Category Archives: garden

corrugated metal fence

corrugated metal fence update part 4

corrugated metal fenceHello everyone, here’s a summertime update of my corrugated metal fence built in 2013. The front of the fence includes tin ceiling tiles (purchased new and painted) and corrugated steel cut to fit into the fence in squares. The other three sides are sheets of corrugated metal. The whole fence has redwood posts and rails.
corrugated metal fenceThe aging process has been fun to watch, water in the form of rain, snow and sprinklers has brought out the rust in pleasing ways.

corrugated metal fence

corrugated metal fence

backyard shipping containerMy kids have added a skate ramp, just inside the gate, basically covering up one of my gate doors.

corrugated metal fence
metal ceiling tile fenceIn any spot where the paint has chipped off the ceiling tiles, the rusting process begins immediately (see above picture). Good thing I like the rusty, aged look.
corrugated metal fenceThe tin ceiling tiles began to rust immediately, the corrugated steel has taken much longer. It’s barely rusted at all in areas where very little water hits the fence.

The wood has been stained 3 times over the years, at the rate of about every other year. If you looks closely, you can see where the metal close to the wood is less rusty and has been protected by the stain applied hurriedly by indentured, distracted, yet hard working teens.
corrugated metal fenceI’ve always planned to make a tiny door for this opening within the big gate. It’s been low priority since we don’t have an animals that need to be contained, and as you can see-  it’s still yet to be built.
metal ceiling tile fence After the gates were trashed in a wind storm (heavy winds happen frequently) I added the metal strapping to the backside of the gates. Best idea ever. The strapping saved the day, the gates are holding up great now. The only true weathering or warping is happening with the wooden elements.  We don’t open the gates very often (2-3 times a summer) which probably helps keep them strong. When the gates are open, for as short a time as possible, we prop them up on blocks to support them on the sloping driveway.

backyard shipping containerWe put a shipping container in the side yard for storage, hanging out or both. It goes well with the metal fence surrounding it. We love the aesthetic and the extra space.
corrugated metal fence
<a href="http://noelleodesigns.com/?attachment_id=9853" rel="attachment wp-att-9853"><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-9853" src="http://noelleodesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_2554-1024x768.jpg" alt="backyard shipping container" width="625" height="469" /></a>We put a shipping container in the side yard for storage, hanging out or both. It goes well with the metal fence surrounding it. We love the aesthetic and the extra space.
corrugated metal fenceIn the other corner of the yard we put in a wooden pergola. Originally, there was a beautiful mountain view from this corner but then a neighboring house went in and blocked that view. The new house also blocks the strong winds that come from that direction. And the neighbors are really great, so we’ll take the trade off.

corrugated metal fencecorrugated metal fence
corrugated metal fence Even in the 5 years or so the metal has been exposed to the elements, very little rust shows in the areas not directly hit by the sprinklers, like this pergola corner.
corrugated metal fenceTo the right of the baby, follow the gravel path past the shed to the garden area on the south side of the house.
corrugated metal fenceOn the south side of the house are the raised beds garden spot. Corrugated plastic panels on two sections help let more light in.
corrugated metal fenceAs you can see, the non-painted sides of the tiles are very rusted. It will eventually rust through, much quicker (maybe 10 years)  than the corrugated metal (maybe 100 years). The galvanized metal hardware is still looking good.
corrugated metal fenceI was very skeptical about this corrugated plastic. I had nightmares of it turning yellow and breaking like I’ve remembered seeing at elderly houses throughout my life. But I really wanted as much sunlight as possible in this garden area. Since it’s basically invisible to both our neighbors and ourselves, no one spends time or is worried about the ‘look’ of things on this side of the house, we decided to go with the clear, weird corrugated plastic. As you can see- no yellow, no breaks and the garden grows well- I would do it again!
corrugated metal fenceThe tin ceiling tiles I bought had an extra flange on all sides. This worked in my favor as I bent them in on all sides and screwed right through the flange into the wood to hold the tiles in place. The tin tiles are also easy to cut and bend for fitting in smaller areas.

corrugated metal fenceThe view from the front of the house, on the garden side. As you can see, the only real wear is with the wood elements. Even with the treated redwood I hand-selected, there is still warping and twisting of the wood elements. That’s the nature of wood. As you can see, we wedged a 2 x 4 above the gate to keep the post on the right to keep from bending in, the wedged piece of wood has never fallen out.

corrugated metal fence corrugated metal fence corrugated metal fence

To view the building of the fence in 2013- Part 1.

To view the 2014 fence update- Part 2.

To view the 2015 fence update- Part 3.

corrugated metal fence update part 2

corrugated metal fenceThe backyard progress, part 3– the back 3 sides of my corrugated metal fence are now finally finished.

backyard shipping containerThe shipping container is also in place but yet to be cut into to add doors and windows.

corrugated metal fenceThe fence was build with wooden posts, 8 ft. apart, set directly into concrete. Wooden rails are held between the posts, with metal building brackets.

corrugated metal fenceThe metal we used is non-galvanized corrugated metal. Non-galvanized  meaning it will rust and with a thickness of 26 gauge. It’s actually more expensive than galvanized (won’t rust) corrugated metal which is 22 gauge, thinner, and flimsier. The galvanized seemed very shiny, reflective and contrived, if that makes sense. I was told you can remove the galvanized layer with music acid, and allow it to rust, but due to the thin-ness of the material, it will rust all the way through in about 10 years. We decided it was worth the extra expense to go with the non galvanized metal and get the rusty, organic look.

metal fence, wood postsI like the look of the wood with the metal so I built the fence with the rails on the inside. We just stained the wood and it looks even nicer. I think it will look even better as the fence starts to rust.

metal fence, wood postsThese corrugated panels have been up for about 3 months and have just barely begun to rust. I did spray the entire fence with the hose, about a week ago, with the hope of speeding up the rusting process, but honestly I’m enjoying the way it looks now.

corrugated fenceJust the beginnings of rust starting to show, after a few rain storms and a spraying with the hose.

tiny door in metal fenceOn the back corner of the fence, where the kid traffic is the heaviest, we have left a tiny door panel. I have a door (piece of corrugated) made for it but haven’t gotten it put up yet. It will be hinged into the post and on a spring so it stays closed when not in use.  Also, you can see the overlapping of the panels. Each 8 ft. section took 3 pieces of corrugated, instead of cutting them to width, I just let the panels overlap each other and screwed them into the rails, with a pilot hole, and 1 5/8″ sheet metal screws.

tin ceiling tile metal fenceOn the south side of the house, the space was fairly narrow, I put in raised beds but the beds were going to be too close to the fence to get enough sunlight to grow vegetables. After puzzling it over for months, I decided to put up clear corrugated plastic panels to let enough light through to keep my vegetables growing. These improved plastic panels shouldn’t get brittle and weird yellow like the plastic you remember on your grandma’s greenhouse.

raised garden bedsThe view from the front yard, looking through the gate and into the garden area.

tin ceiling tile fence, backThe backside of the fancy fence panel, the tin is quite rusty after 8 months of exposure.

clear garden, metal fenceThe view from the sidewalk, across the empty neighboring lot.

corrugated metal fenceHere is what the fence looks like from the outside, only the posts are visible from this view. You can see the retaining wall that we put in to maximize space and flatten out the backyard.

garden backyard areaThe garden beds from the inside of the fence, as you can see there’s a lot more light with the clear panels than there would be with metal in place. Also, you can see the backside weathering of the tin and corrugated panels from the fancy  front-of-the-house part of the fence. Pause and take a nostalgic glimpse at our art covered garden fence at our previous house.

clear garden fenceThe tin ceiling tiles rusted a lot faster than the corrugated, I’m loving the backside non-painted look.

fancy metal fence, backThe corrugated is rusting much slower, taking it’s time in the weathering process, but it’s a nice contrast.

fancy metal fenceHere’s the front ‘fancier’ part of the fence, after surviving the snowy, windy winter. I’m sad (and ashamed) to say that my gates didn’t fare as well. They were taken out, ripped off in 2 different wind storms. I don’t even have a picture of the broken pieces because I was too sad and mad to photograph the wreckage. Mean Old Mother Nature. So, now I re-engineer better, stronger gates and I’ll pray every time the wind blows that they will survive, and that I won’t ever have to rebuild them, ever again.

rusting corrugated metalThis (above) shows about 8 months of natural (no spraying with the hose) weathering. The tin isn’t weathering at all where it’s been painted.

tin ceiling tile fenceThe tin ceiling tiles are very susceptible to weather, anywhere the raw material is exposed, it rusts very quickly.

To view part 1 in 2013  look here.

To view part 3 in 2015 look here.

To view part 4 in 2018 look here.

finishing the backyard, part 1

OK, I realized this has nothing to do with sewing, but it does have to do with creativity, at it roots. There has to be a foundation and groundwork in everything even if it’s not so pretty. This project is so monumental in my life, and makes me so happy to finally be undertaking, that I really must share ‘the backyard project’.
getting ready for a retaining wallWe began this project last year, the task of finishing our backyard. This is the rocky, sloping, tiny weed patch we started with.

ready for a retaining wallSomehow, our yard and house ended up about 3 ft. higher than the house behind us and without some sort of retaining wall we were going to loose a lot of backyard square footage.

unfinished backyardAlthough it’s not gigantic (the lot is 1/4 acre) we decided with a retaining wall we could keep all of our precious inches, and feet of backyard space.

putting up the forms for a retaining wallWe mulled over rock walls of various shapes and sizes, cement blocks and eventually decided on a cement retaining wall, with the fence built right into the top. Leaving the neighbors the option of finishing their side of the wall however the like.

pouring the concreteThe footings were poured first, then the forms installed and the wall poured the next week.

retaining wallSkip ahead to this summer- with about 5 dump truck loads of fill dirt, then 4 loads of top soil, we are getting there, making slow progress. As you can see the cement needs to be repaired on the top of the wall in the closest corner and the fence posts aren’t all the right height (oops, cement dries fast) this should be fixed very soon and we’ll be ready to fence ‘er all in.

cement pad for shipping containerThis cement was all poured this week, a big pad in the side yard for boats (we have a nice collection of old boats- Hobie Cat and 1977 Sea Ray) that both work part time.  The narrow portion of cement sticking out into the yard is for a shipping container we hope to plunk down and use for storage but not without making it snazzy on the outside, I’m picturing something like this:

shipping container outbuildingBut maybe not yellow… we’ll see.

topsoiled yardA view from the other side, we extended the back patio too.

rounded cement patioThe original back patio pad, that came with the house (lighter colored chunk) was ridiculous and probably just put in to pass inspection. We extended it with curved edges and added a step down because it was way too high (14 inches tall or so) without something to step down onto. We also took out a rickety wooden step (that had been built to step out of the house) and put in the two curved steps.

garden shedThis shed, that looks a bit like an outhouse, came with the house and has been an eyesore sitting in it’s random spot in the yard waiting for placement. At first I though about selling it to whoever would haul it away but then thought better of it. I mean who doesn’t need a little more storage? So, we poured a cement pad on this south facing side of the house to give it a permanent home and title of ‘garden shed’, since the garden will be right where those tomato plants sit in their pots.  And when I’m done with it, it’s going to look something like this:

tiny garden shedI can’t wait to rip off the stupid aluminum siding, find some funky old windows, maybe even a new door, and go to town jazzing up my shed like this one.

corrugated metal fenceAnd here’s what we’re thinking about for a fence- corrugated, probably galvanized metal sections placed between the wooden posts. I’m still doing the research on this option, as opposed to an all wooden fence. But I like the look of the metal and it will probably age better than wood, less maintenance and staining every summer for the teens.

For backyard ideas I’ve been collecting (and photo sources) go to my pinterest board. I can’t even think about plants, trees and shrubs yet- but when that time comes it’s going to be a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

Stay tuned for more…