Fences have always been problems for me because I have animals. In San Diego we had a falling down wood fence we had to rip down and rebuild when we got our first dogs. The boys in the hood and my ex-husband did the work. I think that fence is still standing. It needed only one repair and my across-the-street-neighbor’s son-in-law, then out of work, was only too happy for the job.
Then, there was the morning I woke up (early!) to find my neighbor to the north had ripped down the six foot wood fence between our yards. I was absolutely totally furious. Naturally. He was an icky man (shudder), and he’s one of the reasons I moved away from a house I liked and had been happy in for 17 years. He wanted to put up a chain link fence. I said, “That may be, but this is MY fence. You had no right to pull it down without talking to me. I want privacy, and I don’t want MY dogs barking at everything they see through a chain link fence.” I immediately hired a fencing company to build me a new fence — a LONG fence, easily 100 feet, somewhat inside my property line. Pricey but it was fast. Two days later I had a brand new, six-food wood fence.
Last year I hired a guy to put up a fence that would give me some privacy, and it has turned out to be a great place to grow a little flower bed in the front yard. I have iris, yarrow, petunias, snap dragons, nasturtiums, cornflowers, cosmos salvia and raspberries as well as spring bulb plants. There’s a nest of finches in the blue bird house (darn! but finches are cool).
At this very moment, I need someone to come and help me put up fifty feet of pig-wire fencing along my lilac hedge so Bear can go in all my yard and I can get a doggy door for them (and me 🙂 ). I have the posts. I have the fencing. I don’t have the help. A guy came by about a month or so ago and said he’d done a lot of the work inside my house. He was very proud of his work, and it is beautiful, but there are places where he messed up, mostly in the paint he used. I care, especially where it’s peeling off the stucco, and I don’t understand why anyone would lay vinyl tiles with grout so they look like ceramic tiles; the tiles “give” and the grout pops out, so I will be contending with these things, but I was still happy when he said he’d help with the fence.
He hasn’t been back.
Just a few days over a two years ago, while I was “staging” my house in CA in preparation to selling it, I fired my handy man. I had never fired anyone before. I hated doing it because I really liked the guy and his mom was my friend, but I’d made the mistake of not getting estimates and contracts and all those things. When the next guys showed up (vastly better and more professional AND they brought me a FRESH tuna steak) we did paper work. They did all the work in a matter of a week. My former handyman had spent MONTHS on one or two tasks…
Still, the experience of getting a house ready to go on the market was somewhat traumatizing and I’m not crazy about looking for people to help me with home repairs. I wish I were Murphy Brown with a glamorous job, a lot of money and a handyman with vision.