Weekend DIY warriors are always looking for smart, challenging and practical remodels that can add value to their property. If you have time and a little bit of money for supplies, installing a vinyl fence is a great DIY project. Vinyl fence installation is not too challenging and it does not require any rare tools. Perhaps the most vital part of installing a fence is setting the posts. If the post are not properly installed in concrete footings, the fence will be flimsy and unreliable. This article explains how to install posts in concrete footings.
What you Need
- Post digging shovel or normal digging shovel
- Several 10 pound bags of ready mix concrete (depending on how many holes your are digging)
- Standard level (2' or longer)
- Cordless power drill with concrete mixing attachment
Digging the Holes
The first step is to simply dig your hole. Professionals will use a post digging shovel to efficiently dig the holes. These shovels have 2 long and narrow blades on a hinge that allows them to dig deep without digging too wide. However, if you only have a single blade shovel, this is not the end of the world. You will just end up digging wider holes, and having to use a little more concrete. The positive effect is that your footing will end up being a little stronger. There are no set rules for how deep and wide the footing needs to be. It largely depends on the height of your post and the density of your soil. Some experts suggest that your footing should be 1/3 as deep as the above ground height of your post. So, a 6' tall fence should have footings they are at least 2' deep. This will obviously affect the overall length of the posts, so you need to take this into account before buying your product.
Once you have dug the hole to the right depth, you need to tamp down the side and bottoms with the backside of the shovel. Hardening the sides before you pour the concrete helps prevent crumbling.
Mixing the Concrete in the Hole
The trick to properly setting a fence post in concrete footing is to mix the concrete with the water and set the post simultaneously. This obviously requires at least two people. One person should hold the post in place, using a level to make sure it is properly positioned. The other can pour the recommended amounts of concrete mix and water around the post and mix them together. Mixing the concrete inside the hole speeds up the process because you don't need to premix it in large buckets.
Finally, you need to keep an eye on the posts as the concrete dries to make sure they stay level. Contact a fencing company, like Alpine Fencing & Supplies, for more help.