Fencing Solutions for Dogs

As the spring time approaches and the weather warms across the U.S., one thing is on everyone’s mind – spending more time outside. I even gave up an hour of sleep last night for an extra hour of daylight! That’s how you know its getting serious. As we clean up our yards and make plans to enjoy them, be sure to think about fencing solutions for dogs. Fences are not only a great way to keep unwanted wildlife and people out of your yard, but also an excellent way to protect your dogs!

Fencing to Keep Pets Safe

Keeping our dogs (and other pets) safe is a serious concern. According to LostPetSearch.com, 11-16% of pets will go missing at some point withing a 5 year period. Furthermore, depending on the study, only somewhere between 70-90% of these dogs are found. Data like this puts into perspective the importance of keeping your family pet safe and secure. These backyard fencing solutions will help you achieve that level of safety while giving your dog (or cat, lizard, or whatever you have) the ability to enjoy the outdoors with the family.

Best Backyard Fence for Dogs

In my experience as a home and dog owner, the hands down best fence to keep your four legged best friend safe is a six foot privacy fence. The privacy fence is an excellent fencing solution for dogs because of its height and design. The typical privacy fence is constructed with solid wood boards positioned one next to the other. This design provides for an increased level of privacy, and even more important, security for you and your dog. Neighbors or people driving by cannot see into your backyard and your dog will have less temptation to escape. Again, I have found this is the best backyard fence for dogs in regard to security. Privacy fences can cost you about $15 to $25 per linear foot depending on the features.

Split Rail Fencing

The house I’m in now has a combination of split rail and privacy fence in the backyard. The back of the property has privacy fencing that my neighbor installed before I moved in. I decided to fence off the other two sides of the backyard with split rail due to the cost as well as the landscaping (we like to see through the fence across our neighbor’s green, sprawling yards.

fencing solutions for dogs

The split rail fence consists of posts evenly placed about 10 feet apart, 3 wooden rails between them, and a 2” x 2” mess wire fence attached to it. I was not as concerned with privacy in this house because of how far apart our homes are and how they are situated. We are also fortunate to have a (somewhat) well behaved pooch -and she’s only about 20 pounds.

I’m not concerned about her jumping over the shorter, 4 foot tall split rail. Although we are happy with this style fence, the lack of privacy can be a concern for some dogs that are prey driven as they can see animals outside of their backyard and be tempted to escape – just something to keep in ind. If you’re to have someone install split rail fencing, it will set you back about $20 per linear foot.

Chain Link Fencing for Dogs

Chain link can be an excellent choice for fencing in a backyard with animals. Most chain link fence is 4’ tall and again lacks the element of privacy, but is more affordable like split rail. Maybe you have moved into a house that already has chain link, or the yard is partially fenced and you want to complete it. Some may just prefer the look of chain link fencing – either way, this is a durable fence solution that will keep your dogs just as safe. A quick look on the web shows that chain link costs about $10 – $20 per linear foot installed.

Temporary Fencing Solutions for Dogs

Not everyone is ready to spend the money or tackle a project such as installing a backyard fence and that is 100% understandable. This does not mean your dog cannot safely enjoy the outdoors with you the spring and summer. I’ve put together some quick dog fence ideas to enable maximum fun with your four legged friend.

Temporary Vinyl Fence

For less than $1 per linear foot, you can construct a fairly sturdy fence that will contain your pet – and the best part is, you can easily take it down when you’re not using it. Lowes sells 100’ rolls of 4’ tall vinyl fencing for about $40 per roll. Pair that with some a 4’ U-post every 10 feet or so and you have a temporary setup that costs a fraction of what  permanent fence would cost.

I have even found this setup to work well within the confines of my backyard to keep my dog out of gardens or mulched areas. Last year I put up a 3’ tall fence around our raised beds and it worked wonders.

Outdoor Kennels and Fence Panels

Another temporary option is to get a pre-fabricated outdoor kennel. There are many options out there that include modular fencing panels – you can add to or take away panels to make the kennel the right size for your dog. They come in different heights, some even have tops like a cage. Again, I endorse this as a temporary option, I wouldn’t advise keeping your dog unsupervised in something like this.

Tie Outs

Let us not forget about the original low budget solution to getting fido some sun without him/her running off into said sunset – the tie out. I love being able to put my dog on a tie out when we are working in the front yard, or when we take her to a friends house that doesn’t have a fence. Tie outs work great for well-behaved dogs, but if your dog is prone to running away or is super afraid all the time, you may want to ease your way into this one. Tie outs are only as good as the anchor – if you tie your dog to a plastic chair, your dog may run away with the chair attached!

Fencing Solutions for Dogs – Takeaways

There are many ways to make sure your family pet is able to get outside and enjoy the weather without getting lost, stolen, or attacked. Solutions range from 20’ security fences to tie outs, all of them having a different level of security and freedom for you buddy. I present you with these options as a way to explore what’s out there and how it can help you and your pets in the future. This list is not exhaustive as there are hundreds of solutions in between – let us know if you have a fencing solution for dogs that I haven’t covered – we’d love to hear your ideas!

Manage Unexpected Home Costs Through Knowledge and Understanding

Over the years, home costs can seem quite unexpected. We all know things wear out and break, yet we tend to put it to the back of our mind. I read an article today about how much money someone has spent on home repairs over a certain period of time. They mentioned they bought the house new and around the 10-year mark they were hit with tens of thousands of dollars in unexpected home costs. I thought to myself, yep, homes are expensive – that’s why you should understand what you’re getting into and expect to put money back into the house.

Out Of Touch

Where the article lost my interest is the author began talking about how they made sure they had a years’ worth of living expenses on hand before buying a home, plus whatever extra thousands they had saved for repairs. They wrapped it up by proclaiming that you should be prepared with an emergency fund, and how upset they were that they’re house cost them money. Good thing they had like $60k in savings, right?

Your Home is a Solid Investment

So, a couple of things I want to talk about – first of all, the only reason you should be upset that you had to spend money on your house is if you have to repair or replace something you outright neglected. You should be upset at yourself for not maintaining it properly. Houses WILL cost you money – but you are putting YOUR money into YOUR investment. Be proud of your home and buy it what it deserves! If you ignore problems or let them get out of hand, they will cost you more money in the long run.

We’re All Just Trying to Make a Living

Next, for me, when I read these cookie-cutter, out of touch articles that tell you to have $100k on hand incase you want to take a trip to Cabo, etc… It makes me ill. According to BankRate.com, the median bank account balance in the U.S. in 2019 was $5,300. The mean, or average, was much higher, at $41,600. This data tells us that half of the bank accounts in the U.S. in 2019 had $5,300 or less in them.

The average is misleading because it factors in bank accounts with very high balances. Remember, the average is the sum of ALL accounts divided by the number of accounts. So no, the average American does not have 1 year-worth of savings on hand. But I can tell you this, over 65% of Americans reported themselves as homeowners in the first quarter of 2022. Don’t let articles like that one make you feel like you shouldn’t pursue homeownership because you don’t think you have enough money.

Become House Literate – It’ll Save You Money

Last but not least of unexpected home costs, get a good understanding of the ins and outs of a home. Learn about the HVAC system, how it works, and what it costs to properly maintain it. If you have an old system, find out the replacement cost early on before you get hit with a bill you can’t afford. Learn about water heaters and even the electrical and gas systems in your house.

I’m not telling you to spend every evening studying engineering theory and building codes, just brush up on the basics. Did you know that some HVAC companies send sales reps to your hose to quote the job – and these sales reps work on commission? That’s dangerous to the homeowner that doesn’t have a basic understanding of their HVAC system and requirements. In 2015, I had my 1.5-ton heat pump replaced in my old home. I had quotes anywhere between $4500 and $12000. Guess which contractor sent a sales rep?

Your Doing Great, Keep It Up!

I’m sure having a year’s worth of living expenses saved up before purchasing a house is great. Having thousands of dollars for unexpected expenses is great was well. To me though, articles like that are not speaking to the general public. You put numbers like that out there and the message becomes disparaging to many. The thing is, no matter who you are and how fancy your house is, you need to take care of it. You’ll have to spend money sooner or later, but you should always be sure that you’re doing what you can to maintain it properly in order to reduce those expenses – turning unexpected expenses into expected ones.

We’re Here for You

I created this blog with the intent to educate everyday people, home-owner or not, about maintenance, repairs, and all-around home stuff. MyHomie is committed to helping you with relevant, helpful, and most important of all, realistic solutions for your everyday problems around the house. Are you making a fence out of used pallets because that’s all you can afford? Awesome, let’s talk about it!

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

How Your Home Uses Energy

Chances are, if you live somewhere, you use electricity and you pay for it. I’m sure there are some exceptions – you might live off the grid (or in a van down by the river). Electricity is something that we take for granted. We pay our bill every month and that’s the end of it. If you’re interested in learning some electricity basics and how your home uses energy, take a look at this post and comment or email us if you have questions!

Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash

Energy vs. Power

Real quick, before we continue talking about how your home uses energy, I want to differentiate the terms energy and power. In terms of your homes usage, energy is how your usage is listed on your electricity bill. You pay for electricity by the kilowatt-hour (kW-h). Power is the amount of energy an appliance or light bulb will use in a period of time – measured in watt (W) or kilowatt (kW). This is the rate at which energy is transmitted. So think of energy as total amount (you’re paying for total energy used monthly) and think of power as the energy doing work (lighting your house, cooking your food).

How Power is Supplied to your Home

Most residential power in the United States is supplied by either 120-volt or 240-volt, alternating current (AC) electricity. Your power company monitors the amount of energy you use in terms of kilowatt hours (kW-h). They generally have a set, or variable rate that they bill you per kW-h. So, what does all of this mean? How do you know how much power your TV or fan use? If you don’t already have a good understanding of what I’m talking about, or how all of this works, read on. I’m going to try explain all of this in a way that is helpful to the average home-owner.

Basics of Electricity

To kick off this conversation about electricity basics and how your home uses energy, I could start in many places – I mean, we could begin at the electron! But let’s assume that we all understand electricity is the movement of electrons between atoms. This is more likely to happen in the atoms of some materials (conductors) than other materials (insulators). Copper is an example of a great conductor, hence why it is used for residential wiring.

Voltage, Amperage, and Ohms

Voltage is the measure of how much force is behind the electrical current (those moving electrons) moving through your conductor. It’s analogous to pressure in a water pipe. Amperage is the amount of electrical current available in the conductor, or in terms of the water pipe, how much water is in there. Electrical resistance is the measure of opposition of amperage – this is measured in ohms. Anything appliance or device that uses electricity provides resistance.

Energy and Time

Electrical energy can be measured by joules. One joule is equal to the energy dissipated when 1 ampere of electrical current passes through a 1-ohm resistor for 1 second. Now, if you look at how many joules are supplied to a source, you can measure that over time – or say joules per second – this gives you a watt. The watt is a measure of power. One watt is also equal to 1 ampere being “pushed” by 1 volt. So, the watt is your base unit of power. We’ll take it one step further to equate this to your power bill – multiply the power used by time again, and we get the watt-hour. Measure the watts in thousands and you have your kilowatt-hour.

If you broke all of these terms down by their units, you would see that watts (power) is energy divided by time (J/S). Then we multiply the watts by time again, so we actually land back on energy (J/S X hr. = J).  

More specifically (1000 joules / seconds) X 3600 seconds = 3600000 Joules = 1 kW-h

I didn’t get that; can you try again?

Sure! An appliance draws an electrical current over time (kW-h). The kW is the power being supplied – the kW-h is how much of that power was used by the appliance (how much power = energy).

Why are different voltages supplied to my home?

For some larger appliances around your house, like your clothes dryer or air conditioner, 240V electricity is more efficient. These larger appliances usually have large electric motors or heating coils and require more power over time to operate. Watt’s law shows that Power = Voltage X Amperage – so, with higher voltage (that push), you can get more power our of the same Amperage. Your normal appliances, light bulbs, ceiling fans and such are all powered by 110 volts. The outlets for 240V is much different than 110V so you can’t mix them up.

Let’s put our new found knowledge into practice!

Grab a lightbulb from your laundry room, or wherever you keep the extras, and look to see how much power it is rated for. If its an incandescent, it’ll probably say 40 or 60 watts. An LED, much less, probably 8 or 10 watts. This means that when the light is ON, it’s using that amount of power. So, if you have one LED light bulb that uses 8 watts of power and it’s on for 1 hour, you have used 8 W-h of energy. If you leave that same light on for 1,000 hours, you have used 8 kW-h of energy.

The same goes for toaster ovens, your TV, computer, and any other electronic device you own. Now go check everything you own! Multiply the power rating (watts) by usage time and figure out how many kW-h you’re using! Well, that sounds like a lot of work – maybe just let the power company keep track of that.

Saving money with your home’s energy use in mind

This does come in handy when trying to decide if adding that garage refrigerator is worth it. You can do a quick cost analysis of how much it will cost to operate and discuss with your significant other if it’s worth it in order to keep a larger selection of beer on hand. Once you have the kW-h energy usage determined for the refrigerator, multiply it by the rate that your power company charges you for electricity. You can usually find this on their website or on your bill. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average kW-h cost Americans $0.145 in March of 2022!

How does your region compare? Are power prices rising like gas prices in your neck of the woods? Did this article help you understand how your home uses energy?

Let us know, we like to complain as well!