When it looks like this!
Apparently, back in the mists of time when the house was built, there was no hedge or fence between us and the other half of the semi, which is probably why the deeds don't show it as being either houses responsibility. For at least the last 30 years or so, the neighbours have been planting hedges and putting fences in, but the current fence isn't very good, and the strong winds this winter blew out several of the panels. As we need the garden to be secure and dog friendly, we approached them about going halves on a good quality fence to replace the existing one. It was all agreed, and I volunteered to organise it.
A local sawmill was hired to supply and fit a good quality double sided fence, and booked in for three days this week. Bruce and his mate arrived nice and early on Monday, and after a bit of a moan at the heat, the weight of the panels, and the size of the 10 foot posts, they set to work. Most of the existing fence was removed, and after several hours, the first panel was installed. So far so good. Next came panel two, and suddenly there was a problem - because the house only had a small patio area before, when mum lived here, there was a sudden drop of around three feet where the next 10 foot post should go. We're planning to have the patio are extended and raised, so we still need a high fence in that area, and if the post was 3 feet lower, then after the garden's done, the fence would only be about 4 feet above the patio!
After much head scratching, Bruce decided that the best thing to do was to wait until after we'd had the landscaping done in July, and then come back, so he'd have a higher level to put his post into giving us a higher fence. Apparently they have to start at the highest point (next to the house) and work down from there in order, so it's not possible to do the bottom half of the garden where the level is staying the same.
I'm a little unclear as to why Bruce hadn't spotted the 3 foot drop while removing the old posts, or why his boss hadn't spotted it when surveying the site and pricing the job,but I was clear about one thing - we needed some sort of a fence there until July. We've recently adopted a very lively lurcher called Lola, and our next door neighbour often looks after a toddler for a relative, so we definitely needed a barrier!
Cue more head scratching from Bruce, but eventually a sort of fence was cobbled together from the discarded panels. As you can see from the photo, there are no longer any fence posts at the top, and some of the panels are just propped up with a single piece of wood, so goodness knows how long it will last, but for the moment at least, we're fenced off!