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!

4 Reasons to buy an electric pressure washer today

I’m American. I like things that are bigger, faster, louder, and more powerful. Everything I own is red white and blue, and runs on fossil fuels. Well, almost everything.

If you would have told me to buy an electric pressure washer 5 years ago, I would have laughed and asked why? So, my neighbors can laugh at me? And I never bought one – my wife did.

I scoffed at it and told her I’d rather throw my shoulder out trying to start my old gas powered one every spring after the gas congealed in the carburetor from sitting too long.

Rightfully disgusted, I held my position for about 2 hours until I heard the sweet purr of the water hitting the driveway – something I had never heard before, because it was drowned out by the drone of a gasoline powered engine.

I immediately life was immediately changed the moment I snatched the washer wand from my wife’s hands and drew a smiley face in the years-worth of dirt buildup on my driveway.

“This thing is awesome” – me

“Dude, it’s so quiet” – me

“Why didn’t anyone tell me about these before” – me (they told me, I just didn’t listen)

So, here it is – an almost comprehensive list of why you should buy an electric pressure washer.

Its electric – duh.

I’m not going to lecture you on why you should reduce your use of fossil fuels and why it’s important to switch to renewables. I mean, your electricity probably isn’t coming from a renewable source, but this is a start.

It is cheaper to operate an electric motor than it is a gasoline powered motor. If you’re paying the U.S. average of $0.145 per kilowatt hour for electricity, it costs about 10 cents per horsepower * hour. In other words, a 1 horse power electric motor costs you 10 cents an hour to run at constant output.

A gasoline motor with equivalent output will cost you about 40 cents per hour to run (considering $5 / gallon gas price)

With gas prices at a historical high right now, electric pressure washers are music to my ears.

Noise pollution

Some people could care less about how loud their equipment is. I implied above that I am one of those people – I am not. The ‘bigger, faster, louder’ part was a joke. I used to have a neighbor that would weed eat his yard at 10pm, for no less than 2 hours at a time – I’m starting to think he was just trying to have some alone time. Anyway, the sound of a 2-stroke motor screaming at you from 3 houses away for two hours at 10pm is not my cup of tea.

Now, that may be an extreme, buy we all have been in a situation where someone was cutting their grass, weed eating, cutting trees, or whatever while you were just trying to relax on your back porch. Or maybe you were working from home, in an important meeting (on your back porch), or maybe you were in your kitchen. Gas motors from lawn equipment make a lot of noise! Switching to electric is not only good for the environment, but its courteous to your neighbors as well. Now you’ve done two good deeds!

Electric pressure washers require less maintenance

I alluded to this in my introduction to this topic. Have you ever let gasoline in a carburetor for an extended period of time? It solidifies and ruins the carburetor, the seals, and the fuel line. Every season you need to drain the fuel tank and engine of gas or add an expensive fuel stabilizer to it so it doesn’t solidify.

Spoiler alert – you do not have to do this with an electric motor! Guess what else you don’t have to do? Yep – change the spark plug. Or change the oil. Again, I love electric motors.

Electric pressure washers have pressure too!

I used to think electric pressure washers were weak. I didn’t think they could tackle the tough job of peeling off 1/16th inch of concrete from my driveway every year. And even if it does clean it, the motor will probably burn up, right?

This is absolutely not the case. Electric pressure washers some in many sizes, anywhere from 1200 psi up to 3000 psi or more.  Sure, with a quick search I can find a gas-powered washer that produces 3200 psi. That’s more. But let’s be real – 3000 is pretty close to 3200.


I have owned the same one for about 5 years. This was by no means an expensive model – it produces a maximum of 1800 psi and is powerful enough to do it all around my house. Clean the driveway, the siding, and the cars. I have run it for 5 hours straight on a 100F day in the middle of the summer. It still works.

It’s crazy that I ever doubted the quality and reliability of an electric pressure washer. It’s not like I’m a professional pressure washer user or anything. I’m just your everyday suburban user of high-pressure water from time to time. Even if I did wash with pressure for a living, I would now consider buying an electric one!

I hope this helped you get off the fence. And while your off it, hit it with that pressure washer!

Save Money by Cutting Your Grass

Photo by Nechama Lock on Unsplash

 I’ve been living in suburban America now for my entire adult life. My first house was built on what looked like an old airfield on the outskirts of a military town in eastern North Carolina. There was no HOA, we had roaming packs of dogs that would knock over your trashcans right after you took them out on Thursday evening, and only about 20% of the yards were decently maintained at any given time. Even if you don’t like doing yardwork, I’m about to make a solid argument that you should save money by cutting your own grass.

Suburban Lawn Standards

Fast forward a bunch of years and I now live in a neighborhood that could be considered the polar opposite. Strategically placed poplar trees lining the streets, immaculately maintained yards, and neighbors that adhere to the leash law! I love dogs, just not wild packs of Carolina yard dogs. One thing has not changed though -I still enjoy cutting my grass.

I was a little intimidated when I moved into the neighborhood, especially because the house across the street from me had the nicest lawn I’d ever seen in my life (I’m not exaggerating). Not to mention, the house we’d just bought had two huge Bradford pear trees sucking up any bit of moisture in the front yard, leaving it half dead, and in need of more than a little attention.

Luckily my neighbor across the street was awesome – he shared some tips and reminded me that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the street (but it was, and it always confused me that he’d say this). He cut his grass once a week or so, put some water on it in the spring into early summer, and added a little bit of seed in the fall to replace whatever dried and died the summer prior. The guy also didn’t worry too much about how green it was, if it looked better than the neighbors, or if he was doing enough. He did the basics and he had a gorgeous yard because of it.

Keeping up with the Jones’

As we settled in, I noticed that every day of the week there was a different pickup truck hauling a different trailer with different lawnmowers operated by different landscapers at each house on our street. I understand that landscaping is a profession and I’m not discounting their work – remember, I’m here talking about practical ways to save a few dollars, and this is one of them. CYOG! Just cut your own grass. My neighbor across the street and I were the only houses on our block that cut our own grass. Mine was still not as green as his, although he often insinuated that his was not as green as I thought it was (still confuses me), but there was no serious difference between our yards and the “professionally maintained” yards on our street.

The HOA didn’t send us a dirty letter for not keeping up with the status quo, and our housing value did not plunge because we refused to hire someone to do it for us. We just cut our own grass. Again, I realize there are situations where you cannot, due to physical ability, time constraints, or any other anomaly that life throws at us from time to time. I’m not saying that this is the only way, just one way to save you some bucks. Check out my cost analysis below!

Initial Investment

140cc gasoline push mower from store of your choice –                  $369

2-gallon gas can from same store of your choice –                            $17

87 octane E-10 Gasoline –                                                                         $5 / gallon

Scroll Down if You Don’t Like Math!

               For gasoline estimate, I used Brake Specific Fuel Consumption, or a measure of fuel efficiency in internal combustion engines to estimate the amount of fuel needed per year.

Some assumptions

Yard takes 1 hour to cut (this is about the case with my 0.3-acre property)

0.5 lbs/hp-hr corresponding to the fuel efficiency of 87 octane gasoline

Adding 50% to the fuel consumption estimate – the BSFC estimate does not account for the load the grass puts on the output shaft of the engine.

140cc engine making 3.25 horsepower

1 gallon of gasoline weighs 6.25 lbs


3.25 HP X 0.5 lbs/hp-hr X 1/6.25 lbs = 0.26 gallons per hour X 1.5 (conservative) = 0.39 gph

So, we have your typical push mower using about 0.4 gallons for every hour of use. Let’s say you cut your yard 40 out of 52 weeks, your using 15.6 gallons every year – costing you somewhere in the neighborhood of $78.

Your first-year investment is $464.

Assuming the lawnmower will have a service life of 10 years, let’s see what the 10-year investment looks like.

Assume the lawnmower will incur maintenance costs of 10% per year and gas will follow a meager 3% inflation year on end (laughable right?)

The 10-year lifetime cost for the lawnmower of $957.

The gasoline will cost you $894 over the 10-year period.

So, What Does it Cost?

So, over a 10-year period, cutting your own grass will cost about $1851.

Professional Lawn Care

Now, what does professional lawncare cost?

From a quick google search, I found a conservative figure of $30 for a quarter acre.

I’ve noticed that some of my neighbors get their lawn cut once every two weeks, while others every week. For this estimate, we’ll use 25 weeks out of the year – again, trying to be conservative.

$30 / cut X 25 cuts / year = $750 / year X 10 years = $7500! But we all know inflation affects living costs, which in turn drives up service costs.

With 3% year over year inflation, the cost of your lawn service is $8597.


By cutting your own grass, you’re reducing your costs by 364% over 10 years – or about $6750.

Go ahead and put that $6750 in your IRA and thank me in 20 years.