HomewardBound
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Fence Panel Replacement

Hi everyone, I'm new, and I'm afraid you might think I'm not a nice person by part of this question -- I really am, but you just reach a point, you know?

I've only lived here seven months, it's a more rural area than any I've ever lived in, my road ends on a mountain trail. This house has a vinyl panel fence on one side that runs the entire length of the property and half the back; house is on 3/4s of an acre, but is just a regular house, not a McMansion. Since the middle of December, someone has smashed the daylights out of the fence three times, the first two full panels near the street. I mean, planks scattered all over my lawn like an explosion. The cops won't do anything about it except take a report they're legally bound to take, the last cop told me it was DEER, even though whoever did it, and who else could do it but the people next door or their guests, had sprinkled what I'm guessing is fireplace ash on the snow to melt the tire tracks and footprints AND there's an impression on the planks as if something hit it which happens to line up perfectly with a car bumper. My handyman investigated that and figured it out. Yes, my HANDYMAN...

I knew it wasn't deer, but I'm not an expert, so I ran the pics past two wildlife biologists who said, vandalism. So I finally save up enough money to replace the two panels, and it seems that the big box store where the fence came from tweaked the measurements since the fence was installed, and they're too big for the space. Since these panels are right up front, privacy isn't an issue, and I was thinking, is there something I could put there instead, I was thinking of the mortar-free retaining wall look, but we are on the slope of a mountain and that would probably back up water on the neighbors, the expanse would be about 12 feet. And also, and this is where the mean part comes in, is there anything I could put there that would seem perfectly natural, but would damage the tires of anyone who was too drunk or stoned to drive? Damage has taken place over a Friday and a Saturday night, and impaired driving is outrageous, period, but here, there aren't any sidewalks or streetlights, children, joggers, dog walkers, domestic animals, wild animals, very curvy roads and a very prominent creek. If it happens again, I wouldn't mind the car being disabled, and I'd get a little relief out of a little justice for a change. When the cops won't protect you, it's scary.

So I'm open to any or all ideas, and very grateful for any help, thanks!!

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applestar
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

I guess it depends on how you intend to landscape the area in front of the fence and what kind of budget. I could easily see a decorative rock/boulder or cement statuary worked into the design could stand up against an errant car.... landscape timber or wall-block stacked retaining wall or raised bed might do the trick as well.

I'm curious as to how a car would hit your fence -- is the fence right up against the road? Isn't there a shoulder or a ditch? Would the car have to have been swerving or is there a curve? What if you put up a series of reflective fiberglas type poles along the road to indicate the edge of the road? (I imagine you can buy them like that for this specific purpose, or just wrap the tops of inexpensive fence poles with reflective tape or something? String reflective tape from pole to pole?) Maybe go cheap and just edge of road with snow fence and see what happens?
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HomewardBound
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

Fence Damage 2 001 (640x480).jpg
Sorry, I should have attached the photo from jump -- that's the road on the left and the neighboring driveway -- the first panel was the first to be knocked to pieces, except for two planks that were jammed in tight -- they went down in about ten days. At first, I thought it was someone careening down the road. Then after the second ones went down and then the whole second panel, I believe it happened from the neighbor's driveway, someone backing into it, maybe pushing it even more than just crashing into it, but cracking both the top and bottom rails. Fence is on the property line and I don't have any intention of doing any more planting out front, the backyard is my project, the front has a septic tank and buried electrical cables and I just want to let it be. But I do want to put something there that looks innocuous but could make a strong point if messed with. The concrete planter thing sounds interesting, money is a problem, I've already had to shell out for a trail camera, and I moved less than a year ago and had a lot of expenses, so... again, I'm open to all ideas folks, please help, and thank you!

imafan26
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

If looks are not important get 55 gallon barrels, paint them neon yellow and orange. Fill the barrels with Sand and line them up in front of the fence on your property. Actually placing them in threes is a stronger barrier. They will help protect the fence from anything running into it. You can landscape around the barrels with plants or shrubs that will make it harder for cars to run over.

Otherwise since your neighbor is so blind, instead of making the fence a corner make it an angle so there isn't a corner to run into.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

HomewardBound
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

Hi, thanks for replying. I didn't realize that the pic does give an impression that it's a corner, because of the curve of the road, the fence actually just follows the property line and ends a few feet from the road, what they must be doing, as best as I can figure, is making a three-point turn in the driveway and backing into it. Each event happened on a Friday and then a Saturday night, so I do think it's someone who is impaired.

Your suggestion of the barrels is spooky! First, I would have to put them on my side of the fence, because the fence is on the property line, but I was just researching rain barrels when you posted your reply. I would use barrels instead of the two missing panels, I'm an artist so I could figure, I hope, some way to make it work aesthetically. I was looking at concrete, I'd love to replace the two panels with the kind of planters they put up in NY after 9/11 to stop unwanted vehicles, but of course, those costs are prohibitive; I can't even afford the rain barrel right now! And I had forgotten, but I have a history of vandalism at my homes (all in "nice" neighborhoods, there goes that myth) and two homes ago, I had bought galvanized trash cans to put behind my hedge to block kids from using my yard as a route behind a parking lot that was loaded with condoms and cigarette butts. I filled them with sand. But that was level ground, this isn't...I thought of planting a crown of thorns hedge, but they don't thrive in my zone.

What a day and age, how people are even too cowardly to ring your bell or put a note in your mailbox and say, I'm sorry, I made a mistake. Even if I were a jerk who would freak out and play the fool, the person would have the knowledge that he/she did the right thing and I didn't. That should mean something. I have a history of paying for other people's mistakes in addition to my own, and you know, I have to tell you, it's starting to get a little old!! Thank you for your help.

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applestar
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

I STILL haven't gotten around to trying this and experimenting -- I want to make 5-10 gallon pots eventually -- but have you considered hypertufa? It speaks to the artistic side of me, too. :wink:

:arrow: Subject: Hypertufa pots

I'm going to experiment and practice building on the interior of the mold and exterior of the mold techniques and then combine with cement leaf and pressed plant matter printing techniques ...eventually. :()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

HomewardBound
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

I would never use that for the fence problem, because whatever I put there is going to have to do some damage to whoever is doing this, puncture a tire, rip out the muffler, turn a sedan into a concertina, whatever -- once is a mistake, twice is a habit, I have to protect my property and I am going to be out a lot of money I can't afford to clean up their mess.

However, in a non-rough-justice context, I love the idea of making these planters! I need to add color out front, and I don't want to do any digging for a number of reasons, ranging from a wonky heart to both a septic tank and underground electric cables there; I come from electrical poles and sewers, so I don't want to take any chances. I have natural stone out there, and some of these planters strategically placed with geraniums and gerbera daisies in them would be perfect. I will wait for the weather to clear a bit, this is an outdoor job to my mind, I can't even dredge chicken in flour without it looking like a cocaine bust, so don't even think of the mess I'll make doing this,but I'm already thinking of shapes and textures...thank you so much!! :()

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applestar
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

Image :-()
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imafan26
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

I thought of the barrels because that is what they use as freeway barriers. They are either filled with sand or water to absorb the shock when something runs into them. I did not realize the fence was so close to the road. Still moving the fence in and having more space in front for planting shrubs is still an option.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

HomewardBound
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

The barrels are a very good idea, don't get me wrong, but I'm trying to figure out how I could swing it. They won't be a problem with the road, the first post you see was the beginning of the fence, they didn't knock any posts down, at least not yet.

When you mentioned that you folks in Hawaii (pause while I burst into tears!) use the barrels on the freeways, I started thinking about how we use guardrails. Might look into that, see what it would cost, I've become very fond of the idea of sending the next transgressor home via Uber with their salvaged car parts in a shopping bag!

imafan26
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Re: Fence Panel Replacement

The barrels are used as safeguards to keep speeders from running into the guardrails. In some places it happens a lot since people like to speed and overestimate their driving skills. Some of our roads are deceptive. On curves the road should be pitched to counter centrifugal force but there are a couple of place where we have flat curves where accidents happen a lot because drivers take the curve too fast.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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