That’s right, folks-It finally happened. Our yard is officially “toy poodle proof.” Well-hopefully. Lewis Clark and Audrey St. Clair are still in the early stages of exploring their “new yard.” I can tell you with confidence that Lew is happy beyond measure. It is the first time in his 8.5 years on earth that he has the freedom to explore a backyard unleashed. He has already chosen his favorite spot – a lookout point at the top of the yard so that he can channel his inner Simba (yes, I know…a cat) and bask in the glory of his mighty kingdom.
That being said-I will now explain the steps required to finish the fencing in our yard, and the many bug bites, sunburns, sweat, and battle scars that were endured in the process.
Finishing Existing Split-Rail Fencing – On a Dime
Auger (borrowed in our case)
Mesh Fencing (We used Everbilt Steel Welded Wire – 4 ft by 100 feet from HD)
BUG SPRAY (I learned the hard way)
Landscaping staples (if you want)
Lumber for Gates
Disclaimer: We skipped a few steps. If you really want to do this project “right” then you probably would cement in each fence post. We were working with what already existed.
- Digging Post Holes
In our case, we needed to dig about 6 to 7 new post holes. We borrowed the neighbor’s auger and went to town. We did have to purchase about 8 additional split rails and 7 new posts. We transported them effectively in the Toyota Corolla.
- Installing and trimming Split Rails
Most of the yard was already fenced, so we were lucky. It is not that difficult installing the split rails when you are using full pieces, but it took some “fen-angling” when we got to the end of the yard and needed to custom-cut the piece. We tried using a few different saws, but ultimately went with the chop saw.
- Securing the Fence
We went through and screwed together each rail to each post. May not have been necessary, but it’s an older fence.
- Building Gates
The double gates were certainly the most challenging since we were working with a slight slope. Therefore, one is larger than the other. They function properly though and that’s what matters.
I am pleased to report that I single-handedly built and installed 2 additional gates for the yard. The first one I found to be quite simple because I used L-brackets. The small gate at the top of the yard was more challenging since I simply went in at an angle with long screws. This was all completed in 90+ degree weather so there was a lot of pain and sweat involved.
- Mesh, Staples, and Staple Gun
One would think that this part might be easy–it’s not. I definitely recommend having more than one person help you with this part. Someone needs to unroll and hold the wire mesh while the other person goes at it with the staple gun. This process requires a lot of pressing, bending, etc. Wear gloves and long pants, and expect to go through a CRAP TON of staples. When you get to the end of the fence, cut the mesh with “snips” (is that the technical term?).
- Bury the Bottom of the Fencing
We were as careful as possible when installing the mesh to try to press it into the ground, but when you are working with a slopped lot, you can only do so much. After stapling, we went back with a shovel and covered areas in which the fencing did not completely come in contact with the ground. While we don’t anticipate our dogs trying to squeeze under, other dogs definitely dig. We won’t be leaving them outside alone to test this theory. We also added some landscaping staples every foot or so for some additional peace of mind.
- Enjoy your backyard!
I am ecstatic that this project is complete. It is such a treat to be able to enjoy the deck and let the dogs in and out with the extra security of a fence. This fence would likely be way too low for a bigger dog, but for toy poodles with some light supervision, it should be just fine.
Things that I learned throughout this process:
- Wear pants when working outside even if it is SUPER hot. I have 27 + bug bites.
- There are ways to angle the staple gun that make it easier to use.
- L-brackets are an awesome invention.
- The screws that come with the hinges are soft and horrible. Yes–I may have stripped one of them completely.
- I am woman hear me roar.