Wood Fence Post Installation

You too can install wood posts for your fence by following these easy step-by-step instructions.All it takes is a few tools and wood posts.

To install wood posts, rent a power auger from your local rental store for digging posts. This saves time and is easier on your back. It's worth the expense unless you only have a few posts to install. You will need a helper for the auger, since one person stands on the other side and holds the handle to the auger. Raise the auger after a few inches of digging to clear the soil. Dig to the depth required for the posts plus 4 inches for the gravel base.

Shovel a 4-inch layer of gravel into each posthole and tamp it with the end of a 2x4. To pour footings for the end, corner, and gateposts, prepare pre-mixed concrete in a wheelbarrow, following the directions on the bag. Fill the end, corner, and the gate postholes with 6 inches of concrete.

Using a mason's lines as guides, set the end, corner, and gateposts in their holes on the concrete footings. (The line posts are set in soil later.) Plumb each post with a level and hold it in place with braces and stakes.

Using a shovel, backfill around the end, corner, and gateposts with concrete. Work a 2x4 up and down in the concrete to release trapped air. Continue filling the holes with concrete up to 2 inches below ground level. With a mason's trowel, slope the top of the footings away from the posts so water will drain away from them.

Set line posts in their holes, using layout mason's lines as guides. Align and plumb each post, then backfill around it with tamped soil. Slope the soil at the tops of the holes away from the posts for drainage. Cutting posts to height after they've been set in the ground isn't something you'll want to do if they have decorative tops. In this case, set the end posts at the desired height and run a mason's line between the tops of them. Working one line post at a time, dig the hole deeper or add soil as needed to align the top of it with the line. Plumb the post and backfill around it before going on to the next one.

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