Hurricane Season Start

Hurricane season hasn’t started yet, but we already have our first named storm of the year.  Happy hurricane season everyone!  As of writing this it is still subtropical (I guess for specific weather nerd reasons it isn’t called a tropical depression), but expected to become a tropical storm.  As a wise guide once stated, it is never too early to start thinking about getting yourself ready for the storm.

I went around and found a few minor issues that could be a big problem if a storm were to hit.  These are easy to do now when I have free time, but would be stressful to complete when a storm is coming.

First up on the list, my screened in porch is getting old and one of the vertical supports broke loose.  It doesn’t hold the roof up, there are 4×4 posts for that, but buffeting winds would do a lot more damage with this part flapping around.  A few right angle brackets and metal screws secured it in place.

Second, I have a set of areca palms that have gotten too close to the house.  I probably shouldn’t have planted them that close in the first place, and might cut them out completely when they start pushing out the fence.  For now, I like them, but need them to be away from the house.  Again, under normal storms they aren’t a problem, but heavy winds could whip those fronds around enough to do real damage to the corner of the roof.

Last but not least my poor fence had another post shear off.  Not sure why they all happen on just this one side, but they do.  The left picture shows a distinct bend.  As it turns out the most bent post is actually rock solid, just not straight.  The one closer to the camera has broken off at the ground.  I left the broken post in place and sank another one next to it.  Everything is much more solid.  Thats it for now.  Time to enjoy a margarita and hope we have quiet season.

Hurricane Matthew Update

We had quite a storm pass through here recently.  Matthew was the highest wind hurricane I had ever dealt with, though not the biggest or most destructive.  Still, I am a home owner this time, so I have a lot of skin in the game.  The shutters went up, the yard was cleared, the bees were hunkered down, and we got out of dodge.


The base is quite heavy due to the paver and amount of wood.  I threw another paver on top and strapped around everything so the total pile was tied together was over 100 pounds.

Post Storm

We evacuated to stay with friends, and came back to a yard that was a mess, but happy looking bees, and an in tact house.



My fence repair from a few weeks back was perfectly timed.  No pickets were lost and the fence is still standing.  There is a new lean though.  Posts near the ones I repaired appear to be broken now.


Instead of removing any of the posts like I did last time, I just put new ones in next to the old ones.  It doesn’t looks as good and is a bit lazy, but was a ton less work.

I might be able to work those old posts off at some point, but for now they were too well connected to the horizontal portions of the fence.  While I was at it I replaced some of the gate hardware that was in bad shape, added more connecting straps, and some anti-sag cables.  The cables were past due, the two doors have rhombused a bit and rub at the tops when trying to close.  Oh well, it ought to buy me another few years.

wp-1477097752621.jpgIn all, we are past the hurricane without any major issues.  Now if they could just come by and get the piles of yard waste.



Fence Repair

I have a bit of a fence issue


For no apparent reason other than age, one (maybe even two) of my fence posts has given up on life and is starting to lay down on the job.  How to affect repairs on something like this?  I started by sinking two 2x4s on either side of the main broken post to act as temporary supports.20160910_101205

I had a brainy idea and used a big marker to put lines at the 2ft depth on my post hole diggers.  Now I know exactly when to stop.











I screwed the fence into the two 2x4s and was able to move on to removing the old post.  Getting the old post disconnected from the fence was easy, and it was, unsurprisingly, completely broken off at the ground.  Getting the old concrete out of the ground was another story.  It took a lot of prying, digging and grunting.

It might not look like much, but that sucker was heavy!  With it out I was able to put the new post in its place.  I thought about trying to dig out the other post that had a slight lean, but after wresting with this one for so long I punted.  Instead I sank another post right next to the leaning one.  I don’t think it was completely broken yet, and the horizontal 2x4s that hold the pickets didn’t end at that post.


20160918_110559Fast forward a week later and the concrete was all set well.  I pushed everything back onto the new posts and screwed it down.  The 2×4 temporary supports came out, and I added a few right angle brackets to make sure it all held well.

While I was out working on the obviously damaged section I replaced a few bad pickets, and did some preventative screwing.  I sunk 3.5″ screws through all the 2x4s into the posts.  I have been buying only torx head screws recently, but had a lot of old exterior philips to get rid of.


Lowe’s basic grade of 3.5″ exterior screw managed to break not one but two dewalt philips head impact drivers in about 20 minutes.  I had two screws left, but had to toss them and move on to torx.  After that I put a shorter screw through the center of every picket I could reach, and burned through most of a 5 pound box of screws in doing so.  My arms hurt by the way.  

A new fence will have to happen in the next year or two, but this should help keep it all together until then.