My furniture like wall started as an idea: a simple construct of readily available materials to replace a falling-down, rickety mess around my yard. Little did I know how functional and aesthetically pleasing it would turn out to be.
- Replace 300 feet of backyard fence.
- Horizontal as apposed to vertical panels for a unique look
- Raised wood off the ground to protect from termites
- Block or masonry base
- precast concrete pillars
- Cedar or redwood pickets
I originally looked for precast pillars to attach the horizontal pickets. In this precast product, slots run along the sides so that a wood picket could be set between. As long as you “set” the pillars equidistant, this would work. However, in practice, a lot of custom cuts would be needed. I found this light-weight landscaping material, fence posts for sale in the United Kingdom. Such material could not be found at the local Home Depot.
The available precast pillar available was a heavy-duty type used in DOT sound walls found along highways or commercial building projects. The factory (to order) wanted $80 each and I needed a 16-wheel flat bed to have them delivered.
Another idea for the posts was a vertical steel tube with the grooves for the pickets welded on. It would look great; rustic patina, strong but about the same price as the concrete pillars. I tracked down a weld shop who would make them to match a print drawing I made.
To make this backyard project affordable, however, I needed off-the-shelf materials from local suppliers. I finally settled on a plan after realizing that the block base I wanted had to be contracted out. In that case, contractor System Pavers sent out the project manager Don. I told him of my idea and Don gave me a few tips to make my project affordable and work with me as a DIY project when it came to completing the job.
Workable Materials and Plan
Don’s tip was to use Post-Masters, a galvanized “hat shaped” beam for the columns available at my local “depot” store. Then I applied my idea to set the Postmaster in the slump block foundation before the concrete/footer set up — at an exact distance between posts, so the 72 inch ceder wood planks, set horizontally layed end to end with no gaps. So 54 posts and a full “pack” — 614 pieces of the 72 x 5.5 inch Cedar Fence pickets later, the bill of materials was a done deal. Oh, and a bunch of dry wall screws to nail it all together.
As can be seen in the pictures, the result turned out really well. Because of the materials and construction technique tips, Don at System Pavers estimated this wall would last 30 years. Counting….