Need some ideas for fence & driveway

barbcollinsJuly 22, 2012

Since we are nearing the finish line on the inside of the house I am starting to think about what I want to do with the front outside.

The front of the house is a disaster. There is an area that used to be a garden, then was overgrown and overrun after the house was foreclosed on. There is chain link across the front of the house just inside the front sidewalk. All of the houses on the street are like this.

The problem is the driveway is on the right side of the house. The front side walk is to the left. If you park in the driweway you have to walk back out to the sidewalk around and in the gate. Doesn't make much sense. Also, the fencing makes the driveway tight. It is difficult to get in and out of the vehicle. This leads to us parking on the street all the time. Here is a diagram and some pictures;

Another wrench in the works is that there is an opening to access a storage area under the porch. This would be great for trash and recycling if it was more accessible

I was thinking about either

1) Move the chain link back to the yard to the left the house behind the porch, creating a fenced in back yard. Don't like this idea because our dog is used to going in and out the front door. He would not be able to do this anymore. Also, it's nice to be able to sit on the front porch and let my granddchildren play in the yard, without worrying about the wandering out into the street. Advantage would be that the dog is confined to the back yard, and will be less of a pita when people walk down the sidewalk.

2) Get a gate for the driveway something like below, then eliminate the fencing between the driveway and the front yard. DH likes this idea because we could also remove the fence and gate at the back right of the driveway, gaining access to the yard with vehicles.

Ideally I would love to get rid of the chain link and replace it with something nicer, like wrought iron or a picket fence. But I don't think it's in our budget.

Both of these options will lead to some re-grading, which is not a problem. I plan to till everything in the front up anyhow and start a new lawn/garden.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Could you add a "people" gate in the fence along the drive? Or in the little short bit that connects to the corner of the house?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I agree with adding a "people" gate so that those who park in the driveway have access to the yard. If you put the gate on the back side of the fence (the piece that is parallel to the road and joins the corner of the porch) you can use it also to access garbage/recycling.

But do you really even need to keep the fence? I know these are common in older sections of older northern cities where the houses are close to the road. But do you, personally, need the fence? I would think it would be important if you had your childen or your pets out there. Or maybe if your yard would be a shortcut if not fenced off. But it might be much more inviting if you just did away with it entirely.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I don't think adding a "people" gate would work. The driveway is currently only about 10.5' wide so there is only barely enough room to get by a car.

Also putting the gate on the short side would be dangerous since it is next to the dropoff for the opening under the porch.

Yes, I need a fence to keep the dog in. He is a wanderer.

I think the cheapest fix would be to install a new fence across the side yard on the other side of the house, and remove the chain link from the front. DH likes it up front, so I don't know what a buyer would want.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:52PM
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From this buyer's perspective, a chain-link front fence always says "bad neighborhood" to me. It isn't attractive and it implies that you need security to keep people out of your front yard, but can only afford the cheapest (okay, maybe chicken wire is cheaper) solution, If you need a fence, make it an asset, not a detraction from your house.

I do like your idea of moving the fence to the side yard and opening up the front.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:03PM
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How about moving the fence to give more space to the driveway area and adding a people gate (like in my modified pic).

The red line is the new fence line. Then you could plant a garden outside the fence beside the driveway.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:59PM
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I thought about doing that too. But realized that I don't want the chain link out front at all. It's just too ugly.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 7:24AM
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