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!

How to Replace Window Locks

If you live in a home that is more than 10 or so years old, chances are the locks on your windows are wearing out and may need to be replaced. Every time you go to open or close a window, that locking and latching mechanism is put under stress. This is normal though, and I’m going to talk about how to replace window locks and latches.

The good news is, these locks and latches are easy to replace and are a fraction of the cost of a new window. So, this spring, when you go to open the windows and a latch or lock breaks – don’t worry, take a look at these easy steps below to replace it!

Types of Window Locks and Latches

Most typical modern windows have a locking mechanism at the top of the lower window that locks it into place with the stationary upper window. This makes it impossible (or at least near impossible) to open the bottom sliding portion in a normal manner. These locking mechanism’s look something like the picture below – note there are different variants, but this is typical. Take a look at Home Depot’s option – they have all different styles.

window locks

Window Lock Location

Take a look at the picture above and note the two sections of the window locking mechanism – the portion with the lever is attached to the lower sliding part of the window and the static receptacle is attached to the static upper window frame. By simply turning the lever arm, a latch is moved into the static receptacle to prevent movement of the lower window.

Window Sash Lock Replacement

Both the lever housing and the static receptacle are fastened to the window frame by small screws. In order to replace these locks in the event they become worn out, one must remove the screws. In the picture above, you can see the screws can be removed with a Phillips head screw driver.

Before removing the latch and housing mechanism, be sure the screw heads are free of dirt or foreign debris – this will help ensure you do not strip out the screws and cause excess damage to you window.

After removing the old latch housing, clean the window frame thoroughly and replace with the new mechanism.  It can be helpful to remove on of these locks and take it to a hardware store with you in order to be sure you’re purchasing the correct one. Another idea is simply purchase it on Amazon!

Window Tilt Latch

There may be other mechanisms on your window frame next to the lock that prevent your window from tilting inward. Many windows have this tilting feature to make it easier to clean the outside of the window. By operating the tilt locks, you enable the top of the bottom half window to tilt inward for access to the outside.

dirty worn out window tilt latch

When operating these spring loaded latches, they tend to wear out and break, requiring replacement just like the locking mechanisms.

Window Tilt Latch Replacement

Replacing these latches are just as easy as replacing a lock – they are held on the window frame by two screws. Be sure to take care when removing these screws that you do not strip them out and damage the window frame.

Just as the locking mechanisms were replaced, the new latch can be installed where the old latch was removed. Be sure to check the operation of the latch after installed and make sure its not being hung up or obstructed. If the spring mechanism seems difficult to operate, do not force it, only remove the latch from the window, identify the issue, and reinstall. Sometimes the spring is not lined up during installation and can get pinched between the housing and the window frame.

Common Parts

Window locks and latches are very common parts – window manufacturers realize that these small, plastic moving parts will break many times over the life of a window. That is why it is easy to find these parts at any local hardware store, or even more conveniently, Amazon. So take a look this spring as you are opening windows or going through and doing a spring cleaning. If you have broken or worn out locks or latching mechanisms on your windows, replace them to ensure your family’s safety as well as the health of your windows.

Garage organization ideas on a budget

In sticking with my recent theme, I want to talk about garage organization ideas on a budget. I’ll admit, I don’t like to spend money, and it’s especially hard for me to part ways with cash on things that really matter. I know, this makes no sense, but its how my brain works.

garage organization ideas

Garages are generally used for two things – parking your car, or storing everything that doesn’t have a place in the house. I use my garage for the latter, which is why it was important for me to develop some sort of organizational tool to keep my things.

As we both know by now, there are plenty of pre-fabricated shelving and storage solutions out there – My wife told me about a store called The Container Store – which I’m sure has exactly what you need in this instance. Again, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably interested in the ‘budget’ portion of the title.

So here you are, wondering how to organize your garage on a budget and I just told you about The Container Store.

Anyway, lets cut to the chase and start brainstorming!

Pre-fabricated Garage Shelving

Wire Shelving

Not all of the pre-fab stuff is super expensive – think wire shelving! Lowe’s has 4ft sections of wire shelving for $20 . This stuff is cheap and durable – the website says each section will hold 350lbs and it’s sure to remind you of your grandmothers laundry room every time you walk into the garage. I’m not hating on this – it is seriously a great budget friendly shelving solution for your garage.

Stand-along Plastic Shelving

If you want some pre-fabricating shelving that looks a little nicer, check out these 4 shelve units from Home Depot. While this unit is a little more expensive than the previous wire shelves, it’s stand-alone and much more aesthetically pleasing. I’ve owned a system like this and it worked just fine. According to the website, each shelf is capable of holding 100lbs – so capacity is reduced, but overall not a bad shelving unit for less than ninety dollars.

Pegboard Organization

Pegboard works great to organize and hang hand tools or store fishing poles. Not only is pegboard cheap and easy to install on any wall in your garage, but you can cut it to a custom size and fit. You can even get pegboard in colors other than cardboard brown!

Hang on Rafter Hooks

Rafter hooks are another pre-fab idea that is cheap and easy to install. These hooks screw into the bottom of rafters (exposed or behind sheetrock ceiling) and allow you to hang things like bicycles, yard equipment, kayaks, or even more storage containers! Be sure to take note of the maximum weight allowed for the hooks you purchase; you wouldn’t want anything to fall on you in the garage!

Do It Yourself Garage Organization Ideas

Now on to the DIY garage storage solutions! I know that these are the things you are most interested in – you probably could have found the other ideas on your own by searching Google. Wait, is that how you got here!?

Repurpose Old Kitchen Cabinets

If you have recently remodeled your kitchen, or plan on doing so in the future, consider repurposing your cabinets for the garage. Kitchen cabinets along with the countertops are a great way to storage space, as well as a great idea to organize tools in a garage. Personally, I like to use kitchen upper cabinets as lowers in the garage. They are not as deep as the lowers so when you install a countertop, there is a larger overhang allowing you to sit or stand at the counter like a workbench without your feet hitting the bottoms.

I know, great idea, right? But what if you don’t have cabinets? Take a look on any local marketplace app to see if people are selling them. Although I get discouraged by these apps sometimes because people think their trash is made of gold. Check out the local landfill too – because just as some people try and sell their trash, others throw away good stuff!

Build Garage Shelves with 2X4s

This is one of my favorite do it yourself garage organization ideas – custom shelves are, as the name implies, super customizable, easy to build, and relatively cheap for the amount of storage space you end up with. Custom wooden shelves are not only really strong, but they’ll last forever as well! Keep reading and I’ll outline what It will take you to build some on your own.

Supplies List for Garage Shelves

  • 2X4 studs for frame
  • At least 3/8” thick plywood for shelfs
  • Wood screws to fasten frame and shelves
  • Saw to cut 2X4s
  • Saw to cut plywood
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • Screw gun

Overview of Construction

Take your time when building garage shelves – make sure you build them large enough for what you plan on using them for. There is not need for treated lumber when building these garage organization shelves because they are inside of your garage and should not be getting we normally.

Pine lumber is really easy to mark and cut with just about any saw you have access to – I prefer using an electric miter saw for the studs, but you could easily cut these by hand if you needed to. If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice that I only put frame legs in the from on the shelves. This is because I secured the back of each shelf to the studs behind the garage wall. While this adds strength to the shelving unit, as well as reduced the amount of studs needed in construction, it also makes this shelving unit a permanent fixture – so no moving this one around!

Cost of Garage Shelves

Assuming you have the tools necessary to construct this shelving unit, the pricing breakdown is below.

2X4 Pine Lumber – 8ft stud12$3.35
19/32″ plywood, 4’X8′2$24.17
2-1/2″ Deck ScrewsBox of 86$9.98
Total Cost$98.52
Shelving Cost

These DIY garage shelves are comparable in cost to the plastic 4-shelf product I highlighted above, yet have much more usable storage space. The shelves I constructed have 48 square feet of usable space whereas the plastic shelves only have 16 square feet! That’s three times the space, not to mention the storage room underneath the first shelf!


I kept the DIY portion of this brief because there are so many ways to customize shelving like this – don’t do exactly what I did because it may not work for you. Use this as a template – or motivation to build a custom setup of your own! When it comes to garage organization ideas, and especially ideas on a budget, you need to make the solution work for you. By taking your time and getting your hands dirty, you can save a ton of money and end up with a solution that fits you and your family better than any off-the-shelf solution could (see what I did there?).

Let us know if my garage organization ideas on a budget inspired you to tackle a DIY project. How did it come out? Do you have a better idea than me? I’d love to hear about it!