What about buried protector sleeves I’ve seen advertised? Before digging, call 811 to have underground utilities marked. Clear away the dirt you removed with a shovel and rake – letting the extra dirt sit on the lawn for a day or two will kill the grass. Common construction requirements include post size, spacing and depth. The hole depth should be below the frost line. Holes should be 'bell-shaped', not 'carrot-shaped', meaning the bottom of the hole should be larger in diameter than the top. 3. Southern locations without frost will find this overkill.

Some towns might require this plan for an approved building permit. This allows you to make adjustments as needed for spacing posts and panels. Start the fence layout at the corner of the house, outbuilding or other hardscape feature. Dig the hole using the post hole diggers, to about 2 feet, 4 inches. and the honest answer is that the depth and diameter of any post hole will depend greatly on the style of fence, the area in the country installed, and other variables such as wind load, and digging conditions. Set the posts by pouring cement so that the posts will be secure for many years to come. North of Ohio, installers may go deeper in depth and larger in diameter. For example, if setting 4 x 4 wood posts, dig holes 9-12" in diameter. Mark the center for the first post on the ground. Martin, Good pic! It should be set back half the width of the post from the string. Homeowner's Complete Outdoor Building Book; John Burton Brimer. If you plan to install your panels between the posts, set the strings to the outside post edge. The depth of your post hole plays a key role in the strength of your posts. A spud bar works well for loosening dirt from the sides. Be sure to keep in mind that if you’re attaching to the face of the post, you need to account for the rails and pickets when lining up the fence with the edge of the house. DON’T Make Postholes Too Small. Drive stakes at the locations where fence posts will be installed. If your post is 6-feet tall, you will dig down at least 2 feet.

If you’re installing a component-built fence, typically the spacing will be determined by the length of the rails to which you’ll attach the pickets, unless otherwise noted by local building regulations. Stretch the twine or wire to each and wrap around the stake. Insert stakes at the planned location for gates, including hardware in the width. For example, if setting 4 x 4 wood posts, dig holes 9-12" in diameter. How to Increase Privacy With a Metal Fence and Plants, Farmer's Almanac: Best Days to Dig Post Holes, How to Hide an Air Conditioner Screen With a Fence. A general rule of thumb is to dig the diameter of the hole at least 3-4 times the diameter of the post.

You can dig all the holes at the same time for a component-built fence. The design enables people to dig straight down to the ideal depth and keep the hole relatively narrow in diameter. I guess he thought there was some kind of implied consent! Filling concrete clear to the top will create a 'lip' and water, ice, and snow will gather underneath it.

Drive a batter board into the ground to mark where the fence will start. There are a few great tricks you should know before you start making holes with your post hole digger. The frost line (also called frost depth) varies from region to region. Depending on your needs, you could investigate the use of fiberglass fence post rods and steel t-posts if your application permits. Always leave concrete down from grade or the ground surface 3-5" and back fill with dirt. When the ground freezes, the ground squeezes the concrete footer like a tube of toothpaste and will 'heave' the post if you fill the concrete clear to the top of the hole. The shape of the hole is as important, if not more important than the depth. Depending on your needs, you could investigate the use of fiberglass fence post rods and steel t-posts if your application permits. Classic cedar poles make for a good low-cost construction technique, but they’re not up, © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extend the Growing Season with Cold Frame Gardening.

Required fields are marked *. From an outside corner, measure 3 feet along one line, and make a mark on the string. minimum 2ft for a 6ft fence) Mike, I settled for 36 inches yesterday as I really don't want frost heaving to play a big part , especially with the gate posts and lock alignment.

Use batter boards and stretch mason’s string between them to mark the layout. Typically, the diameter is triple the width of the post (12 inches for a 4-inch-by-4-inch post). Clam-shell post hole diggers can help remove loose dirt in the bottom of the hole. Local building code will dictate post hole depth and diameter. Measure 2 inches up. For prebuilt panel kits, the manufacturer will recommend post spacing, depending on whether the panels fit on the face or between the posts. Some cities say posts must be set in … Review the fence layout and adjust as needed to use full panels or to have no fence sections less than 2 feet wide. I know the frost line is 42" and that would be safe, but what is the normal standard to which these puppies are sunk into the ground? For our six-foot-high fence post, we would need a hole that’s 36 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter.

All fence posts should be cemented in the ground below frost level. For instance, if you’re using 16-foot rails, they can span three posts, so your spacing will be 8 feet. For panel fences, don't dig additional post holes until the first three posts and panels are installed. Cedar poles are a great way to hang fence wire. If your fence posts are 8 feet high, then 2 1/2 feet of the posts should go from the bottom of the post hole to the plumb line, and 5 1/2 feet of the post from the plumb line to the top of the fence. If you’re attaching prebuilt panels to the face of the posts, the post spacing will be the width of the panels. The hole depth should be below the frost line. Repeat the squaring process at all fence corners. Find your plumb line. Measure the diagonal distance between the two marks and adjust the stakes as needed so the distance is 5 feet. Begin by making some batter boards (two stakes and a horizontal cross piece) out of furring strips and screws. Use a line level if necessary. A shovel or spade may take longer, but they’re good for cutting overgrown roots in a hole. Measure 4 feet along the other line, and make a mark on the string. This is assuming that the fence isn't installed in a swamp with a lot of wind. Samantha Hanly is an organic vegetable gardener, greenhouse gardener and home canner. Hammer a garden stake into the ground at the highest point where you will build the fence.

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