Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cheap-ish dog fence

B and I spent Saturday putting up a taller dog fence. We have a fenced yard with standard 4' chain link fencing, but Kojak is part boxer and apparently one of the breed characteristics is climbing fences.

My ideal solution would have been wooden privacy fencing, but we would have to replace the entire fence to do that. So our solution, our far less attractive solution, was this reed fencing, which we bought from Home Depot. We also got a few rolls of 24 gauge wire, but we ended up only needing part of one.

There are no progress pictures because, well, I forgot to take any, and we were trying to hurry because my mom was watching the kids. Putting this fence up wasn't difficult, just time consuming. Roll the fencing out about halfway, wire it at one end, stretch it, wire it in the middle, stretch it, wire it at the other end. Then go back and wire it more to make sure that it's attached well. We did a lot more wiring on the fence we put between the kids' side of the yard and the dogs' side of the yard than we did on the chain link.

To wire it, cut strips of wire about 6-8" long, then make them into a C shape with one arm longer than the other. The easiest way to do it is to have one person on one side to grab the wire and put it where you want it, then one person on the other side to twist the ends and push them down into the fencing. Be sure and put your wires close to the wires holding the reed fencing together; the wire is stronger than the reeds, or at least I assume so. If you don't have another person to help, just carefully push the curved end through first, with the longer arm on top, then thread through the wires on the fencing. This will be a pain until you get the hang of it, and even then it will be a pain. B preferred to curve the wire without cutting it off the roll, then pull it through and twist as usual before cutting. It's a little easier because you have more wire to work with, and it would probably use less wire. He didn't figure that method out until we were almost done, though, but it's the way I'll do any repairs.

Looking toward the garage. I'd like to reseed the grass, but I don't think it'll take. I told B that we'd have to rototill and resod before we sell, whenever that happens, and just hope the dogs don't destroy it. There are a few pavers down to make the patio area bigger, but I'm working on taking those up.

B was hoping it would be less see-through. This is the dog side facing into the backyard.

The long side. B put what amounts to homemade pepper spray on the fence to try and deter the dogs from eating it, but you can see they've already started. I need to find a deterrent spray or something.

The gate. The dogs are waiting for B to come back in. (He took the pictures.) I put the fencing up on the frame of the gate and left a gap where the latch is. I originally left a gap where the hinges were, too, but we were worried Kojak would try to jump out through there, so we lapped a piece of scrap fencing over it. I need to trim the top of the gate piece so it's level with everything else. I trimmed the piece that goes under the overhang of the house with a utility knife; this stuff is pretty easy to cut.

We put the part of the fence that faces the street on the outside of the chain link fence so it looks a little bit better. I'm pretty sure that, per code, this does not count as a permanent fence, but code says that the "good" side of the fence should face the outside.

This was not a super cheap project. We needed seven rolls of fencing, so at about $25 each that's $175. Plus wire, which I think cost about $4 a spool, so that's not bad. The rolls are 16' long, so you might need less. We actually have quite a bit of the seventh roll left over. The whole thing took about five hours, including rebuilding the gate to the kids' side of the backyard, which I screwed up four times.

I assumed they would chew it, although I'd prefer they not, but I'm hoping that it'll be fine if the top two feet aren't compromised. I would like to add some pressure-treated 2x4s every eight feet, with a 2x2 on top of the fence, to frame things out and make them look nice, at least on the outside at the front. B thinks that's a waste, and he's not wrong, but I like things to be pretty.

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