We purchased this 13 ft square x 6 foot tall kennel to go against the house where we installed a dog door so our standard poodle can go out through the dog door into the kennel, get fresh air, use the bathroom, and lay in the sun. We chose this item because of the size, it has a roof/cover, and it looked to be straight forward for 2 people to assemble.
Ordering: We looked at many items on multiple websites and ordered this item directly from Aosom rather than purchasing from a 3rd party, so we'd have support, free shipping, and the offer to review the product for a discount. The ordering process was simple and the website showed the product well, although a link to videos would have been helpful.
Shipping/packing: The item arrived in about a week from when we ordered it in several packages via UPS. The chain link fence box was damaged and partially open, but nothing was missing or damaged inside. Once we'd opened everything and confirmed that all the parts were there as best we could, we used a hand truck to move the heavy boxes to where we would assemble the unit.
Assembly: The assembly was more difficult than we expected. The instructions were mainly graphical and did not give enough detail in the areas of things like:
- how far should the door posts be placed from each other to fit the door and latch properly
- where should the roof supports be placed
- how tight to make the connector bolts
- what order to attach the roof support pieces
- whether the upper frame could be attached by two people (it can't once wholly assembled)
- where to place the hinges on the post
- as there weren’t enough self-tapping screws to use on both sides of the post braces, where should we install 1 vs 2
- when during the assembly to drill the self-tapping screws
- how many metal twist ties to use to hold the chain link to the posts and cross bars
So we had to do a lot of guessing and trial and error with redo’s. We thought we'd look for a video that might help us with the installation. We looked at the item web page, at the Aosom website, searched youtube for video, but found nothing helpful. We wrote to Aosom support and they sent us a link to their youtube channel and we found a video there that helped a bit, but had no audio or details mentioned above. We followed the instructions as best we could and it became clear that especially for a frame this big (13’ square) you needed at least 3 people if not 4 to attach the upper frame to the posts and not damage/bend it in the process. If we'd known this, we would have planned for more help. Instead, we took the upper frame apart and attached it in pieces to the posts while supporting the posts until it was all together.
Other assembly comments: We put one side the kennel up against the house and had to leave an opening for the dog door from the house to open into the kennel. So instead of cutting a hole in the chain link, we decided to run the chain link around 3 ½ sides, leaving a gap from a middle post to the next corner post, and start the chain link again. Since we didn’t need the chain link on the house side because the house is the “wall,” we could do this. We went to the hardware store and bought 2 more 6’ metal rods and 8 more chain link clips to hold the rods to the posts. We stretched the chain link to each post as we worked our way around the unit and twist tied the chain link to each post and then continued around. We used the long handles of some large cutters to insert thru the chain link to lever against each pole to stretch the chain link so it is tight. This chain link is plenty adequate for this dog kennel purpose, but understand that it is easier to handle than commercial chain link fences, as well as lighter weight. We live in a snowy climate, so expect that we’ll need to brush to cover off regularly, and possibly insert an 8’ small pole under the roof cross bar to support the roof with the extra weight.
In summary, the unit seem a reasonable value, and looks to be able to do the job it is designed for. We’d recommend the kennel, although we strongly suggest that Aosom improve its assembly directions with many more specifics and step by step instructions and narrated videos with links on its website and on the product page.