I had seen inventive redwood fences with horizontal slats around the neighborhood (Holt and Halm), so, when it came to replace the old wood fences behind the thick bamboo hedge we had removed, I inquired about those custom choices, but they proved too expensive. I settled for pre-assembled 6×8 feet dog-ear panels from Lowe’s; they only cost $70.31 each. Then the lattice panels would be nailed on top to reach the more desirable 8-feet height and still conform to LA City codes. I only discovered later, after the fence was built, that they had bought common not premium grade panels from Home Depot for $54.97 a piece. It would have cost only $150 more (out of a $10,000 total expense) to get the better quality panels, but I was never informed of this change. Eventually, after the fence was painted with a transparent redwood stain to protect the wood from heat and humidity, it looked better, but you can still see through the knot holes.
Another problem that was too late to fix was that the landscape designer had assured me that the fence would all be the same height, even though one of the neighboring lots was higher than the other; but they did not adjust for the difference, so now I have a 6 inches gap where the 2 sides meet.
I was inexperienced and did not pay close enough attention, I trusted that the people I hired knew what they were doing. So I’m writing this warning for you to be more careful, if you attempt a similar project. Please keep us posted if you do.
Text and photos by Elisa Leonelli