How to Build Indoor & Outdoor Runs

by James Roberts
    Improve an animal's environment with indoor and outdoor runs.

    Improve an animal's environment with indoor and outdoor runs.

    Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Indoor and outdoor runs are controlled cage extensions that run inside and outside the wall of the home or kennel. They allow the animals to move freely between environments without restriction. The runs can be constructed of wood and chicken wire on the economical side, or steel poles and chain-link fencing on a grander scale. There is typically a vertical piece of heavy, split vinyl or rubber sheeting at the wall of the structure to provide an air gasket. Some kennels or homes have hard-surface doors at the wall of the structure that can be lowered during inclement weather.

    Step 1

    Measure, mark and use a reciprocating saw to cut a 30-by-30-inch opening in the wall at ground level, where the run is to extend outdoors. Frame the edges of both sides to match their surfaces.

    Step 2

    Measure and cut a 34-by-30-inch piece of marine vinyl sheeting. Fit it into the center of the width of the opening and staple it into place. Use a straightedge and utility knife to cut a slit in the vinyl from the bottom edge to within 1 inch of the top edge.

    Step 3

    Measure and use a post-hole digger to dig a pair of 10-inch holes, 18 inches deep at 6 feet from outside of the wall and dig another pair touching the outside of the wall. Make the holes 5 feet apart. Measure and cut four 2-by-82-inch pieces of galvanized steel pipe. Sink, plumb and immobilize the four pipes in the bottoms of the four holes. Mix bagged concrete mix in a mortar trough with a hoe. Pour concrete in the holes to ground level. Allow the concrete to cure for four days.

    Step 4

    Measure and use wire cutters to cut two 72-by-60-inch pieces of chain-link fencing fabric. Attach 5-foot stretchers, pull them tight and bolt them into place as the sides of the run.

    Step 5

    Measure and use a power hacksaw to cut two 1 1/2-by-72-inch top rails and bolt them to the stretched fabric.

    Step 6

    Hang a lockable 5-by-5-foot chain-link gate enclosing the two sides of the run.

    Step 7

    Repeat the run construction procedure on the inside of the structure.

    Items You Will Need

    • Tape measure
    • Framing square
    • Permanent marker
    • Reciprocating saw
    • Circular saw
    • Marine-grade vinyl sheeting
    • Stapler
    • Straightedge
    • Utility knife
    • Post-hole digger
    • 2-inch galvanized steel pipe
    • Power hacksaw
    • Plumb line
    • Premixed bagged concrete
    • Concrete trough
    • Hoe
    • 60-inch chain-link fencing fabric
    • Wire cutters
    • 60-inch chain-link stretcher bars
    • Socket set
    • 1 1/2-inch chain-link top-rail pipe
    • 5-by-5-foot hinged chain-link gate


    • Alter the materials and/or dimensions of the indoor run to match the environment.


    • Wear hearing and eye protection.


    • "Kennel Building and Management"; Mario Migliorini; 1987

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    James Roberts began writing professionally in 1989, focusing initially on methodologies, multimedia courses and how-to articles on information technology, business, software, health care and relationships. His published works appear on various online article databases and he holds a Bachelor of Science in business from West Virginia University.

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