Wrapping up the back fence with a new homemade address plate

With the construction of the fence in the rearview, I had the idea to put our address number on the rear of the fence to help identify our house from the rear.

Why, you might ask, would one need an address marker in the alley? I’ve had a few deliveries that come to the rear like a pallet of construction materials. Or a contractor coming to the back of the house and needs to figure out which is ours. And of course, there’s always the garbagemen who recklessly push the trash and recycling bins from all 12 houses more or less in the general direction of your house. Having an address plate won’t help these fine public employees put our supercans back where they belong — nor would an engraved pathway from the truck back to where they belong — but it will help one of the 2-3 good samaritan neighbors who usually come out Wednesday evening and put everyone’s supercans back where they belong.

(Actually, I think my next door neighbor Mr. Robinson has been thanklessly moving everyone’s garbage cans back to their house for a decade or more. Along with sweeping out the alley at least once or twice a week. That man is the salt of the earth. And one of the reasons we wanted a fence we could see over on the sides of our backyard. We love our neighbors)

So for about $15, I made this address plate for the outside of the back fence.

rear fence address plate 2

I took a scrap piece of smooth, clear pine that happened to have already been primed (probably a baseboard scrap) and routed all four of the sides with my favorite lip router bit — the same one I keep using over and over again on shelves everywhere in the house. Like the basement shelves, the nursery shelves, etc….

rear fence address plate


Then I used the same red paint we used on our front door and the back door to finish it out. I got the numbers from the local big box (I had to go for some shelving that Annie’s doesn’t stock), and once I spaced them out and made pencil marks for each one, I nailed the plate up without numbers so that the numbers themselves would cover the nails. The two nails are under the two 4’s, I think. Then I just screwed the numbers in.

rear fence address plate 3

Voila, instant fancy looking address plate that’s a lot nicer than just stick on numbers, or even just putting nice numbers directly on the fence. And definitely nicer than that white or gold spray paint, like on the trashcans. Ha. I’ve been informed by other residents of the house (ahem) that the red helps emphasize the good looking door on the back of the house too. 15 bucks and 30 minutes of time. The latch for the back gate was also finished on Saturday, so that really wraps up the whole fence project.

Though there’s obviously still lots of work to be done in the backyard, we’ve come a long way in two years, and we’ve at least crossed the threshold of now being able to go out and enjoy the yard, even if it still feels totally half-finished.

Since it was inauguration weekend here in DC and all, we “inaugurated” the new fire pit that Rachel got me for Christmas with some friends and neighbors on Saturday. One thing we have a lot of is scrap wood in the basement. And when I demo the existing crappy basement walls, I’ll get another big pile of burn-able wood.

And after our first post-baby date to the movies on Inauguration Day to see Les Miserábles, we went back out for the second time and enjoyed beverages by the fire. And then Lily joined us after her nap. She is enthralled by the fire! She just stares at it…

Fire pit with drinks

Fire pit at night

It’s still a work in progress — see the plywood protecting us from the muddy turf and providing a level platform for chairs? — but it’s a far cry from this time last year.

Rachel is getting her planting plan together for the raised beds, and we hope to get that started in February for some of the shoulder season crops, as well as the paver walk which should happen in February (more about that later.) By this summer, we should have a much nicer space for relaxing.

We’ll just need to figure out a way to kill the 834,234 mosquitos that swarm our neighborhood first.

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