I'd make a big deal that they're full of shit. There could be no
possible reason to dig so deep. In fact, I don't know how you'd even
dig a small hole that deep without core-drilling equipment used for
taking soil samples, and believe me, they're not doing that.
Okay, now it's clear that it's _your_ recollection that is faulty.
You didn't say what type of fence it is, but _nobody_ sinks a fence
post deeper than 3' or 4'. Most fence posts are sunk 2' - 3'
depending on conditions.
Very possibly not. What type of fence, how high, what type of posts,
what are your soil conditions?
You'd have to ask the local contractors. I do know that around here a
lot of people wouldn't be interested. They'd look at it as you would
be complicating their lives (it's possible you could order all of the
parts you need with no omissions, but very possible you couldn't and
they'd still have to make runs for material). You might not be able
to get the materials for that much cheaper as you'd be dealing with
shipping on a small load and the fence company deals wholesale on
large loads. No way to be sure without asking.
Let your fingers do the walking.
In my experience you are correct about the depth of fence posts. I am
also in agreement with the general tone of your post. There is a small
possiblity, however, that the OP lives in a place has very unstable
sandy soil or hurricane prone area. Possible but unlikely
considering that OP has not returned to his post.
I will point out, however, that it is not necessary to dig holes at
all to place the posts. Without digging one bit, it is possible to
use a hydraulic post pounder or pile driver. Road crews use them to
place posts in the ground for guard rails. Very often poles are set
with no hole or with minimal holes with the use of this heavy
equipment. A pounded post is supposed to be much, much, stronger than
an equivalent post that is only backfilled whether with dirt or
The reason I know this is because I am actually looking into a post
pounder for my fence project. It will fit on my Bobcat skidsteer and
looks to be quite a labor saver. It will pound any kind of post from
steel to wood. In my case I plan to auger undersized holes and then
pound them. My shoulder injury prevents me form pounding posts by
It works best in soft ground obviously and you tend to shatter a few
posts when doing it. Some crews do it in any ground. It is done,
however, and saves a lot of time and work from what I can tell.
Not many people have one except road crews and fence contractors but
they are available in my area for rent and for sale. Some guys say
they will never use one since it is a bit dangerous pounding on wooden
posts. When one splinters yu don't want to be nearby.
My neighbor originally build a cedar fence. Ended up replacing it about
seven years later as it started falling over. When to vinyl. The original
fence was not cemented in, the vinyl is and has moved very little. Vinyl
looks good around a pool, and he extended his into the ground using 4x4 ties
to keep his dog from getting out.
My fence is only a chain link, bit all the posts are cemented in. Been hit
by a back hoe and a tree-trimming truck. The problem areas are the gates,
they will all sag eventually (posts bend, but the concrete is still holding
Don't be too fast to reject the company that wants to embed the posts 10 ft.
into the ground. A solid fence takes a lot of load from wind, and the better
the anchorage, the better it will survive. (It all comes down to cost of
course.) Consider this, if you do a cheap job, you can count on replacing it
in a decade like my neighbor did.
One disadvantage that vinyl has over wood is that it will stain from iron in
the water when lawn-sprinklering. Of-course that can be washed off with Bar
Keepers Friend, but on thing more to consider (esp. if you go with white
like my neighbor.)
What I would do is walk around the neighborhood and talk to folks who have
had a fence up for many years. Ask if the posts were cemented in, and how
deep they were set. Could be an excellent source of common sense for your
| >My neighbor originally build a cedar fence. Ended up replacing it
| >seven years later as it started falling over.
| My next door neighbor has a cedar fence that didn't start falling over
| until it was about 20 to 22 years old.
| There is nothing wrong with cedar, and is pretty impervious to insects
with the price of cedar these days.
I would use mahogany
It's possible that what the contractor was talking about wasn't actually
installing the posts 10 ft. into the ground, rather using longer posts to
make a level fence.
Fence contractors can install a fence two ways, the first uses the same
depth posts and the top of the fence follows the terrian.
The second way requires that the contractor digs a trench in the low places
and uses longer posts in the high places to make the top of the fence level
across the yard. It's possible that he may be required to actually use 10
ft. posts in certain places to heel the top level. While this cost more, it
makes for a nicer looking fence.
In both cases (or thereabouts), the posts will actually be in the ground
about three ft. or so, but longer posts and more fencing is required for the
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