I’ve always considered myself a bit of a ‘Mr Fix It’. I know my way around replacing a washer in a leaking tap, I do my own oil and filter changes, and I’ve even patched up a few holes in the wall every now and then when the kids have been somersaulting and put their foot through the gyprock.

Really there’s nothing I won’t tackle, short of building my own house — and I’m sure I would have tried that too if it wasn’t insisted that we bring in a builder.

This brings me to my most recent exploit — my rickety, falling down, bug infested backyard fence at my new home. It had to go, and given we had just paid a fortune for the house — and will continue to do so for the next 30 years — I figured it was a pretty easy DIY job, especially for a seasoned DIY expert like myself.

Step 1. The materials

Being the DIY expert, I jumped online and picked up some good quality colourbond fencing for a great price. While I had the option to talk to someone about how much I’d need and what to do with it, I had it under control. Or so I thought. I first considered calling in the professionals when I realised I’d somehow managed to measure only half my yard and now only had half the materials I needed.

Step 2. The tools

I headed to the local hardware shop to pick up whatever else I needed. I have a decent toolbelt, but that day I realised it wasn’t as decent as I thought. As much as I was in awe by all the power tools, accessories and other bits and pieces available — and could have spent all day there– I realised I would SPEND all day if I actually bought all the things I needed to put up this fence myself. So I got the basics and figured I’d just improvise. Wrong! First big mistake — I didn’t actually know which basics to get and which to skip, this left me in the backyard, everyone on board, and unable to cement in the posts that would hold my fence up. At this stage I possibly should have called in the professionals.

Step 3. Constructing the fence

With the rest of my colourbond on hand, a hire cement mixer holding pride of place and a troop of little helpers, we set aside a weekend — yes three weekends after we started — to try putting up this fence again. And we succeeded! Until a storm came through, shaking the not quite correct foundation of our brand new fence and leaving it lying peacefully on the ground.

Step 4. fencing contractor

I called in a fencing contractor to give me a hand. He’d done it before, knew how colourbond worked and how it should be put together. We had the fence up in no time.

While I’m still a big believer in DIY, a month to put up a fence may be a little longer than needed. Every now and then calling in the professionals will save time, money… and patience!


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