How to Install Fence Posts in Dirt

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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So you're ready to put up your fence. Installing the fence posts is a crucial first step. Set the posts in metal spikes if you want to be able to move the fence in the future.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Spikes
  • Fence Posts
  • Garden Stakes
  • Twine
  • Hex Bolts
  • Levels
  • Multiuse Screws
  • Screwdriver Sets
  • Sledge Hammers

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  1. 1

    Pound a stake into the ground at each spot where the posts will go.

  2. 2

    Run a string around the perimeter of your fence line. This will identify potential problems with hedges, trees and other objects.

  3. 3

    Choose 2-foot spikes for a fence less than 4 feet high; anything taller than that requires 2 1/2-foot spikes.

  4. 4

    Stick a scrap piece of fence post into the square socket of each spike as you go. This protects the socket while you set the spike.

  5. 5

    Pound the spike part way into the ground with a sledgehammer.

  6. 6

    Check the spike with a level. The socket should be plumb. Remember that the angle of the socket will be the angle of the post.

  7. 7

    Finish driving the spike into the ground until only the socket is showing.

  8. 8

    Take the scrap out of the socket and replace it with a post.

  9. 9

    Secure the post either by tightening the clamp bolts or installing screws through the side holes. (This depends on the type of spikes you have.)

Tips and warnings

  • Pound the spike in about 6 inches, check the plumb, and repeat. This will insure that you keep it level as you drive it into the ground.
  • Make sure the ground is relatively dry when you install spikes. Wet ground has more give, and you could end up with crooked posts.

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