Looking to add a new fence or fencing solution to keep your dog in the yard? Want to see some aluminum-based options or just get some ideas that aren’t standard traditional fences or picket fences? In this article we’ll cover how to choose the best aluminum fence for your dog.
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Table of Contents
- Iron vs Aluminum Fence – Which is Better?
- Types of Aluminum Fence Styles
- Aluminum Fence Post Types
- What’s the Minimum Height for an Aluminum Dog Fence?
- How Much Do Aluminum Fences Cost?
- How Much Does Aluminum Fence Installation Cost?
- How to Install Your Own DIY Aluminum Dog Fence
- Dog-Proof Fencing Considerations
Iron vs Aluminum Fence – Which is Better?
Iron Fencing Material Pros
- Iron has welded cross beams – the joints look more seamless and there are no visible screws
- Does not rot like wood fences
- Great for large dogs
- You can see through the fence – Great if you have a lake, forest, or nice view on the other side of the fence. A wood fence or privacy fence will block this view.
- Iron is stronger, more heavy duty, and less prone to bending or denting
- Other than weight both iron and aluminum are very similar to install
- Higher security – cross beams are welded – you have to break them in order to get through. Even where the fence piece connects to the posts, which are typically screwed together, can be made more secure by using tamper proof screws or even welding these joints permanently.
- More pleasant than vinyl fencing or some picket fences
Iron Fencing Material Cons
- Iron will rust when the paint or protective covering is breached – This requires more maintenance
- Iron is heavier, over twice the weight of aluminum for the same size piece – this makes installation more laborious
- Harder to install on sloped yards – since the cross beams are welded and fixed you need to stair step fence sections up or down a sloped yard. This gives a different look and is slightly harder to install than the aluminum counterpart.
- Can corrode where the iron fence enters the ground if not installed correctly.
- Can’t be used with electric fence
- Interrupts wireless fence and invisible fence signals
Aluminum Fence Pros
- Great for large dogs
- Aluminum fences have larger cross beams
- Does not block view like a privacy fence – Great if you want to keep the view on the other side of the fence. You can see through an aluminum fence so it doesn’t block the view of a lake, forest, or wildlife.
- Less fence maintenance – Does not rot like wood fences or picket fences
- Aluminum cross beams use screws to connect the beams
- Easier to install on sloped yards – since the beams are connected by screws you can angle the cross beams to match the slope of your yard.
- Aluminum doesn’t rust and requires less maintenance
- Aluminum is lighter, easier to transport, and easier to install
- Both iron and aluminum in terms of screwing pieces together, installing posts, etc. are very similar.
- Looks better than vinyl fencing
Aluminum Fence Cons
- Aluminum is not as heavy duty as iron – It’s prone to bending or denting forms of damage
- Lower security – since the cross beams are screwed in you can simply unscrew them and remove vertical pieces to get in.
- Not great for small dogs that can get between the vertical bars. Better to use wooden fences with wider bars.
- Can’t be used with electric fence
Types of Aluminum Fence Styles
There are many types of aluminum fence panels. We’ll cover those briefly first followed by a discussion of aluminum post types.
Watch the video below to see examples of each. Then click here to check out pictures of each type offered by Aluminum Fences Direct.
Common Aluminum Panel Types
- Elegant Arch
- Vinyl Fencing
Aluminum Fence Post Types
- Line Post – Meant to add aluminum fence panels on both sides. Used to continue running the fence. It’ll have holes for cross beams on opposite sides of the post.
- End Post – Used at the end of a line. Has hole connections for cross beams only along one side.
- Corner Post – Used to turn a corner. Holes are on adjacent sides of the post at 90 degree angles.
- Gate End Post – Built like the end post except it’s thicker to handle the weight of the gate. Usually it’s double the thickness of an end post.
- Blank Post – Similar to the gate end post, this piece is thicker and heavier. It’s rarely used in most aluminum fences. It’s primarily used if you have a stand alone gate somewhere that doesn’t connect to aluminum fence panels.
Watch the video below to see examples of the five types of aluminum fence system posts.
What’s the Minimum Height for an Aluminum Dog Fence?
Aluminum fence panels come in sizes of 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, or 6 feet high. How high you choose will depending on the jumping capability of your dog.
In short, we recommend doubling the height of your dog then adding a foot. Most dogs can jump up to twice their height. Sometimes a little more.
Measure height at your dogs front shoulder. Double it. Then add one foot.
That should be high enough to prevent them from jumping out.
There are other considerations that you can read about in our article on choosing the right fence height for your dog.
How Much Do Aluminum Fences Cost?
Aluminum fences cost between $5 to over $30 per linear foot for the parts.
How Much Does Aluminum Fence Installation Cost?
Installation costs range from $15 to $40 per linear foot for aluminum fences.
How to Install Your Own DIY Aluminum Dog Fence
Step 0 – Check Your Local Fencing Regulations
You don’t want to build a fence that doesn’t meet your county or city codes. Check your local planning or building office before you buy or build.
Start with your city then double check your county or province codes. Usually state codes won’t come into play compared to city or county codes.
Step 1 – Read the Fence Instructions
This is key! Most fence suppliers will have a YouTube channel as well to show you how to install the fence. Do watch the example video below.
Step 2 – Mark Out the Locations of the Fence Posts
The instructions will describe how far apart to space the posts based on the length of each fence panel.
Use a chalk line to keep the fence line straight.
Step 3 – Install the First End Post, Panel, and Line Post
This will confirm you have the right post spacing. Post spacing can get tricky as you need to include the width of the posts. It’s easier if you install one or two posts with panels first. Don’t set the concrete yet. Just use this to confirm spacing.
After everything looks good on your first panel or two then you can start setting concrete for the posts and measuring the rest of the posts.
Step 4 – Decide Where to Put the Gate
Mark out the gate location and the gate post locations.
The gate posts need to be a bit wider, usually 1-2 inches, than the gate itself. This gives space for the hinges and lock. Check the instructions for your specific gate and fence.
Step 5 – Consider If You Need to Cut Any Fence Panels
Usually you’ll need to cut a fence panel at one side or the other. Sometimes you’ll need to do this depending on where your gate goes.
In either case, try and reduce panels that need to be cut down to one panel, two at most.
Step 6 – Dig the Remaining Post Holes
It’s easier to do this with a gas-powered post hole digger. Rent or buy one of these or borrow it from a neighbor.
Step 7 – Install the Posts
Choose if you’ll set them with dirt or concrete. Concrete is recommended but it’ll be harder to fix any issues later or change out the fence.
Step 8 – Install the Panels
They usually screw into the posts. See your specific instructions.
Step 9 – Install the Gate
Gate posts should be installed using concrete.
Dog-Proof Fencing Considerations
- Can your dog get in between the vertical bars?
- Can your dog get over the fence? Did you choose the correct fence height for your dog? See our article on fence height and dog jumping capabilities.
- Do you need a coyote roller for the top of the fence system to prevent coyotes from getting in? This will be true for smaller fences.
4. Are you using a wireless fence, invisible fence, or electric fence and will the iron or aluminum fence short circuit the signal?
5. Are you using a shock collar and will the iron or aluminum distort the signal?