When it comes to fence installation, it is very important that your posts are properly installed. The stability of any fence obviously depends on the strength of the supportive posts. The strength of the posts will largely depend on the strength of the footings. If you are installing your fence in soil, you need to reinforce the posts with concrete footings. This article explains how to pour concrete footings in soil for wooden fence posts.
Digging the Hole
Digging the hole is easiest if you have a post digging shovel. However, if you don't own one, you can just use a normal shovel. There are no set rules for how deep the footing should be. It largely depends on the firmness of the soil, the height of the fence and the width of the footing. Most professionals will suggest that your hole is about 1/3 as deep as the fence will be tall. So, a 6' tall fence should have a 2' deep hole. Once you dig the hole, you need to firmly tamp down the sides and bottom. You don't want the sides of the hole to crumble, especially when you are pouring the concrete. You can use tamping rods or the back side of a shovel spade.
Pouring and Mixing the Concrete
The trick with pouring concrete footings is not mixing the concrete beforehand. Instead, add the recommended amount of water and concrete mix into the hole and stir them together as you set the post. Set the post in the hole and pour the mixture around it. You will need to hold the post level as you mix the concrete. This is quite tricky with only one person. If you have a helper, one person can hold the post level while the other fills in and mixes the concrete. You can use sticks to prop the post up as the concrete dries. Also, don't fill the hole all the way up to the top of the soil. Leave it down several inches so you can cover it up with dirt or sod when the job is done.
The process of installing the fence posts is not too hard. The rest of the fence will basically hang from the posts so it is vital that they are properly installed. All of the digging and concrete mixing make this project physically demanding, and it is much easier if you have a few assistants. If the process sounds overwhelming to you, consider hiring a fencing contractor like those at Buyrningwood Farm Inc to complete it for you.