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Old 02-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


I was thinking about having a 3.5 foot wood fence installed in my front yard - it would be either 92 ft or 108 linear ft depending how far out we go. There is a path that leads up to the house, the decision decision needs to be made if we will leave 8ft of path unfenced (92 total ft) or fence in the entire path (108ft). The fence has to have 50% opactiy, so it would be a picket style fence. The #1 goal of the fence was to give the dogs an area to run (2 small dogs).

When I called around for estimates on a wood fence, everything was in the $3200 - $3500 range. - To me this seemed excessively high, but my understanding of fencing installation may be limited. The bottom line is, i am considering doing this myself, with some help of course).


Realistically, how much work am I looking at. When I have looked online, there are some prefab'd fence lengths (8ft long) from box stores that seems like it could be an "okay" DIY option. Reviews are varying, some not content with the quality, others okay with it. I think the key is you need to understand the quality you are getting for the price. -- When I look at this as an option, I would likely sand and stain the entire fence prior to install.

My big question mark is the posts, this I see as being one of the challenges and probably the most important part. Approximately how far would I have to dig down, to place the posts and are gravel/concrete going to be a required step for posts?

Professionally drawn blue print below - Left and Right lenghth (30 - 38ft depending how far out we go) - Width is 32ft. (Tree in picture is now a stump)


Thoughts - Recommendations - Tips?

Thanks!
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Last edited by splintner; 02-20-2014 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


Going to be heck trying to make holes with all those roots your going to hit.
considered a hidden fence instead? Less expensive, nothing to have to weed whack or mow around, no painting or staining.

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Old 02-20-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


We had picket fencing in our side yard and also across our front porch that was painted white. It looked okay from the street but as soon as you got to the front door you could see how bad the paint had chipped. It was a pain in the butt to repaint (what with having to scrape, prep, and paint) so we tore it all out and replaced it with vinyl. It was also in a well shaded area so sun damage wasn't an issue. My recommendation would be to go with vinyl. But if that isn't within your budget, I think you should keep it natural. Much less maintenance - just pressure wash it when it starts looking dingy.

Our posts were 12" down with concrete - which was probably overkill for the South but I didn't put them in. You could rent an auger to help dig the holes around/through the tree roots but there will always be a threat of the posts shifting as the trees grow.

Like Joe mentioned, a hidden fence is a good idea. My brother lives out in the country and they installed an invisible fence instead of doing a project similar to yours. They have small dogs (Jack Russells) and they would have had to put chicken wire on the inside of the fence to keep the dogs in. The only drawback of the invisible fence is that you can't keep critters out - they have a problem with foxes and such.

If you go with a physical fence, I would surround the entire property and put a self-closing latching gate at the sidewalk. One less thing to worry about with the dogs.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:20 PM   #4
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


Not sure how small these dogs are or if there diggers but one time I put up a picket fence for a lady, I told her twice it's not going to work, made her sign a waver to cover my butt if it did not work.
Tried to show her how the dog could get out.
Put up the fence, dog walked over and just wiggled it's way though and took off down the road.
PS 12" is not even close to a proper depth for a post, one good wind storm or someone leans on it and it can tip over.
More like 2'.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #5
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


I wasn't sure on what depth would be proper for the posts. Ours were about a foot in (could have been more). I know that they were a PITA when we took them out. Great work out though!
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:38 PM   #6
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Not sure how small these dogs are or if there diggers but one time I put up a picket fence for a lady, I told her twice it's not going to work, made her sign a waver to cover my butt if it did not work.
Tried to show her how the dog could get out.
Put up the fence, dog walked over and just wiggled it's way though and took off down the road.
PS 12" is not even close to a proper depth for a post, one good wind storm or someone leans on it and it can tip over.
More like 2'.
Ayuh,... I agree,... chain link, with the bottom foot buried,...
'n on the post depth,...
I'm guessin' the frost line is close to 4' in Minnesota,....
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


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Ayuh,... I agree,... chain link, with the bottom foot buried,...
'n on the post depth,...
I'm guessin' the frost line is close to 4' in Minnesota,....
I think that's it. in WI here this winter, its getting closer to 6 feet actual.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:06 PM   #8
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


given a choice I'd go with the invisible fence. After a while the dogs just learn the boundry even without the collar
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:47 AM   #9
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


We were looking at a smaller fence vs chainlink / invisible; one of the dogs is blind. We do not have a risk of digging with the two dogs - they are about 13-15lbs. We would need to have 50% opacity - "the same amount of board as gap". In order to achieve and make it an actual fenced in area for dogs, I would not want more than 2.5 inches of gap?

This is all in the early stages, but I was leaning towards wood picket. Chain link I find rather fugly, at least for a front yard.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:52 PM   #10
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


if it is just a dog run why not the right side back area there keeping the front open .having a picket fence as drawn will look out of place and once you paint it you will always be painting it...3' picket plastic style at HD Lowes would work...throw a dog house and kiddy pool for the summer and they will love it.for looks and the humans in the house.. a weathered post and rail fence from the right side of the house to the far left would look mint...

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Old 03-07-2014, 07:24 PM   #11
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3.5ft front yard fence (DIY)


Do the hidden fence....you will actually be doing the dog and yourself a service.

The dog will learn what it's boundaries are and long term your quality time with the dog(s) will be better.

Once the dog is trained to stay close to the house...you will actually give it more life in that it can enjoy running when your around....and it will learn to stay near you.

Once you have the dog trained...you can turn off the fence.

We have an adopted dog....we assume it was owned by a homeless person...but this dog is go good...I can let it roam the front yard....but it stays close...if I say "In the House"...he goes in the house. It also means I can walk around the block without a leash and I'm not fighting to keep him close.

If you put up a fence...then your going to have to deal with the 'escape' issue. If they get out...it's hell to get them back in.

So...do the right thing....train them to want to stay close to you and the house. Otherwise, give the dogs to a better home.

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