If you're planning to install a wooden fence on your property you must make sure that you install the fence posts as carefully as possible, in order to ensure maximum stability. You will need the right tools and a careful approach, but how do make sure it's done correctly?
Firstly, you need to purchase the right type of wooden post. Check with a fence specialist to ensure that it is a pressure treated wood and is approved for the purpose. It needs to be rated to come into contact with the ground, in order to minimise the potential for rotting. Also, each post needs to be long enough so that you can bury at least half a metre underground.
Measure out a uniform distance between each post, which will typically be around 3 metres. Mark the location for each post.
Dig the Holes
Once you've done this, you can begin digging. You will need a specific tool for this, sometimes known as a clamshell digger. It can make the job a lot easier. You may also need a long metal bar in order to help you pry out any large stones or rock that you come across. The width of the hole will depend on how you are going to stabilise the post. If it's set in concrete, you will need a hole which is approximately 30 cm wide, while you can get away with something about half that width, if setting in gravel.
Stabilise the Posts
Next, you will need a spirit level and a couple of small pieces of wood. As somebody helps to hold the post in a level position, use nails to attach those small pieces of wood to the side of the post and plant the other ends into the ground at right angles. This will help to temporarily keep the post stable while you work.
Work on all the other posts in a similar fashion, before you think about adding the footings. You don't want to do any work twice, after all
Line them up with String
It's a good idea to use a long piece of string to help you line up your posts correctly. Run the string from one post to the other and get somebody to look down the line from a distance, to make sure it is all lined up correctly.
Add the Base
Once you are happy with each post location, you can add concrete or gravel into each hole. It is advisable to use concrete instead of gravel if you can, as this will ensure that your fence lasts longer. Also, if you do use concrete make sure that you extend the pour a few centimetres above the ground level, to try and keep as much moisture away from the wood as you can.
These tips should help you ensure your fence is stable and secure. For more tips and assistance, consult resources such as Cut Price Fencing.