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How to Set Fence Posts in Concrete

Learning how to set fence posts is the first step in building a sturdy fence that will stand for many years. While there are many ways of setting fence posts, this tutorial explains how to set them in concrete. This is one of the easiest methods for homeowners that want to construct a permanent fence.

Step 1: Use string and stakes to delineate the perimeters of the fence. Along the strings, mark the location of every intended fence post. Now is also the time to decide how to address obstacles like trees or terrain changes.

Step 2: Dig holes the location of each stake that are 24-36 inches deep, depending on the height of the fence. The holes should be roughly 8-12 inches in diameter.

TIP: Use a auger or fence post digger to dig the holes. You can also have a company come and dig the holes for you using a tractor attachment or other tool.

Step 3: Add a couple of inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole to encourage drainage.

Step 4: Set the pole in the hole, cutting it as necessary to have the correct height above ground. Mix enough concrete to set two or three posts in holes.

TIP: Don’t mix too much concrete at once: it will start to cure very quickly and is easiest to work with in small batches.

Step 5: Use a carpenter’s level to make sure the post is plumb once it has been cut to it’s final size and is sitting in the hole. Use 2×4’s to steady the fence post as necessary to avoid unnecessary movement.

Step 6: Fill the hole around the fence post with the concrete. Check one last time to make sure that the post is plumb. Angle the surface of the concrete so it encourages water to drain away from the fence post. This will prevent water damage in the future.

Step 7: Move on to the next hole using the same techniques to set the post.

Step 8: After the first fence post’s concrete has set for a few hours, remove the supports. Continue removing supports until all the posts are standing on their own.

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