How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence

Written by vern hee
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How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
(fence post image by Warren Rosenberg from Fotolia.com)

Anchoring fence posts in the ground can be accomplished in two ways--by cementing or anchoring. Both methods require planning to make sure your posts are plumb and at the right angle in relation to other posts. Post anchoring in cement can save you a lot of money if you have a lot of posts to install, and cementing also tends to be a bit more secure.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Diagram of fence
  • Wood stakes
  • Construction string
  • Level
  • Post-hole digger or power auger
  • 4-by-4-inch redwood or cedar posts
  • 3/4-inch crushed gravel
  • Construction-grade sand
  • Round-nose shovel
  • Hoe
  • Wheelbarrow
  • 27.2kg bag of Portland cement
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • 2-by-4 braces or rope and wood stakes
  • Trench shovel
  • Post anchor
  • Sledgehammer
  • Scrap 2-by-4
  • Power drill
  • Wood screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Map out with wood stakes and construction string where all the posts are going. This allows you to plan for how much material you will need and also check the angles and lines.

    How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
    Make sure wood posts are either redwood or cedar. (fence post image by SKYDIVECOP from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Dig a 2-foot post hole with a posthole digger or power auger. Insert the 4x4 red wood or cedar post into the hole. The post should be 25% taller than the size of the fence. For example, if you are building a 6-foot fence, your post needs to be 8 feet long to allow for 2 feet to be buried.

    How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
    (hard at work image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Throw crushed gravel into the hole with a round nose shovel until it fills the bottom 6 inches. This will help water drain away from the post.

    How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
    Fence post evenly spaced and in a nice line. (fence posts image by DBarby from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Place one shovel full of Portland cement, two shovels of sand and three shovels of aggregate in the wheelbarrow and repeat until the wheelbarrow is full. Mix with the hoe, then add 5 gallons of water until you have a slurry solution of cement. The cement should be on the wet side so it will pour easily.

    How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
    A good wheelbarrow should suffice for a 2-foot deep hole. (fence image by ann triling from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Pour the cement in the hole, around the post. Use a level to check that the post is plumb and level, then brace it with scrap 2x4 or rope and wood stakes. The cement will dry completely in one week, but can be worked on after it sets. Follow the directions on the bag.

    How to Anchor Posts for a Wood Fence
    Brace your new fence post with 2x4s. (Wheelbarrow image by Paul Dearden from Fotolia.com)
  1. 1

    Map out with wood stakes and construction string where all the posts are going. This allows you to plan for how much material you will need and also check the angles and lines.

  2. 2

    Hammer post anchors into the ground with a sledgehammer. Place a 2x4 over the hardware so the sledgehammer does not cause damage. Use a 30-inch post anchor spike for a 6-foot post.

  3. 3

    Insert a post into the anchor and secure the post by screwing in 2-inch wood screws with the power drill.

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