I live in East TN. In my bottoms along some of the creeks these might work as the soil there is moderately deep. But on the hills, of which I have many, not so much.
And the cost at Home Depot is right about $25/per. That’s the cost of about 2 HOURS of pick-up labor. Even adding tractor time and and a new “teeth” for the auger and some Sackete that’s a VERY pricey fence. Last thought is durability. Horses love to lean on fences (which is why electric wire on the top is a Good Thing). In a “set” post you’ve got 25-35% of that post in tamped dirt, maybe set in “stone.” That post will take a licking before it breaks. The setting here? Not nearly so strong.
But this would be fast if the ground is right. And if the fence decorative and not likely subject to being leaned on by 1000 pound animals it might be OK.
Put another way, for landscaping…why not? For livestock…NO WAY!
Assemble the Brackets
Take 2 Post Mount brackets and slide the inner cylinder of the Post Mount over the outside of steel pipe.
Mark the Ground Level
Mark a heavy line on the post to annotate where ground level is to show how deep the round pipe will be driven into the ground. Typically bottom of the bottom horizontal rail is 2” from ground level.
Line Up the Brackets
Place the pipe with the two Post Mounts brackets on the ground or any level surface. (Note: This will insure that both post mount brackets are square to insure proper vinyl sleeve installation over the post-mounts.)
Drill the Brackets into Place
Using (16) ¾” - .410 Stainless Steel metal self-drilling screws attach the Post-mounts brackets to your steel pipe. (Note: Please note that it is not necessary to use all fasteners but the more you use the stronger it will be.)
Installation Note: Some applications require that the horizontal rails of the fence sections be attached to the vinyl post sleeve using brackets. In this instance, fasten your Post Mounts on the round pipe in designated points allowing the fence bracket fasteners to attach to the outer wall of the Post Mount.
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Jump to How-To
How to install a no-dig fenced dog run in one day. Keep the dog poop out of the main part of your yard for easier cleanup.
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Please read the whole post so you don’t miss any important information!
You may have read that we have a new-ish puppy. Rocky is about 10 months old now and he really loves to eat things when he goes outside. He gets logs, mulch, rocks, plastic toys, and the worst? Our compost. He likes to grab an old banana peel and drag it back inside to snack on. Ewwww. So gross.
He also loves to eat my garden- and he managed to bust through the cheap wire fencing I put up a long time ago.
We have a big fenced yard, but it’s gotten to a point where I just don’t want him roaming free out there. Plus, it’s hard for me to clean up after the dogs’ “business” when it’s like an Easter Egg hunt every time we go out there. Somebody *always* steps in something. I wanted to contain the pups to one area for when they need to potty, although I do plan to play with them in the main area of the yard still.
I know you can train dogs to use a particular area, but it didn’t solve *all* of my problems and I’ve got a puppy and a really old man dog so I didn’t torture myself.
And so, our fenced dog run was born. I had some pretty crazy ideas for this, but I was really excited to find there were some easier DIY’s for this that involved less supplies, less store runs, and less time putting it altogether. Phew.
We still need to add our pathway pavers, but I’m so relieved to have the dog run finished! I’m also going to add some landscaping around the fence. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on seeing the end results!
Supplies for a DIY Fenced Dog Run
I’m going to list how much I needed, but you’ll need more or less depending on the space.
- Shovel and other gardening items.
- Tiller (this is the one we have)
- Mallet of some sort: Ours got really beat up from this project. I’m not sure how to avoid this but a regular hammer would bend the metal.
- Grand Empire Fence Panel: No Dig Decorative Fence x 10 panels (Item #254097) ($29.98 each or $299.80)
- Empire Grand Post/Stakes x 12 (Item #254102) ($8.98 each or $107.76)
- Grand Empire XL Gate x 1 (Item #758832) ($44.98)
Total Cost for the fencing: $452.54
Home Depot Version of the Fencing
Recently I discovered that Home Depot carries very similar fence panels so if you want to order it for pickup in store. I recommend ordering ahead so you can make sure you get the number of panels you need.
Just note that the Hampton Bay Empire panels are listed as 30″ tall and the Grand Empire panels are listed at 3.37 ft (40.44″). The width for the Grand Empire panels is 4.12 ft (49.44″) and the width for the Hampton Bay is 36″. The Hampton Bay gate has better reviews, but looks like it will have the same issues as the Grand Empire gate.
I figured I’ll do a quick calculation for you on the prices (at today’s rate 2/13/19)… no guarantees on the math here, but I think I got it right. It’s hard to compare because the widths are different. I bought 10 panels of the Grand Empire which gave me a fence length of 494.4″ at $299.90, not including the gate or posts. To get the same length (slightly more), I’d need to buy 14 panels of the Hampton Bay panels which would cost me $279.86. The post pricing is also cheaper, but you’d need more posts due to the shorter panel length.
Don’t forget to pin this for later:
Tip for cutting costs on big projects
Go and use/signup for Rakuten. Once you get your account setup, go to the ebay site under Lowes Coupons. You can buy a Lowes coupon on here- make sure you choose the right coupon (some are online only, some are store only).
Once you receive your coupon code, go back to Rakuten and click on Lowes. Pick out your items and add them to your cart. Use the coupon code.
Not only will you get the Ebates cash from buying the eBay coupon and the Lowes products, but you’ll also get the coupon discount. Woot woot!
I didn’t do it this time… I need to make better choices. But I have done it for larger scale projects like our built-ins.
Oh- and you can usually choose pickup or delivery. I do pickup and they gather all of the items for me at the pickup desk. It’s pretty quick when the store is well run (one of our local stores is terrible and the other is great).
*Skip the gate, buy an extra panel instead and use that, along with something to hold the gate closed. Those gates don’t really hold a motivated dog inside but the panel will.
You might like the following products in my shop! Keep scrolling for the tutorial.
How to Install a Fenced Dog Run with No Post Digging, Using Grand Empire XL Gates
I used my tiller to mark out the place where I wanted my fence to go. This loosened the earth around where the posts would go. I mostly wanted to ensure that I had space between my fence and the grass. Eventually I’d like to put plants along the fence.
We laid out the fences and posts to make sure we had the right measurements. We ended up moving our fence in a bit so I needed to till again in that area. I also found that I needed to do extra work on areas where there was an incline so I could even the ground out. The posts/stakes do NOT go in easy if the ground is hilly.Once you’ve done that, you really just take the post/stake screw off and put the stake into the ground. We hammered it in with the mallet.
Then you hold up your fence and put the post through the circles of the fence and into the stake circle. Push in.
Continue this all the way around. Two fences with connect at one stake/post of course.
The gates connect the same way- we did our gates at the beginning.
To prevent the dogs from escaping beside the stairs, we built huge lattice privacy planters and gave our deck a skirt. We also had a pond installed on the other side which is absolutely gorgeous so make sure to check that out.
Eventually we used the same fencing for the duck run (exterior fence, we have a predator proof duck run for times we weren’t supervising).
We used the double gates for them and used the single panel for the dog.
Single Panel as an Alternative to the Gate
This is the single panel that we use as an alternative to the gate, seeing our dog was able to easily open the gate. We just connected it to the ground pole on the right side and did not connect it on the left side.
We use a Mega Cuff to keep it closed. As you can see, he’s attempted to chew through it to no avail.
The thing I like best about this is that it’s hard enough to open that my 4 year old still has trouble unclipping it (no guarantees, but it seems to stop him pretty well).
This is great when we have the pool in the yard during the summer, although it’s an above ground pool and he’s a pretty good listener so it’s not likely to be an issue for him, as much as it would be for the baby (who is getting older and I’ll probably need to add our DIY deck gate back on). And of course, we have the pond so I don’t want them falling in that either.
If you love projects for your pets, make sure to check out my doggy bed with PVC, the DIY dog bowl holder, easy braided fleece dog toy, and the crate table topper that I made for my pups!
Please share and pin this post!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day3 minutes
Estimated Cost: $300
Install a convenient fenced in dog run that is no-dig, and it can be built in one day!
- Grand Empire Fence Panel: No Dig Decorative Fence x 10 panels
- Empire Grand Post/Stakes x 12
- Grand Empire XL Gate x 1
- Mark where you want your fence to go. I used my tiller, which loosened the earth where the posts would go.
- Lay out the fences and posts to make sure you have the right measurements.
- Take the post/stake screw off and put the stake into the ground using a mallet.
- Hold up your fence and put the post through the circles of the fence.
- Push into the stake circle.
- Repeat this all the way around with two fences connecting at one stake/post.
- Connect the gates the same way.
Did you make this project?
Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram
Google Web Story: No-Dig Dog Fence Run
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Posts no dig
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion in our household about the feasibility of fencing in our backyard. Why? With summer coming up, we need a way to corral our precious little monsters (i.e. 2-year old twins) in the backyard and away from our busy street. Plus we have a dog that we never felt fully comfortable tying to a lead. She deserves open space to run.
But fencing requires time and money, both of which we lack. We don’t have the budget to hire a contractor to install, and honestly, don’t have time and energy to dig and pour concrete footings.
Enter the “No Dig” Fence
Luckily we discovered another option, the “No Dig” (or sometimes spelled “No-Dig”) fence. So we decided to install this No Dig fence and see if it could stand up to our active family.
What is a No Dig Fence?
Unlike traditional fences, the innovative design of a No Dig fence doesn’t require augering and cementing of posts. Instead, the fence is secured by merely driving steel spikes into the ground. Once the spikes are installed, fence panels are attached by connecting the panel eyelets to the spike posts. This is an easy DIY project than any homeowner can tackle.
I’ll admit up front that No Dig fences are not meant for heavy duty work. These No Dig fences are ideal for fencing in gardens and walkways, as well as light duty child and pet containment. While our twins are active, they are small and aren’t excessive climbers. And our dog, while large, is usually not the type to jump up and push a fence over.
So if you don’t need a heavy duty fence, No Dig fencing is a perfect economical option. Besides, who wants to rent power augers, dig deep holes, tear up the yard, remove excavated dirt and pour hundreds of pounds of concrete, and pay a lot of money when you can install a stylish fence in a fraction of time and for a fraction of the money of traditional fences? Overall, these No Dig fences look like a good buy.
Why Buy a No Dig Fence?
There are a variety of reasons to choose a No Dig fence over a traditional fence: economical, easy to install, increased curb appeal, perfect for renters, etc…. If help you weigh your options if No Dig fencing is right for you, check out these 7 Pros and Cons of No Dig Fencing.
Where Can You Buy No Dig Fence?
Admittedly we only looked at the usual suspect home improvement stores (Lowes and HomeDepot) for our No Dig fence. After installing our fence and publishing this post, my most commonly asked question was “Where did you buy your fence?”. So I did some digging (pun intended 😉) and found two additional companies (WamBam and Zippity) that also manufacture and sell No Dig fence. And they look pretty amazing. I probably should have done more research before buying ours. Click here to learn more about who makes No Dig fences and where you can buy them.
We chose the Grand Empire XL No Dig fencing. It’s part of the Empire fencing series at Lowes and comes in 3 different sizes: Standard Empire, Grand Empire and Grand Empire XL. These fences are constructed of a durable powder-coated finish that prevents rusting and stands the test of time and weather. They come with a 5-year limited warranty.
When we bought this fence a few years ago it was manufactured by IronCraft who also makes traditional fencing. Since then, they have spun off the No Dig fencing into a new entity – Yardlink Fences.
We debated between the Grand Empire and the Grand Empire XL. There is only about a 5 inch difference between the two. Ultimately we preferred the tall height on the Grand Empire XL – it gave us the best sense of security for our younger children and larger dog.
Multi-Purpose No Dig Metal Fence
While I’m a big fan of the style and grace of the Grand Empire XL, I wanted to mention that we decided against this particular fence in the portions of our backyard not visible from the front of our house. Instead we bought the Multi-Purpose No Dig Metal Fence, also made by the same manufacturer.
Why? Honestly budget. It was less than ½ of the price of the already economical Grand Empire XL. But on the downside, it has less style and more of a utilitarian look, and lighter than the Grand Empire XL.
This fence meets a range of needs and purposes. Installation is similar to the Grand Empire, if not easier. It’s incredibly easy to take down so it is great for road trips or in the garden year after year.
For gates, no separate panel is needed. Instead, a latch post converts the regular fence panel into a gate. Plus there is a 10-Year limited warranty.
OK, back to the Grand Empire XL fence installation…..
- Measuring Tape
- Fence panels (gate if desired)
- Fence posts and stakes. Buy 1 more post than panel (i.e. 5 panels need posts)
- Block of wood
- Rubber mallet
- Phillips head screwdriver
Note that in addition to the regular fence panel and post with spike, the Grand Empire XL also comes with a gate and shorter transitional panel pictured below.
Images courtesy of Lowes.com
Grand Empire Installation Steps
The manufacturer of the Empire fence, Yardlink Fences, has a YouTube video on How to Install the No Dig fences broken down into 3 steps. Watch the video, it definitely helped us!
However, we homeowners know from experience that no home improvement project is ever truly simple. Let’s face it, there is always a trail and error stage. But even with a few trail and errors, the ease of installing this fence exceeded my expectations.
After going through the motions of installing our fence, I’d modify Yardlink / IronCraft’s 3 step installation into the 8 steps below. And that’s still pretty quick and easy for home improvement projects!
Measure the length of area to be fenced to determine how many panels you need. Note that for the Grand Empire XL fencing, the lengths of the gate and transitional panels differ from the main panel.
Tip: Mix up the main panels, gate and transitional panels to get to your desired length of fencing. We installed the shorter transition pieces at an angle on either end of the fence to fully enclose our backyard with no gaps. Don’t want the kids and dogs squeezing out! Plus the transitional panels provided a classy decorative look to finish off the end of the fence.
Using a piece of string, run a straight line along the path of the intended location of the fence. It ensures the fence goes in a straight line. If you don’t have string, you can draw a line with chalk or spray paint.
Lay out the panels and gates along the string to confirm your desired configuration.
Tip: This seems obvious, but I’ve made stupid mistakes before, so I’m going to say it. Stay clear of installing your fence right on top of an in-ground sprinkler system to avoid potential punctures.
Tip: Be wary of installing this fence near trees with shallow roots, like maples. You aren’t going to be able to hammer spikes through these roots.
Detach the screw that connects the spike from the post using a Phillips head screwdriver. The screw can be thrown away.
Using a hammer and block of wood, drive the spike into the ground. Using a block of wood in between the hammer and spike will protect the spike from damage or chipped paint.
Tip: Driving spikes into moist grass makes installation easier. Schedule the installation after a rainy day.
Tip: Make sure the wings of the spike are driven level with the ground. Otherwise the fence panel will go in crooked.
Tip: If the spike doesn’t drive in all the way, there is an unexpected obstruction (likely a rock or tree root). You will have to drive the spike around the area until it successfully goes all the way into the ground. This is a bit frustrating since this adjustment of one spike causes a domino effect of having to re-position all the remaining fencing. (We had to shift our fence twice).
(Yet Another) Tip: To minimize frustrations with unexpected obstructions, start with the spikes in the area with the most limited “wiggle room”. For example, our limited area was where the fence ended up against our house. We have only about a 1-2 feet of dirt between our house and a concrete walkway where would could position a post.
Secure panel by aligning its panel eyelets over the spike. Then, slide post through eyelets and into the spike.
Tip: This step is not as easy as it looks. This process went a lot smoother with two people – one to hold the panel while the other aligns and pushes the post into the stake.
Tip (yes, yet another tip 😉): The panels and posts sometimes didn’t perfectly align up with the spike for us. How did we fix? We made adjustments by pounding the spike or post with a rubber mallet. Or (while we don’t officially recommend), we adjusted the spike by rocking it with our feet. (Hey, don’t knock it until you tried it…. it worked!)
Repeat with the next panel as necessary to enclose area. Ensure that the end panel is secured with a post.
Tip: When connecting a panel, pull a little bit on the completed fence to ensure the this next panel will be installed with limited give. Since this is a No Dig fence, admittedly the foundation isn’t as strong as traditional fences so expect some give/ wiggle if pushed. But we found pulling a little on the completed panels as we progressed down the fence helped minimize wiggle.
Tip (Final one, I promise!): Be considerate of how you overlap your eyelets. At first we did placed the eyelet of the new panel on top of the established panel as we built our fence, but then the fence looked like it was going uphill. So we staggered how we stacked the eyelets and the fence looked more level.
Enjoy! Breathe easier that the pets and kids are corralled in their new fenced-in area. Bask in the glory of enhanced curb appeal. Wait for the neighbors to walk by and compliment your new fence.
This is a high quality fence at a reasonable cost. It’s an easy install that provides security as well as enhanced curb appeal. As a homeowner, what more could I want?
I hope sharing our experience and tips learned through our installation help yours go smoothly. Love to hear your thoughts – drop me a line in the comments section.
If you are considering installing a fence be sure to check out this post “Where Can You Buy a No Dig Fence?” to make sure you purchase the right style, color, materials and height.
If you loved reading this post, just wait until you see what I have planned in the future! Be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.
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