Setting Fence Posts
Setting fence posts is easy if you can make the time, and need to save money. You can do a fencing project on your own!
Does this title make you think of a farmer, working hundreds of acres of land? Well think again! Did you ever conceive that this would pertain to you? Isn't it ironic that you are now in a time frame that you need to know about this task? The kids want a basket ball goal, mom wants the backyard fenced, and so on. The needs and wants of a family and homeowner continue! If you can set a fence post you can also set posts for basket ball goals, mailboxes and bird houses, they are all set in the same manner. So, lets go for it and impress everyone with your expertise!
The end posts and gateposts will need to be 4x4 or 6x6 lumber and pressure treated. Line posts can be 4x4 if no more than 4 ft. high. If there is no rail running along tops of posts, then it is a good idea to cap the tops of the post to protect them from decay. Treat cut wood with a preservative.
The posts can be set up to 8 ft. apart but no more. For precut cut panels divide the fence length by 6 or 8 ft., this is the most common panel length. Remember to allow for a gate. In the case, that 6-8 ft. will not divide evenly into the length, cut panels to fit the uneven space that is left.
A posthole digger will be used to dig the holes, if you need to purchase one, be aware it will be a good investment and useable for many years for other projects. You can rent one also. The holes will be filled with gravel or well-tamped soil. If soil is loose and the fence is over 6 ft. tall, the posts will need to be placed in cement in a circumference of 8-12 inches.
* Drive stakes in the place your posts will be located, begin where the end posts will be located. Tie stings to the stakes, keeping the string above the ground; the string should be tight. Measure the distance between the intermediate posts carefully.
* Dig the holes somewhat wider than the post and increase the width at the bottom. These holes should be deep enough for at least 18-20 inches of the pole's base. This should be 30 inches if the pole is 6 ft. or longer in length. Make an extra depth if about 6 in. to allow for the gravel at the base. If soil is clay soil or if concrete is added the circumference of hole should be 2 times the pole's diameter.
* Place 5-6 in. of gravel into the hole. Brace the end post by driving two stakes at adjacent sides attach a 1x2 to each stake. Set pole in hole, check plumb, and then nail brace to post. Plumbs adjacent face of pole and nail brace.
* Add 2-3 in. of gravel, adding about 6 in. of soil and tamp each time before adding another 6 in. A 2x 4 board works well for this task. For concrete, you will need to overfill hole using trowel slope concrete away from post. Check the plumb of post. The concrete will need to set at least a week.
Good luck with your fencing project; there is nothing like standing back and observing a undertaking began and completed by your very own efforts. Moreover, if it is not altogether perfect just tell your friends someone else did it for you!