A fence for my dog

01/01/2010

This weekend my dad and I built a fence for my dog, Macy. [see 'Macy' below] It cost a couple hundred dollars and 2 days of work. We got 20 metal fence posts [see 'Post with Slide Hammer' below], but we only used 19 because in 1 corner we used the stair supports that were already there, and used fence staples (U-nails) to hold the fence there. We got two (2) 100 foot rolls of fence, and made the fenced in area 40 feet by 60 feet, giving Macy 2400 square feet to run in. The stairs go right down into the fenced in area of the yard, so we can just open the sliding glass door in the back and she can go in and out of her yard as much as she wants. To build the gate, we also got three 2 by 4’s, 8 feet long, and a 2 by 8, 8 feet long, a latch for the gate, 2 hinges, and a wire cross support to prevent sagging.

We started by using a slide hammer [see 'Slide Hammer on Post' below] to put all the fence posts into the ground, every 10 feet, starting with the corners. We measured from corner to corner diagonally to make sure that it was close to being squared off. In some places we had to go a foot or so closer or farther from the last post, or move it out of line a few inches, because there would be a root or concrete under the ground. The slide hammer made it so much easier than it could have been, but it was still pretty hard. I believe that’s all we did that day.

The next day we used the 2 by 4’s to make a gate, [see 'Building Gate' below] 2 of them being used for the frame, the other for a support running vertically in the center. We then put on the cross support wire, and used fence staples to secure the fence to the gate. I used a pair of needle nosed pliers to hold the fence staple so that I would not hit my fingers. [see 'Needle nosed pliers' below] There are 2 posts supporting the stairs which we attached the fence to, and we made the gate fit between them. [see 'Gate in place' below] Then we attached the latch to the fence, but we ended up not being able to close it far enough to latch, because the latch was sticking out far enough to hit the wooden beam, so we took a thin piece of scrap wood, like a centimeter or 2, and put it between the beam, and the part of the latch that holds the gate closed, and it works perfectly. Then we started putting up the fence, [see 'Putting up fence' below] starting on the side closest to the house, which was made a little harder by the fact that we had to move our compost pile for the fence to go where it was. We moved it into Macy’s yard so she has a pile to play in. I thought we had planned to go back to the start and lay the second roll of fence out the other way, after we finished the first one, but we decided to start where the first roll left off, which was right at the second corner, which it should have been. This allowed us to just roll the fence out on the ground and then stand it up against the poles. This was easier than unrolling it standing up. We secured the entire fence with fence ties, but only 1 at the top and bottom for now, which I will work on finishing. When we finished the entire fence, I attached 2 fence staples to the 2 wooden beams under the stairs, but only hammered them about halfway in. I then took some string and tied it to the hole in the latch, ran it up through the fence staple on the same beam, and the across to the other one, which I tied it to, and now you can open the latch from the outside simply by pulling on the string above your head. [see 'String release' below] That was my idea. After that we had to replace one of the pieces of wood on the stairs’ railing because it left an opening right above the fence and Macy could have jumped down and out. Now that the fence is up, Macy has a place to go out and run and play. [see 'Macy in yard']

My dog Macy

Macy

Slidehammer and pole

Post with Slide Hammer

Slidehammer on Post

Slide Hammer on Post

Building the gate

Building Gate

Needle nosed pliers save fingers

Needle nosed pliers

Gate in place

Gate in place

Putting up fence

Putting up fence

Macy in yard

Macy in yard