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jmc0319 12-09-2013 01:10 PM

Setting fence posts
My son has a fence guy going to his house to put up wooden privacy fence. We have had rain on and off for the last week or more. Is it smart to dig post holes and set them when the ground is this wet ?

CallMeVilla 12-09-2013 01:22 PM

Sure depends on the amount of rain and how soggy the soil might be ... You can set the posts and pour the cement into the hole directly from the bag. A little water and mix it in the hole ... not a wheelbarrow.

Here is a how-to that should help you a lot:

nealtw 12-09-2013 01:57 PM

I havn't read the labels lately, but they used to tell you to dry mix the ingredients first as the active stuff can settle out during shipping. They will tell you not to over do the water as you can weaken the concrete by as much as 40%. Now that they all have these instruction to make appear easier or just keep up with each other, the home owners can be fooled into thinking a contractor is just following instructions. Now we see contractors fill a hole with mud and sprinkle a little out of a bag on top.
In repairing this kind of mess we usually order 1.5 bags per post and moisture in the ground is a big factor. We got stuck with rain storm right after setting posts and the next day found non were exceptable and pull them all.
I would insist on knowing how many bags they are bringing and insist on premixing.
Villa; I might start to enjoy this. Place smile here.

jmc0319 12-09-2013 05:28 PM

Thanks guys

CallMeVilla 12-10-2013 08:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Admiring your work, Neal .... Discovered the Crooked Fence Brewing Company ... I guess they brew beer but I've never tried it.

GBR 12-10-2013 09:19 PM

A post for a fence has less structural loads on it but more shear loads; certain precautions should be taken, IMHO. Mound the concrete on top for water run-off, extend the wood post past the bottom of the concrete collar- no concrete under the post to encase it in concrete/water as it acts like a sponge, Picture figure 7 but with post going through collar and able to dry to the gravel in bottom of hole;

1/3 to 2/3 post rule, depends on your location:

As soon as the post/concrete joint opens above grade- seal the wood (pt wood is not waterproof, only fungi/bug proofed- unless you specifically ordered it special;


Notice #12 also. Lol, they are all pretty good….

This has it correct --at least on “wood post in concrete footings” area;

Hence the “concrete collar” by adding gravel, set post (waterproofed) on gravel after turning it down in while lining to string line, add mixed concrete, trowel top bevel on exposed above grade concrete (wind helps dry collar).

No, the saturated earth will not hold any shear loads until dry. May not even hold the concrete in check.... bad idea.


scoachby 12-14-2013 08:22 AM

Sure depends on the amount of rain and how soggy the soil might be ... You can set the posts and pour the cement into the hole directly from the bag. A little water and mix it in the hole ... not a wheelbarrow.

Wuzzat? 12-14-2013 09:52 AM

Opinions of knowledgeable people are all over the map on this.
It seems to depend on post depth, clay soil or not, freeze/thaw cycles or not, whether you are trying to contain large animals or not, yearly rainfall totals, local wind speeds, and what the local building codes say.

Civil engineering books must give some consistently reliable ways for doing fences - or not.

nealtw 12-14-2013 10:16 AM

If all else fails,read the instuction.

mudmixer 12-14-2013 03:19 PM

Concrete around a post is used to create a larger area for resistance and to separate the weaker post from the eventually wet and weaker soil.

Since concrete always cures and stabilizes it is just a strong filler, no matter how it is used. Use what method works since it in not rocket science. Just make sure things are plumb for a day or so. Even if it is cold (air temperature), the soil moderates conditions and the moisture is necessary for curing and strength of concrete.


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