Setting fence posts on top of existing concrete

Written by rebecca mecomber
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Setting fence posts on top of existing concrete
Use a special bracket to install posts atop concrete. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Fence posts are usually installed into soil or gravel several feet below the frost line to prevent frost heave and add stability. If you need to set posts on top of an existing slab or pier of concrete, use galvanised post anchor brackets designed specifically for securing posts to concrete. While not as strong as posts set into the ground, the brackets provide a firm hold and will not rust. Choose powder-coated brackets for additional weather durability.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Galvanised 4-by-4-inch post anchor brackets
  • 4-1/2-inch Tapcon concrete anchor screws
  • Galvanised washers
  • Hammer drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • Masking tape
  • Flathead bit
  • Post level
  • 2-inch galvanised SDS screws

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  1. 1

    Measure the location of the fence posts. Many fence posts are placed 8 feet apart.

  2. 2

    Place galvanised post anchor brackets where the posts will be located on top of the existing concrete. Use the pencil to draw around the brackets and draw through the screw holes where the bracket will attach to the concrete. Set aside the brackets.

  3. 3

    Load a hammer drill with a masonry bit that is slightly narrower than the concrete anchor screws. Measure 5 inches up from the tip of the masonry bit and lightly wrap a piece of masking tape at this mark. Drill holes at the pencil marks 5 inches deep, guided by the masking tape on the bit.

  4. 4

    Align the galvanised brackets over the pencil markings. Slip a washer onto a concrete anchor screw. Insert the concrete anchor screw into the first hole, through the bracket. Firmly drill the concrete anchor screw into the hole. Repeat for all the holes for all brackets.

  5. 5

    Strap a post level to the first post. Insert the post into the bracket. Have a helper hold the post level. Slowly drill a 2-inch galvanised SDS screw through the bracket into the post. Repeat for every bracket hole. Continue to every post.

Tips and warnings

  • To avoid cracking the wooden post as you drill in the SDS screws, drill slowly or pre-drill a small starter hole. Avoid drilling close to the edges of the posts.
  • The purpose for the masking tape on the masonry drill bit is to allow for concrete dust and sediment to fall to the bottom and allow the anchor screws to go all the way into the hole. The hole you drill into the concrete must be at least 1/4-inch longer than the anchor screws or the screw will not go all the way down into the hole.
  • Contact the local codes department before attempting a fence installation. Your municipality may regulate fence height and placement.

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