Outdoor Update: Gate Mounts, Deer Fence & Drama

Dec 1

Wow – that post title sounds like a bad series on Bravo, huh? ” Gate Mounts, Deer Fence & Drama”…haha!
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Hard to believe Christmas will arrive in 24 days. Say what?! I’ve been busy decorating inside and out and look forward to sharing everything with you guys.
Was hoping to have the gates up in front by now, but there has been some serious drama surrounding this project. Of course, the issues must occur during the last major project I’ll do for a while. Right? After working on the house for more than a year – with most of the work being exterior projects – I was looking forward to the gates being installed (in October or early November!) and was more than ready for a much-needed break from major home improvements. I was also ready for holiday decorations in this gorgeous driveway. Not the case. At least for Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll have gates before Christmas, but who knows.
Obviously, I am very grateful to have the resources / ability to do this project, so don’t get me wrong while I complain a bit today. You see, this is somewhat of a security issue at the house, as the front yard basically sits on a regional walking/biking trail…with hundreds of people passing by each day. And we’ve already had a couple thefts in our front yard. Sooooo, while living “behind the gates” isn’t something I ever expected in life nor dreamed of….it’s necessary. It will keep the kids safe and make me feel a little more comfortable around the house knowing we’re somewhat secure.
A little background / before shots on this project…
Here’s where I began June 2013…
Then after some serious trimming (for the moving trucks) in September 2013…
Then during the new driveway prep in December 2013…
You can see the deer fence went up between September and December…
Then the concrete was poured before the new year…
The rest of this project stood still as we finished the landscaping in front and back. But after the kids returned to school in September, I was ready to tackle and finish the job. I had the fence company, a mason and an electrician here together to work on the plans with me. We decided on the pillar and gate size / location. The mason quickly got to work building the pillars…
Then we added the stacked stone facing…
And the lights…
Then….then came the drama. The mason stopped his part of the job so the gate mounts could be placed on the inside of the pillars. That was a job for the fence company. We waited and waited and waited….still no gate mounts. The mason and electrician were on my case about it because they were ready to finish the job…and I am too, trust me!
After numerous calls to the fence company asking them to simply come and install the gate mounts so the mason could finish, they made an appointment, came to the house with a gate and mounts…but didn’t come with the correct drill for the concrete to place the mounts. Additionally, and a big shock, the gate itself was too wide. For some reason the mason and fence company had their measurements off…meaning the pillars were built too close together…or the gate was built too wide. Either way, it didn’t mesh and I wasn’t very happy at this point. That day, it was decided the mason was done done done until the gate was up completely. The fence company said they would be out to play the mounts, take a new accurate measurement, order a new gate and return for install in a few weeks.
Then…..Crickets. Nothing. No calls or e-mails for weeks.
Sadly, it took a few very upsetting calls and e-mails to the fence company to get the project back on track. Furthermore, I’m still not done. Someone dropped the ball on the fence company’s end…their office staff thought they were supposed to be waiting for me to call when the mason was done. Not the case! Their employee told me to not do anything more until the gate was up.
Ugh!
I’m sharing this experience with you because it’s real. Not all home projects go as smoothly as you’d hope. And they also aren’t always what was originally quoted. Ahem.
With that said, let’s move on to the new, positive progress. Last week the fence company returned to place the mounts and finish off the deer fence…which I gladly agreed to! Progress is progress! Now here we are currently….

The deer fence connects around the redwood on the left and attaches to the pillar…

 

It’s also completed on the right side…

The odd angle is due to our property line…and of course – trees! Welcome to California – the state where we build our fences around trees.

You see on the right that the fence isn’t connected to the pillar. That’s because this will soon be a walk-through iron gate…

 

To give you a better idea…

They had to dig up part of the concrete to secure the pillar deeper into the ground. After the gate is in, the concrete pad will be replaced, an iron gate will be here, and I’ll use the remaining stones from the front walkway to create a path from the driveway to our property. You can see here where it will curve around this tree (yes – again, around the tree) and meet up with the driveway…

I chose deer fence on this side so that I can see who / if someone has pulled up the gate. Eventually, there will be some pretty landscaping here too…

Moving on to the gate, the mounts are up now…

No, the gate isn’t going to be that tall!

The gate curves at the top / middle – starts at 5 feet on the sides and curves up to meet in the middle at 6 feet. They’ll cut the mount to size once the gate is installed. So the next big question is “So, when will the gates be installed?”. Good question and I don’t have the answer. They said given the issues we’ve had and their screw ups, they are rushing the order. I’m hoping to have the gate installed long before Christmas…but we’ll see. Once the gate is up, the mason will return to finish the stone facing. Then, and finally, I’ll be able to call this job done….

Well, that is until I save enough money to automate the gate. Ha, it never ends!

Thanks for listening! Have you had a home project that should have been simple go terribly wrong? Feel free to vent so we can all commiserate together 😉

 

comments +

  1. It's so nice to see the not so pretty side of projects. The frustrations and miscommunications along with hearing someone actually say that they have to stop while they're saving up money. That is just HUGE to me! I love knowing that you aren't just charging everything and living with the debt while trying to keep up appearances. We're doing little bits to our house as we can afford it and it's nice to know that we aren't the only ones doing this. Thanks for sharing what really goes on rather than the pretty end result with all the ugly glossed over. It's part of why I enjoy reading your blog so much. I actually squeal and get giddy every time I see an email in my inbox with simply organized in the subject line. I love reading what you write and you've given me so many good ideas for things to do around our house.

    • You just made my day – seriously! I've been having an "ehhh" few months about the blog because I'm going to revamp / improve it / move off of blogger and it's going to cost me money to do that – and time and patience and I'm a perfectionist so I'll spend a lot of time just being crazy about nothing – ha! But I've been feeling like I don't have much of a community here…and maybe that's my bad. ?? I try my best to communicate with readers and reply to comments…but generally, I don't get a lot of comments. A lot of page views, but not a lot of comments. I know everyone lives a busy live so they don't always have time to comment too…totally understandable. But then….then I get a comment like this and you brighten my day! All of the time I spent writing this post (nothing too fancy in this one) and you appreciated it…and the honesty I shared. Thank you so much!!!! 🙂

      Oh yes, we have to save for projects that go into the thousands. I really try to do as much as I can, but I know my own limits. Sometimes it's worth paying someone else to get it done in a few days – instead of weeks on end if I did it myself. We aren't charging everything…and mainly because the companies / people we work with cut us a deal if we pay in cash.

      Anyway, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I really really appreciate it!!!

  2. We're here and we're listening!

  3. Kevin says:

    I've been going through months of nightmare dealings with my contractor, it's nice to hear I'm not alone waiting and wondering when things will get done or being frustrated by the process. Sorry to hear it's been difficult for you, but it looks like a really nice plan that'll be fantastic when it is completed.

  4. Meg says:

    I second (or third) that!

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