Unflipping the Gentrifence

There should be a word for when you’re doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing but you keep going anyways. How about we call that feeling “contemperroneous?” I was all up in the contemperroneous when, back in 2015, I put up a horizontal fence of the sort that’s popular in our overpriced LA neighborhood. Fences of this sort are known as “flipper” fences or gentrifences (as in gentrification). In the midst of building my own gentrifence I knew it was wrong even if it correctly signaled that we live in a pricey 100 year old shack. Kelly even wrote about it in a blog post entitled “Our Hypocricy revealed.”

Here’s a shot of me putting up that abomination:

Those shoes and the smug grin are equally horrid.

This December I finally got around to sending the gentrifence to the Gulag. While I was at it I rebuilt the entrance arbor at the bottom of our stairs. I cribbed both designs, with a few modifications, from the Southern Pine Association’s 1926 sales brochure “Beautifying the home grounds.” This pamphlet is part of the Internet Archive’s Building Technology Heritage Library, an essential resource for anyone interested in historical preservation.

I recycled all of the old gentrifence, but had to buy some more lumber to complete the project. To make the oddly shaped pickets, I used a combo of table saw cuts along with a jig for my jigsaw. Making jigs increases speed and safety.

I’m not entirely happy with the metal handrail but, since I had it already, I didn’t want to let it go to waste. It’s functional and I don’t have to paint it. I got a contemperroneous vibe while reattaching it but you if you don’t make any mistakes you ain’t human.

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  1. OK, now I can say that I am glad you got rid of that hideous ‘flipper’ fence! What you have now is charming and compliments your cute little home. As for the metal hand rail, it gives a sturdy feel, and if I had to climb up all those steps to visit you I would certainly feel better knowing that it is there!

  2. Don’t worry about the metal hand rail. It looks fine and, in the unfortunate event of a fall, I would far rather be grabbing at this than the top of a slightly pointy picket fence.

    Just a small, niggly point. In our area, the building code insists that the end of a hand rail be curved round or down and not stick out. This is to prevent people’s clothing getting caught on it. Also firefighters’ hoses. Also avoids the occasional abdominal impalement, with lawyers’ bills that dwarf the actual value of the whole property!

  3. Is there going to be a fence on the other side as well? Looks slightly off kilter to my eye with only one side.
    Claire in Melbourne, Australia

  4. I like the simplicity of the “flipper fence”….and the mid-century modern vibe it has. To each his own!

    • I was going to say the same. I liked it! But the other fence is nice too and flows well with the environment. I actually didn’t notice the railing until it was mentioned and had to go back and look for it. A handle is worth it, IMO.

  5. It’s so lovely and looks very inviting I’d say! Makes you just want to stay home for the day and just enjoy the outdoors at your own home!!!

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