Back last year, when we were sitting in Florida, looking at houses in Maine online, we discovered a real beauty. The beauty we found online happens to be the one we currently live in. I can thank Laura for that. She did all the research and hunting throughout the web. She had her criteria and I had mine. Hers revolved around gardening and swimming and mine around moving myself as far away from mankind as I could. We settled somewhere in the middle and scooped up her favorite listing – a listing that just happened to have a pool in the back yard. A pool that didn’t have a fence around it.
Oh the drama. About eight months ago, I can remember laying in bed for hours, tossing and turning, having semi-conscious nightmares of us signing all the paperwork for our new house in Maine. We’d drive up from Florida to move in, and somewhere between when we left Florida and arrived in Maine, a moose would fall into the pool and not be able to get out. It would drown. We would arrive at our new home and the first project we’d have to tackle is to think of a way to get a dead moose out of our pool. Remember, this was just a nightmare, but one that kept me up that night. I swear, it was horrible. I remember asking myself, “Why couldn’t the people who owned the house just have a fence around the pool?” It really would have made my life so much better. I may have turned to the drink for a few days after. I’m not sure whether I was so upset at the thought of having to pull the moose out of the pool or that the moose lost his life.
I had every intention of putting up my own fence, but you know how things get. We had our minds on other things, we were out looking around the town, hiking in the woods – to make a long story short, I never did make it outside to put the fence up. Things were freezing and I wasn’t all too worried. We had the cover on the pool and hadn’t seen any moose nearby. We hadn’t seen any wildlife for that matter. The chances of a moose falling in our pool were slim to none.
But then the homeowner’s insurance inspector showed up. They took us by surprise. They came by, looked around, left a small note on the door telling us they were here and about a month later, we got a insurance cancellation letter in the mail, followed by a refund check. The insurance company cancelled our insurance because there was no fence around the pool. I can’t really blame them either. I would have done the same thing. You really can’t have a situation like that.
The day the inspection people came, and after I saw the note, I ran out to Campbell’s Agway in Skowhegan, Maine to buy a bunch of green metal posts and some wire fencing. I quickly put up a temporary fence around the entire pool. This was before the cancellation letter. Once the letter came, I called the insurance agent and explained what I had done. We got the policy reinstated with the promise I would make things square come Spring. And that’s what I’ve been working on – putting up a fence around the pool.
Maine has a few rules when it comes to pool fences. Basically, the fence needs to be at least four feet high. There can be no openings larger than four inches and the gate must be secured. When designing the fence I’m installing, I upped the ante and went a few steps further. I added a self closing and self latching gate. Those two features are really for me, but
I think they’re better in the long run. Who wants to keep closing a gate that swings open and who wants to remember to latch the door? Not this guy.
I started installing the fence a few days ago. It took me about three hours, total, to get this far. I have two sections done and took pictures of what I’ve accomplished. I’ll show them below. What I was really attempting to complete was the gate. I was sick and tired of walking through the house and out the front door every time I wanted to get in the back yard. My temporary fence was solid. There was no door. I needed to fix that, pronto.
I think I’m doing a good job. The posts are really solid, as I dug the holes almost four feet deep. I’m trying to avoid having them pop out of the ground due to frost heave. I don’t think these are going anywhere. Also, the railings and door are as level as they’re ever going to get. I must have pulled that level out ninety five times. And by attaching the railing to the side of the house, I made sure the post holding the gate would never lean. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a leaning fence gate.
Take a look at the pictures and let me know what you think. I’ll most likely write an updated post once things are near completion, but I’d like to get some opinions now. Thanks.