast aluminum stuff is pretty rugged and durable but this makeover was long over-due. So was repairing the privacy fence that surrounds the entire yard. In fact, the fence is so far gone that we’re removing the whole thing and starting over from scratch. To spearhead the construction of the new fence I’ve lined up one of the lead carpenters from my construction company. Mark is one of the best carpenters I’ve ever seen.
The crew’s first chore is setting the six by six posts that will anchor the fence. They’re digging these three foot deep holes with an auger which saves work and speeds things up. But one of the most important things they’re doing is laying the holes out along a line marked with a string. There’s one high and one low stretched tight between the posts they’ve already set at either end of the row they’re working on. Using strings is the best way to ensure that each stretch of fencing is in a perfectly straight line. If it isn’t it will be obvious later on. The other important factor here is using the right kind of wood in the right place. It’s all treated wood, as it should be, but the YellaWood tag on the end of each piece also tells you where it can be used. The posts, which sit deep underground, are rated for “ground contact” so they can withstand a greater threat from moisture and pests. As each post goes into place it is leveled and braced so that once the Fast Setting concrete is mixed in the hole there won’t be any movement. When all the posts are dry and connected together by those two four stringers Mark mentioned, the vertical pieces of one by eight start going in place. They’re spacing them off the ground with another piece of two by four while the tops are at varied heights. The first and last piece of each section is cut flush with the top stringer while the others are at random heights. When the section is complete, they chalk a line between the end boards and cut the middle boards to match. This way the slope of the fence follows the hill with a clean straight line. Two by sixes are nailed on top each section so they are centered on the stringer and flush with the six by six on each end. Beneath the two by six and just above the dirt each panel is framed in with horizontal one by sixes to give the fence a more finished look. And that’s not just because it looks good. It does look good, but the design is also intended to make it last longer, even the “ornamental accessories” we’re adding.
With the fence work done, the landscaping can begin. The location for the larger plants, like this Palm, has already been worked out by the landscape designer, Catherine. But now she and Sharon are debating the placement of some of the smaller additions.
Catherine is also making another, unintended contribution to the project. Chelsea asked her to be a guest on her web show, Checking in with Chelsea. The project they’re creating is a concrete pendant light that Chelsea’s hoping her mom will use over the bar in the outdoor kitchen. Speaking of those cOuntertops. Allen is back with some fancy tools and a funky wardrobe to polish them. He’ll change the diamond pads on this wet polisher to finer and finer grits as he gets the surface smoother and smoother. While that part of the project is getting close to completion we’re just starting on the changeout of the old patio doors that lead into the dining room. This unit had one functioning door in the center with a fixed unit on either side. Because there were transoms above all three of them there is an enormous ten foot wide by nine foot high opening in the wall. Before, access was limited to that one three foot by seven foot door… but that’s all about to change.. Of course you’ll have to check out the fourth and final webisode in this series to find out how, don’t miss it!