Need Fence advise: Wood + Chain link

I need to replace the fence in my back yard. I currently have a 3' chain link fence and I intend to reuse the same post positions (8' span). Behind the fence, also on my property, are cedar hedges. My back yard is 50'x50' with one of the four sides being the house and gate.
I need to replace the fence because my dogs are escaping the yard. I've already replaced the gate with a wooden one 7' tall. I want to install a 7' fence around the entire yard (7' is my local residential maximum height). Because I have cedar hedges that I enjoy, I'd like to put in black or green chain link since the hedge will grown through it and make it effectively invisible. Our current fence is invisible because of this.
My first problem is the prices I'm being quoted for materials. Turns out that around here anything over 5' is pretty much commercial grade. That means steel posts and about 5x the cost of the residential stuff. I'm thinking that instead of using metal posts for the corner and line posts, I'd use wood. What do you think about using a 10' 4x4 buried 3' deep for a chain link fence post? I would make holes in the top to pass the top bar through and would attach the chain link with flat brackets and screws. Has anyone seen this type of installation before? As a bonus I could run an outdoor circuit and have a decorative lantern on every second post (the wife will find that purdy).
Second question is securing the posts. I live in Canada and the ground freezes during the winter. I'm thinking of digging the holes 3 1/2', fill with 3' of gravel, 3' of concrete then put in and brace the post and fill the rest of the hole with concrete. I'd also put the wooden post in a plastic liner so it doesn't make direct contact with the concrete and also mound the top to prevent water accumulation. Does that sound excessive or just about right? Would you suggest something different for the corner posts or line posts?
Third question is how large would you dig the post holes? I'm not planning to use sonotube for these but would you go with a 6", 8" or 10" diameter hole?
Thanks!
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Jon wrote:

http://www.gallagherusa.com/permanent.component.aspx?mktprodid 44 http://www.electric-fence.com/Shop/shopframe.asp?Page=productcookies.asp&ProductIDV4
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Not what you want to hear. IMO, I would bite the bullet and do it properly or I would not do it all all.
Even if you mange after much frustration to make it work, what have you done for the resale value of your home?
What size dog needs a 7 foot fence???
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Colbyt
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Next door neighbor's dog a few years back. He's got is paws on a 4ft chain link fence. Note I am standing erect, I am reaching upward some and we are eye to eye. The cage in the background was when he was a "puppy" in the house at night. His heart was as big as him.
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Steel prices have gone through the roof the past couple of years. As for the posts, I'd either use the metal or not bother doing the job. My guess is the line posts may be OK for a few years, but the corner posts can be trouble with the tension on them. .
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: I need to replace the fence because my dogs are escaping the yard.
Get an electric or invisible fence.
bonnie
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Jon wrote:

If you already have sturdy metal posts, why replace them?
If they're not tall enough, get a larger diameter post to slip over the top, bolted to the existing pots. Couple of holes in each post/sleeve has got to be easier than replacing the existing configuration with something that's going to rot and fail in a few years.
If you INSIST on 4x4s, bolt THEM to the existing posts.
Heck, you don't even have to remove the existing fence! Add a 4' layer on top of the existing 3' fence.
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Heh... I said to myself, unless this guy has Huskys...

Mmm... no expertise, but it seems to me if frost is going to heave a post set 3', it will heave one set 3' and in c/c, and I'd rather deal with the former.

HeyBub seems to have some pretty good ideas... that I'd never have thought of until the job was done. -----
- gpsman
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I second the motion on re-using the existing posts, or possibly putting in new longer posts of the same kind (metal).
A couple years ago I took down a 4-foot high chainlink fence around my backyard. It had been there a good 20 years at least. The galvanized steel posts were simply driven into the ground. The buried parts were a little rusty, but nowhere near failing. Same for the rest of the fence -- really it was fine, just not as purdy as the wood fence I replaced it with. This is in Chicago, long winters, clay soil, lots of moisture. My point is the regular steel posts and chainlink wire seem to last a long time with little care. I doubt you'd get the same performance from wooden posts.
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