It is critical for your dog’s health and your peace of mind that he is safe in your backyard. Building a fence for your dog can be a difficult task, but with the right materials and knowledge, you can build a fence that is both sturdy and secure. Learning how to properly install fence posts and attach woven wire to them will allow you to create a safe environment for your dog to run and play.
Part 1 Putting Up Fence Posts
1. Consider what type of wire fence you would like. There are two different types of wire fences that people typically use to restrain dogs. Both will keep dogs in your yard, but they differ in durability and price.
Chain link fence: These tend to be more expensive than other forms of wire fencing, but they are strong and durable. They will last a long time, and they are compliant with many housing associations’ guidelines. That said, the large holes in the chain link can make it easy for strangers to stick in hands or objects to taunt your dog.
Farm fence: These are cheap fences made from wire mesh stretched out over fence posts. They will not obstruct views in your yard, but they can corrode and may need frequent maintenance.
2. Prepare the holes for your corner posts. If you decide to use wooden posts for your fence, the first step is to dig holes for your corner posts. Corner posts have more tension than line posts (the posts in between your corner posts), so the holes dug for them must be deeper. Your corner post holes should be about 2 12 to 3 feet (.76 to.91 metres) deep.
Most jobs can be completed with a hand-held clamshell post digger. If you have a lot of posts or the ground is rocky and difficult to dig, an auger, or drill-like tool, may be useful.
If the ground where you’re putting your posts is wet or clay, you’ll need to dig deeper holes.
3. Insert the corner posts into the holes. Corner posts must be stronger than line posts. Corner posts should be 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimetres) in diameter and 7 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 metres) in length. Fill in the corner holes with just enough soil to keep the posts from moving around.
To ensure that the post is straight, place a level vertically against the side of it.
4. Prepare the holes for your brace posts. Every fence line that leads to your corner post should have a brace post installed. The brace post relieves some of the tension on the corner post and prevents it from collapsing or becoming loose. Dig 2 12 to 3 foot (.76 to.91 metre) deep holes for these posts, just like you did for your corner posts. Along the fence line, the brace post should be approximately 8 feet away from the corner post.
5. Insert your brace posts into the holes. Place your brace posts in the holes you’ve dug and fill in some of the soil to keep them in place, just like you did with the corner posts. Before filling in the hole, run a level vertically along the side of the post to ensure it is straight.
6. Fill the corner and brace the post holes. Fill in the holes with dirt, clay, or sand once your corner and brace posts are in place and level. To ensure the post’s stability, pack the dirt, clay, or sand down as you go. Add a little dirt at a time, making sure to pack it down thoroughly after each addition.
To pack down the dirt, use a long board, hoe, a pipe with a curved end, or similar items. This will help you pack the dirt tightly and avoid scraping your knuckles against the wooden posts.
Pour concrete into the post hole and secure it in the ground for fences that need to be extra secure.
7. Set up a brace wire. Install a brace wire between the corner and brace posts once they’re in the ground to stabilise them. From the bottom of your corner post to the top of your brace post, this brace wire will run diagonally. Begin a fence staple at the bottom of your corner post and the top of your brace post to secure the wire. Start the wire at the corner post and run it up through the staple at the top of the brace post, around the top of the brace post, and back down and around the corner post. Drive the staples in tightly once the wire is in place. Stapling any loose wire to the post is also a good idea.
Brace wire is available at most hardware stores. It is typically 9-gague and adaptable. It’s not the same as barbed wire.
8. Connect the corner and brace posts with a crosspiece. After you’ve installed your brace wire, insert a wooden crosspiece between the top of your corner post and brace post. The crosspiece should be long enough to fit between the two posts snugly (about 8 feet or 2.5 metres long). Make a notch on the inside of each post into which you can slip the crosspiece and secure it with nails.
As a crosspiece, you can also use pipe, old steel fence posts, or even bed rails.
9. Construct a brace lever. To make your corner and brace posts even more sturdy, apply tension to the brace wire. To do so, cut a piece of wood, pipe, rod, or other strong material to about 16 inches (41 centimetres) in length. One end of this lever should be placed at the top corner of your brace post, in between the two brace wires you just secured. Twist the lever as much as you can to get the wires as tight as possible. Rest the other end of the lever against the crosspiece once they are taut. It will remain here on its own as long as there is sufficient tension.
10. Prepare holes for your line posts. To determine where to place your line posts, stretch a wire or cord between your corner and brace assemblies. Line posts should be spaced approximately 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 metres). Spray paint can be used to mark where the holes for these posts should be dug. Dig holes to a depth of 2 to 2 12 feet with a clamshell post digger or auger (.61 to .76 meters).
11. Set up your line posts. After digging the holes for your line posts, place the wooden posts in them and fill them in, adding a little dirt, clay, or sand at a time and packing it down well.
Part 2 Attaching the Wire Fence
1. Make a fence stretcher. Woven wire fencing can be difficult to stretch, but building a fence stretcher can make the job much easier. Take two 2x4s that are slightly longer than the height of the woven fence you’re using to make a fence stretcher. Drill three holes at even intervals along the board in each 2×4. Bolts should be inserted into these holes. You will stretch your woven fence by hooking it over the bolts and pulling on the board.
Use one 2×4 at each end of the woven fence section you’re stretching.
2. Connect the wire’s end to the corner post. Remove a few of the vertical wires from your woven fence to attach the end of the post. Wrap the wires around the post before weaving them back into the fencing. Secure the wires to the fence post with a staple gun.
When purchasing wire, keep in mind that the higher the gauge, the smaller the wire’s diameter. 12-gauge wire, for example, is heavier than 14-gauge wire.
In general, galvanised staples at least an inch and a half long are recommended. However, if you are using a harder wood for your posts, a shorter staple may be required.
3. Stretch the fence all the way to the next corner post. Once one end of the wire is attached to the first corner post, stand it on its end and unroll it along the outside of your fence line to the next corner post. Stretch the fence slowly with your fence stretcher, applying even pressure to all of your corner, brace, and line posts. Stretch the wire until the tension curves are about one-third of the way straight.
4. Connect the fence posts with the wire. Starting at the end closest to the corner post to which you’ve already attached your wire, use a staple gun to secure the woven wire to your brace and line posts. Attach the wire to the top of the fence post first, then work your way down the post, keeping the wire taut the entire time.
When stapling wire to fence posts, make sure the staples are slightly angled to the vertical axis of the post. This will aid in preventing the wood from splitting.
Part 3 Putting Up Temporary or Lighter-Duty Fences
1. Instead of wood, use metal posts. Metal posts can be used in place of wood posts for a quicker or more temporary solution. You will follow all of the same guidelines for aligning the corner posts with the line posts, but instead of digging holes for your posts, you will simply pound the metal post into the ground with a sledge hammer or post driver. You can still make brace assemblies for corner posts the same way you would for wood posts.
Metal posts are equipped with wire clips that are used to secure the wire to the post. Instead of staples, use these to secure your wire.
2. Purchase a pre-made fencing kit. You can also buy a pre-fabricated fencing kit to quickly erect a safe, secure fence. These kits are available in a variety of heights and lengths, allowing you to choose the one that is best for your needs. These kits will include detailed instructions on how to install them. However, in general, you’ll pound the included stakes into the ground along your fence line and run tension wire between the posts to keep them in place. The wire fencing will then be attached to the posts using cable wires or the wire clips on your fence posts.
The majority of these fencing systems are intended to use your house (or another structure) as one side of the fence. However, if you prefer to build a fence that is not connected to your house, these kits include gates as well.
3. Purchase pre-made fence panels. Another option is to buy pre-fabricated fence panels. You do not need to install fence posts with these panels. Instead, you arrange the panels in the desired pattern and pound them into the ground with a sledge hammer or post driver. Attach the panels to the adjacent panel with cable ties or a strong wire to keep them together.
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