Fence Post Question??

Page 2 of 2  
On 9/14/2011 9:33 AM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

fence posts NEVER are set two to three feet BELOW the frost line. Maybe 2 to 3 feet below the surface max. Typical 6 foot fence would be set 3 feet max deep hole. Anyone who says they dig a hole deeper than 4 feet total is just a flat liar. It's just not done without a big ol' pole jockey auger like the power company uses.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Mine are set a good 2 to 3 feet below the frost line. Of course the frost line is 6" here, but...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MICHELLE H. wrote:

Main thing is good drainage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A few more links debating whether to put posts in concrete or not:
1) This guy says use "gravel":
http://www.askthebuilder.com/713_Fence_Posts.shtml
2) People here are split 50/50. Some say use concrete, some say use "crushed rock":
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg041005106073.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/14/2011 10:58 AM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

here's a revelation for you all just incase you didn't know. Crushed rock IS gravel.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

But gravel is not crushed rock. Bank run isn't a good choice.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
MICHELLE H. wrote:

Here's a much better way. Use metal, galvanized, 2" posts set in concrete. Bolt the cedar 4x4s to the metal posts.
I live backed up to a 200' wide power line property. The folks on my side of the easement all have metal posts. The people on the other side all had wooden posts (why, I don't know).
When hurricane Yikes came through here three years ago EVERY SINGLE fence with wooden posts came down. Not a one on our side was damaged.
Now if the fence with metal posts needs to be replaced, unbolt the uprights and install new ones. If in the completely unusual case of having to remove the posts themselves, the posts are relatively easy to pluck out of the ground using a chain and a bumper jack.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hey Bub has it right. You want the base for any long-term upright fence set in concrete if there is any wind and you are building an ordinary-looking fence. Only fences for stringing barbed wire don't have a high wind-resistance concern. Using permanent metal base and fastening the fence to the upright is the sensible thing to do.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (MICHELLE H.) writes:

The one I built was in clay. I used cement poured in dry with water added as I poured.
If I wanted to avoid the cement, I would have still used cement at the ends, corners, and gate. You need the extra strength there.
I felt I needed the extra strength because I frequently have large limbs fall out of trees. I didn't want one limb to take out the whole fence.
http://mysite.verizon.net/despen/fence/
If I end up pulling one out, I'm sure I can deal with the extra work of getting the cement out.
Since you are having this installed, go with what the installers recommend.
--
Dan Espen

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Use concrete and use galvanized steel posts.
For instance, Master Halco makes Post Master steel posts for wood fences. If you use your imagination, there are many ways to get just about any fence you want (single sided, double sided, flat on one side, flat on both sides, etc.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here's a flat-on-both-sides fence that's partially done, using the aforementioned posts:
http://tinyurl.com/42ez6yu
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was reading the first few post where it was mentioned that farmers in the old days wouldn't cement every pole. If I was putting up a barb wire fence, I wouldn't either. Basically the weight between poles is next to nothing and that type of fencing doesn't respond to high gust of winds either. Basically with Barb wire fencing, you just need tomake sure your corners are secure so you can run the wire from one corner to the next in a tight fashion. You'll notice that most barb wire fences have three large posts in east corner with a diagonal strap between them for cross-bracing. In between the corners, most BW fences have metal posts just to keep the wires at the right height.
Barb Wire fencing is completely different then panel fencing.
Robin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You already have a lot of opinions. I will share mine.
In 60 years of life and 30 years of fence building I have only had one failure, the one where I did not use concrete.
Dig a tight hole, use nor more than 1 80 pound bag per hole, make a weak mix and if you ever have to bust it out it won't be that bad. Weak mix is pour it in a wet hole and add more water when half full and then fill and add more water.
The primary reason people have to dig them out is because the did not select center cut timber and plant it the same way it grew. You have to inspect each piece of wood you buy and get the closest to a center cut as you can find. The others have a greater tendcy to warp. Plant the wider rings at the bottom of the hole.
And an inch or two of gravel in the very bottom is very helpful.
--
Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is somewhat dependent on the soil conditions where the posts are placed, but most of the time it is fine to set treated wooden posts directly in soil. In my area that is commonly done using PT 4X4 8 foot posts, set to a depth of 24 to 30 inches for a 6 ft stockade or privacy style fence. Such posts will easily last 20 or more years. I personally have seen such posts outlast 2 lifetimes of cedar fence panels.
--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 21:54:26 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sdf.lNoOnSePsAtMar.org (Larry W) wrote:

I've tried to get mine down to 36". That leaves 5' sticking out, without sawing the tops off. For a 6' fence it works out pretty well. Someimes there's a rock half the size of the state down there, so it doesn't always work out. ;-)
Here in Alabama, the red clay can be tamped so well, there is no point in cementing them in. When I was in NY it was impossible to get down 36" and the soil just didn't hold as well, so I used concrete. Both fences used 6" x 6' close-spaced pickets, on PT 2x4 rails nailed to 4x4 PT posts.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"MICHELLE H." wrote:

Many people here don't really understand what's going on when it comes to the longevity of fence posts.
That issue aside, there is some very basic information that you're not telling us.
Where do you live? Your climate, temperature, humidity will play a critical role in post longevity.
Unless you live in the south-west where freeze/thaw and water-soil conditions are pretty irrelevant, then if you want a wooden fencepost to last, it must be set in concrete, and the top of the concrete should extend 6 to 8 inches above the ground level.
Wood posts will experience maximum deterioration 6 to 8 inches on either side of ground or "grade" level. Well-mixed concrete will provide good protection for that portion of the post that is set in concrete, and for that protection to extend 6 to 8 inches above grade then you need to use a cardboard tube (aka "sono-tube") to form a concrete pier that rises above the grade level.
The use of concrete insures that your posts do not tilt over time, gives the post some protection against direct exposure or contact with water in the surrounding soil, and that they stay in exactly the position that they are staked at when the concrete is poured.
The use of metal base-plates set in concrete that you bolt or screw the posts into are only used by fools when it comes to fences. They are ok to use for decks that have a 2-dimensional foot-pattern, but a fenceline is a 1-dimensional foot pattern and you don't have enough lateral strength in a pattern like that to use metal base-plate.

In the lower-48 states and much of the southern tier of Canada, the deepest frost line is 48 inches (4 feet). For a 6-foot fence, you should go minimum 2 feet into a concrete-filled hole, so your posts need to be minimum 8-feet long. The hole can be 3 feet, and you can throw in a couple pieces of re-bar to give it strength.
If your posts are 4 x 4, then you need to use minumum 8" auger and drill an 8-inch hole.

Because most people mix concrete like a jack-ass by throwing in cement, pieces of brick, unwashed stone and other crap and then flood it with water and think it will set correctly.
My backyard fence project uses 24 posts (each of them 6" x 6", 12 foot long) set into 13" concrete piers that were drilled into very tough clay soil, down to between 4 and 5 feet below grade. All piers had at least 4 pieces of rebar set into them. Some posts have a rebar "cage" surrounding them when they were set into their hole. Posts are 10-feet apart.
The posts are dense spruce (not cedar) and were painted to 2 coats of creosote (at least the portion of the posts that were set in concrete).

Are you going to still be the owners of this fence in 10 years?
20 years?
30 years?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In typed:

You don't apparently; here's some corrections.

You mean Weather Zone, somethiing which is easily found on the 'net.

No. Top of concrete should be below ground level, NOT above. For several reasons, the most notable being maintenance: Easier to mow grass, less cracking/separation of the concrete, removing the fence requires no extra work since the cement is belows sod level. I have never seen 6-8 inch concrete protrusions above ground anywhere I've lived, which is San Diego, Oregon, Chicago, and far upstate New York being the coldest/worst for weather closely followed by Colorado where our daughter lives and their new fence is below sod level, exactly the same as ours here is. Anythink above ground would only be for esthetics but not anything construction wise.

No. You'll find a lot more moisture and water near the bottom of deep set posts than cntered on ground level. Our now 22 year old fence shows deterioration at the bottom of the posts or near the bottom, depending on where the seasonal ground water levels may sit for a few months at a time, some times all year. You also have a deterioration range at the clay level if you drove the posts sthrough or into clay when you set them. Use of the proper wook also matters of course.

Extra PITA work for nothing; there is no need for that as that is the driest area of the post compared to the rest of the underground post. Concrete also does very little to protect the post from water seepage but does a lot to prevent the water from escaping when the water level drops.

Not so. Irrelevant to water protection, relavent to preventing post from letting moisture out, and no post for a fence is ever going to stay in the same exact position over its lifetime. In fact, in our northern NY weather, the cement can provide a "grip" for the thawing and freezing ground/clay/gravel will raise the post up faster than a post without concrete. Three to four feet into the ground is the post-depth for this area and the rest of most of the northern US. And fence fabrics not perfectly applied (which is almost impossible) will cause posts to rock towards each other during the freeze thaws.

Not true. Those are often used very successfully in the warm weather zones. In some extremely sandy soils, it's about the only way to put up a fence in fact. I assume wth your 1 & 2 dimensional stuff you're trying to refer to x, y, z axis and completely missed the mark.

Depending on the weather zone, that's correct; in fact, the zones show up to four feet down, but not below the "frost line". The frost line might be down three feet, so you aren't going to put in many posts at 3' for the frost line, plus another 3 feet below that for the post - 6 feet into the ground.

Rebar? Boy, you like to add work for nothing, IMO.

10 to 12 inches so gravel can be used to assist drainage.

No, not if done properly, which is to have the top of the cement below the sod level. Over ten years ago I moved a part of my fence and extended it to make a full half acre for the dogs. Not a single indication of ANY concrete has shown up to date; just took a sawzall & cut the post as low as possible. One of around 80 posts, including for the gates, are still set properly after all this time, without noticeable deterioration. That single post has risen about 4 inches and I fully suspect it's my fault for not using enough posts where the fabric ended up pulling upwards on that post.

To make me believe that's not just BS on your part, you'll have to prove that with some sort of official citation because I have NEVER seen that done! You toss insults around at people you don't even know and have little to nothing to back up your statements. If it weren't for your name calling and misinformation I could have just passed this post by but I feel that you need to be redressed, especially for your childish namecalling.

And where do you live? On the Strand between San Diego and National City or under the brdge maybe?

Poor choices unless you live in CA maybe.

All irrelevant questions that are impossible to answer with any certainty. You buld anything to specs, not "good enough" and maintain the property value, not detract from it, which seems to be your goal.
HTH,
Twayne`
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My memory goes back maybe 45 or 50 years. Many farmers used creosote posts for fencing. Some used hedge posts. The creosote posts I remember were all purchased that way. Pressure treated, I believe. Could one buy creosote way back when to paint a post?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In wrote:

Yes they could; that's a very old product and had a ton of uses thanks to the railroads. It won't hold a candle to pressure treatments though. Unfortunately nowadays you have to check to see how it was pressure treated and with what since all the industry changes the gvt forced upon the treaters in an effort to protect us from ourselves again. Simply painting though is pretty inferior to pressure treatment and doesn't actually permeate into the wood; it just sits on the surface unless you're using liquid/heated cre and week long soaks.
HTH,
Twayne`
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/14/2011 8:19 AM, MICHELLE H. wrote:

Michelle, there are many who would tell you that having good solid fence posts that resist rot has much more to do with the phase of the moon when the holes are dug and when the posts are set. The Farmer's Almanac always gave specific advice:
<http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&tab=iw#hl=en&sugexp=gsis%2Ci18n%3Dtrue&cp !&gs_id>&xhr=t&qnce+post+moon+phases&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&site=webhp&source=hp&pbx=1&oqnce+post+moon+phase&aq=0n&aqi=q-n1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fpbc1e92224c5138&biw9&bihH3>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.