how do I install fence posts?

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I need to put up a fence for our puppy.
I plan on 4x4 PT posts, 4 feet above ground, 2 feet below.
I'm getting conflicting advice on concrete vs gravel vs just tamp the dirt really tight. One expert even recommended concrete in buckets. There seem to be several successful methods.
I want the posts to be removable eventually, for repair or moving the fence area. So if concreted in, I'd want them to not be stuck to it.
What do you think?
And yes, I know to call Miss Utility before digging.
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TimR wrote:

Treated wood and a puppy I wouldn't recommend - they WILL chew. It could really make for misery. They will chew everything. How about the chain link panels? they make a dog ready set of four. I have a set and they work well - can be moved easily and stored too. Don't forget shade, a deck to lay on, and things to keep him occupied. Remember, it's a puppy.
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Get a dog yard.
Go to Amazon.com and enter dog yard.
They have many different sizes at many different prices.
They are supposed to be easy to set up and take down as needed.
Freckles
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three or four chain link fence sections. no holes, no poles. instant dog pen.
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If you're gonna fence the puppy in, why have one?
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Rick Samuel wrote:

So you aren't sharing it with the neighbors?
To keep animal control from bothering you?
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Bob F wrote:

How would a fence prevent that? New neighbor behind us got a puppy that they apparently don't want. So they erected a makeshift cage with some chain link and put the dog in the cage and just let it bark endlessly. Everyone let it go for a while because you don't know the circumstances but after a while the complaints poured in about the barking. Clearly they didn't want the dog and should have never bought it if they just wanted to park it in the yard in a cage.

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Bob F wrote:

Hi, Here if a dog runs free, fine is 250.00 to the owner. Dogs can run free only in designated leash free park. If owner does not pick after the dog, another 250.00 fine.
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TimR wrote:

I've heard good things about setting the posts in crushed gravel. It provides drainage so the water can get away from the posts.
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-snip-
If it isn't planned on being permanent, the PT posts are a bad idea. [not to mention that you need to take puppy-precautions with it]
Quick and dirty way would be T-posts. Spend the money you save on a driver and a puller. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category_6970_88+1509+796700
Better way would be to make iron frame sections that hook together in the corners-- or buy a ready-made exercise pen. [I don't endorse this outfit- it was just the first one I saw to illustrate the thought-- actually that Shepard sitting in a pen that is too small for it would turn me off from buying from them- http://www.dogkennels.com/dog-kennels/dog-exercise-pens/6996+6997+7007.cfm?source=googleaw&kwid=dog%20pen&tid=broad

Tough to say- What kind of dog? how big an area? Why do you want a fenced in area? To leave the dog in while you're in the yard? while you're at work? most of its life?
If the latter, then I'd advise you pass on a puppy. If for any legitimate reason, then you need to answer whether the space needs to be big enough for the breed to exercise? Does it need a bottom so the dog doesn't dig its way out?
Also- the fence is the easy part. Once you know what the usage will be, you need to consider what the floor will be made of. *That's* the tough part.

Goes for driving posts, too, BTW.
Jim
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I see I didn't explain very well.
No, I don't want to pen her up. She's an indoor dog, she's part of the family. But she needs a safe and secure place to toilet and exercise. She's a terrier mix with all that entails - high energy and hardwired to chase small animals. We live on the edge of some undeveloped woods, and if she sees a squirrel that magic switch turns on. err, ON! I'd like to run chainlink around the edge of the property, and eventually I probably will. But for now I want to fence in about a 30x40 (feet) area of yard behind the house. Currently we keep her on leash at all times out of the house, and I'd like to let her run a bit more, since I have a bit of trouble keeping up. She's only five months but quite fit.
I don't intend to leave her unattended out there for long periods of time, because I worry about the neighborhood critters: raccoons, oppossums, and the neighbor's boxer that can jump their fence in one hop.
I didn't think of T-posts, I don't have any experience with them.
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If you're going to use chainlink why not use the galvanized metal posts that are meant for chainlink fence? You only need to secure the corner posts. The rest can be driven into the ground.
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If this is just temporary, forget the fence. Run a long wire overhead. Attach a long leash to the overhead wire with a swivel clip.
Much easier. Much cheaper. Much easier to take down.
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Where do you live to be able to get away with only 2 feet in ground? An easy way is:
1) dig post hole 2) insert post 3) plumb it with some stakes for support 4) add a bag of dry concrete to bottom of hole (yes dry) 5) backfill over the dry concrete with the clay from the post hole 6) compress it with your feet 7) water it a little (or wait for rain)
The concrete will set up well enough to hold the post firmly. But it will not set up so hard that you wont be able to easily crack it off with a sledge hammer when you want to move the fence some day.
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Now, that sounds like a lot less work than mixing and pouring. Sort of a pozzolan approach. I think that would work. also it sounds easier than gravel, which is heavy and would need a truck to deliver.
I wonder about two things. It seems to me that if a square post fits snugly in a square hole in concrete, it doesn't need to adhere. Geometry would hold it tight. What if I oiled the posts first? Then I could lift the posts out and leave the concrete in place, when I move the fence.
Secondly, you have the concrete at the bottom of the hole. Seems to me when a post gets loose it pivots at the bottom. A solid piece of concrete at the top of the hole would give a second point of constraint, and fix the post more firmly than one at the bottom.
Would you go with sandcrete or rockcrete?
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wrote:

Now, that sounds like a lot less work than mixing and pouring. Sort of a pozzolan approach. I think that would work. also it sounds easier than gravel, which is heavy and would need a truck to deliver.
I wonder about two things. It seems to me that if a square post fits snugly in a square hole in concrete, it doesn't need to adhere. Geometry would hold it tight. What if I oiled the posts first? Then I could lift the posts out and leave the concrete in place, when I move the fence.
Secondly, you have the concrete at the bottom of the hole. Seems to me when a post gets loose it pivots at the bottom. A solid piece of concrete at the top of the hole would give a second point of constraint, and fix the post more firmly than one at the bottom.
Would you go with sandcrete or rockcrete?
*There is available special fast setting concrete for posts and fences. You dump it in the hole dry and add water or not. You should put a few inches of stone first so the post bottom is not in contact with soil.
If this is only temporary I would not use concrete. I would just put some stones in the hole and set the posts. You will need to brace them until the fence is complete to keep it straight if no concrete is used.
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An easier and cheaper method:
http://www.dogkennels.com /
Lowes and Home Depot sell very similar arrangements.
TimR wrote:

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The issue of how to set fence posts has been discussed many times in this group. My impression is the better advice was to not use concrete, as it tends to hold moisture causing the wooden post to rot faster. Instead you can set the post in the hole using crushed rock - the stuff they make gravel driveways out of. You tamp it in and after a while it kind of sets into a solid, but is still permeable. I set my wooden posts that way when I put in my fence a few years ago, and it worked fine, although after the first winter I had to do a little straightening here and there. You can pull the posts back out pretty easily (I have done it) and then you don't have big heavy lumps of concrete embedded in your yard. About the gravel - don't use pea gravel, you want the fine crushed stuff. Of course, all of this depends somewhat on your climate conditions. In a warm dry place you probably wouldn't have to worry about rot anyway.
All that being said, let me just say, it might be easier and better to use chain link and the galvanized metal posts. The posts are just driven in (easier than digging all those holes), can be pulled back out, and they last a long time. The chain link part can also be removed, rolled up and reinstalled elsewhere. When I put my wood fence in, I first had to remove the chain link fence that was there - and came away very impressed with it. It was at LEAST 20 years old, in a harsh climate (Chicago) and was just fine. -- H
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on 5/6/2009 10:51 PM (ET) TimR wrote the following:

And check with the building inspector for set back ordinances. I had a fence company install a fence with PT posts and 8' wide by 6' high panels around my inground pool. No gravel or concrete in the post holes except for the corners and gate posts. It's still up 22 years later. I'm in NY so the depth of the holes were 4' deep.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

I used the "spikes" that you drive into the ground, then stick the 4X4 posts into. They've been in about 20 years and have not moved - and if I need to move the fence they will jack out relatively easily. Pressure treated posts directly in the hole would be getting pretty soft by now.
My deck was on 4X4 CEDAR in concrete in sonotubes for 28 years. The posts rotted (off) in the concrete. I was able to pull the remains out of the concrete and I drove my new (pressure treated southern yellow pine) posts into the concrete in 7 of the 8 holes.
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