Fencing with Concrete Posts

A Guide to Erecting a Fence with Concrete Posts

Due to the size and weight of concrete fencing posts and concrete gravel boards, you may find it easier to enlist the help of a friend with this project. I was lucky to have my cousin visiting from Tucson, where he owns a garage door repair company, – http://discountdoorservice.com, so he’s used to lifting heavy things!

Anyway… Begin by laying your concrete posts flat and spacing them out by cutting a piece of timber to the same width as the fence panels being used. Lay all of your posts on the ground, spacing them with the same piece of timber. Now begin to dig your holes for the posts, which should be a minimum of 450 millimeters. Remember when purchasing your concrete posts, they should be a minimum of 600 millimeters longer than the measurement of the fence panel and gravel board added together. For example, if the fence panel is 1500 mm and the gravel board is 900 mm then the height of the concrete post should be 2400 mm.

Now lower your first concrete post into the hole and while it’s being held upright, shovel in the concrete mix around the base of the post. The concrete mix should be one part cement to two parts concreting gravel to three parts concreting sand. Tamp this down with a firm object like timber. Now check the verticals with your spirit level. Run a length of string from the finishing point to your first concrete post and adjust this to the height of approximately 3 millimeters from the ground. Then double check that there’s enough height on the post to accommodate the fence panel. The string will act as a horizontal guide for the top of each gravel board.

Now position your first gravel board and make sure it’s inserted into the slot on the post. Then position the fence panel on top of the gravel board making sure this is into the vertical slot on the post. Now temporarily lower the string to the ground to enable easier maneuverability of the second post. Insert this into the second hole, driving the slot well into the gravel board and fence panel. Check your verticals and the post can now be concreted in as with the first post. Repeat this process for as many boards and panels you have to erect. Make sure that the fence panels and gravel boards are tight between each post.

Marking Out and Digging a Basic Footing

Start by cutting out several lengths of timber stakes. Fix them together with a hammer and nails. The two uprights must be spaced as wide as your footing needs to be. Measure the distance from where your footing needs to start. Find the center point and mark this with a nail.

At the other end of your footing mark out exactly the same. Now run a length of string from one end to the other. With a spade, mark out about 150 mm on either side of the string. Now dig this out to a depth of about 300 mm. Fill the trench with a concrete mix. Level out with a spade and then check with a spirit level. Get the footing as level as possible to help you lay out the first course of bricks. Leave the concrete to dry for 24 hours before attempting to lay bricks using a mortar of one part cement to two parts concreting gravel to three parts concreting sand (the same cement mix used in cementing concrete posts).

Mathew Lilienthal