Fence post anchors are all you need to keep everything straight and set. However, it is not impossible to install your railing without these tools. Sometimes what you need to firmly set up fence posts are only an excellent technique, a high-quality product, and a helpful friend. Since a good foundation is critical in building strong fences, concrete is often employed to keep the base unmoving and upright. To support the use of high-quality concrete, you will need to follow the below techniques. Without further ado, let’s check them out!
Table of Contents
Prepare the Materials and Tools
In this project, you can use either treated wood or metal fence pots. Moreover, prepare posthole digger, one-gallon bucket, sharpshooter shovel, and carpenter’s level. Instead of fence post anchors, this project will use concrete mix and all-purpose gravel to set the material in place. For your safety, it is recommended to prepare a pair of gloves, protective eyewear, and a dust mask.
Check Your Fence Post
Whether you are going to use fence post anchors or not, it is important to find materials that are arrow-straight. While this won’t be a problem with metal posts, you should make sure to get arrow-straight ones when it comes to wood. The main reason is that wood posts tend to warp or twist slightly. Thus, make sure to pick the straightest ones to avoid any issue.
Dig the Postholes
Grab your posthole auger or digger to dig the postholes. Generally, you should bury the fence post minimally 30 inches or a third of its length. Don’t forget to add an extra six inches so that you can put some gravel into the bottom. Moreover, you better make the holes wide enough as well. This way, it will be easier to fill them with concrete in the next stage. Make the holes at least three times the width of your fence posts.
Get Your Fence Post Anchors
If you are going to use fence post anchors, go get them. In absence of these items, grab the prepared all-purpose gravel. Pour the gravel at a six-inch height from the bottom of the holes. These materials will provide your fence posts a solid foundation and prevent them from contacting the soil directly.
Tamp Down the Gravel
Next, press the gravel using the post’s underside. For doing this, you need to set the post first into the hole and elevate it several inches. Then, bring the post back down on the gravel. You should repeat this step several times so that the gravel is even out.
Place the Post
While this stage should be easier if you have fence post anchors, a helpful friend will be a great solution too. Place the pole in the heart of the hole and ask your friend a favor of being the fence post holder. After that, you have to use gloves, a dust mask, and protective eyewear for the next step.
Pour the Concrete Mix
Once you are ready with the safety gear, pour the prepared dry concrete mix into the hole. Make sure to get an even amount of the mixture on all sides. If there is none around, consider preparing fence post anchors for concrete at this stage. Thus, you can be sure that the pole stays centered and upright.
Remember to never lift the post since it may require you to get back to the beginning. Carry on with loading the concrete mix to the hole. Do it until the mixture sits about three inches beneath the ground level.
Then, you will need to pour some water onto the concrete mix. The standard ratio is approximately one gallon for each 50-pound bag. Thus, if you have around a 30-inch-deep hole and use five bags of concrete mix, the water needed will be five gallons. Pour the water slowly so that it can properly seep down and soak the concrete mix. In case the holes are deeper than 30 inches, you better do this in two steps. For instance, add half of the estimated amount of concrete mix and water first and follow it with the rest. This way, you can be sure that the mixture obtains enough water.
Level the Post
Now, forget about the fence post anchors. Once the concrete mix and water are poured into the holes, you should level the poles immediately. Take advantage of a carpenter’s level and a pair of adjacent sides. Although it is possible to do this step by hand, doing so is not efficient, especially if you have several fence posts. If the pole has been completely level and plumb, take a narrow sharpshooter shovel to force down the wet concrete steadfastly around the fence post base.
Fill in with Soil
After that, you will need to seal the surrounding of your fence post with soil. Of course, it is not a must, but this step allows a neater finishing look.
Consider These Extra Tips
While using fence post anchors can be a nice trick to keep your poles in place, there are some other helpful tips to consider as well.
• Make a String Guide
It is recommended to use a string guide if you want to install several fence posts in a straight line. This item will help to achieve a professional result. The required materials and tools to create a string guide will include nails, elastic twine, and a hammer. Simply follow the step-by-step above and slot in two nails into the outer side of every post after the concrete slightly hardens.
Then, run two twines between the poles to create the string guide.
• Top Off with Concrete
Previously you are suggested to cover the top of the hole with soil. When it may work in most areas, some others won’t be the same. Consider cover the hole with sloped concrete if you are installing treated wooden poles in an area that often rains. Different from employing fence post anchors, this technique will help to protect the pole from rotting at the ground level.
All you need to prepare are a wheelbarrow or bucket to mix the concrete. Moreover, a scoop will be required as well to smooth the mixture. To conclude, you skip the use of fence post anchors and employ high-quality concrete instead. Then, follow the above steps to make the most of your project.