Installing Metal Fence Posts

Written by derek odom
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When installing a metal fence post, you first must dig a hole that it will fit in. This is easiest done by using a posthole digger, which looks like a big wishbone with two rounded, shovel ends on each side. The idea is to drive it into the dirt, clamp the two diggers together, and extract the dirt. Be extremely careful when doing this, because it is easy to puncture water and electrical lines that might be buried there. Go slow, take care. The average metal fence post hole should be eighteen to twenty-four inches deep, if possible, to give the pole sufficient room to seat itself. If you don't have access to a post digger, a thin shovel will work, but try to keep the hole as narrow as possible.

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The Concrete

Now that the hole is dug, you have to mix up some concrete for it. The concrete will pour itself all around the metal fence post, and once it hardens you will have a stable foundation to add the fencing to. Most folks mix up their concrete in a wheelbarrow, but it can be done in the fence post hole itself, if you know what you are doing. Just follow the instructions on the bag; it's as easy as adding water and mixing for a few minutes.

Seating the Pole

Center your metal fence post as best you can in the hole you have dug, and pour the concrete into the hole, making sure that the concrete envelops the metal fence post completely. Pour carefully, and try not to mix dirt in with the concrete, because this can create weak spots that may crack in the future. Once the metal fence post is centred and standing on its own, you may leave it alone to let the concrete set up. It is vital that nothing touch the pole or the hole filled with concrete during this phase, or your metal fence post may end up crooked permanently.

Finishing Up

Now that the concrete has set, and your metal fence post is straight and level, take some of the dirt that you excavated, and cover up the round concrete patch just below the metal fence post. This will give things a clean appearance, and give you somewhere to put those mounds of dirt.

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