Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pole Dancin'... Um, That's Fence Pole.

So I've never claimed to be a math genius, in fact the calculator is the second most popular item on my computer after spell check, but it's finally dawning on me that owing a farm is expensive. (Collective "Duh" while slapping forehead heard around the world.) Since I scored a big time deal on fencing materials last weekend, I'm now left with prospect of buying fence posts.

And to make matters worse, we have an area that we want to use as horse pasture in the summer that gets really wet in the winter, so I've been researching the different systems a lot. First, I was thinking about the standard split cedar fence:

But we also want to have the goats out running around too, and they can just walk right under this type of fence - so it's no go on the cedar - even though I like the look.

Next up is the standard Pressure Treated Lumber: I like the look of it and I've built several fences with pressure treated lumber, so i feel pretty comfortable with this material.

The drawback with this is that the fence installer I had out to give me a bid is convinced that I'd need to put 6x6 posts in the ground for the entire "wet" area, and a pressure treated 6x6 is about $25 each... Expensive.

So I got to talking with my architect friend Michael again, and he suggest steel posts. Thought they'd last longer in the wet area and would probably be cheaper than pressure treated wood.

So I went to my local Ranch Store to see what they've got:

I like the look of the round posts, and might do some kind of mixed fence. Put the wood closer to the street and the metal out back.
Reber didn't do metal poles, they had the standard T-Posts, but I don't think they are going to be sturdy enough. So it was off to Home Depot to look at the chain link poles:

The thinner ones were $8.99, and the thicker ones were $12.99. I think if you drop this guy in two feet of cement, that should do the trick in the wet area. It's definitely not the cheapest route, you can get T-Posts for $3.99 each, but I think it'll last a lot longer. And I don't want to waste the good thick fence on posts that will be loose in one or two years.

I haven't pulled the trigger yet, so if you have any advice for me or experience with Washington State wet pastures, I'd love to hear your comments.
I'll keep you posted when we start the actual project.

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