Watch This Video Before Building a Wood Fence

Watch This Video Before Building a Wood Fence

visit Greg mancom for more home improvement tips one of the biggest problems with a wood fence I'm talking about a one by six dog-eared or one by eight dog-eared 1 by 8 a 1 by 6 1 by decorative fence however you want to put its the wood posts biggest problem with a wood fence is going to be the wood posts that go into a concrete foundation usually it's going to be a round hole square hole that's dug about 18 inches to 2 feet into the ground the post fits in there and fills up with concrete I've seen so many people try so many different ways to keep these posts from rotting if you have sandy soil that drains easily you got soil that drains good wouldn't be a bad idea to put gravel underneath the post so dig an extra 4 or 6 inches and fill the hole with gravel put the post and set it on top of the gravel and then pour your concrete around the post this provides an area for water to drain out up it'll drain any water that gets into the wood will drain down and eventually get out of the gravel so that's not a bad idea that's not going to be a good idea if you have clay soil or soil that doesn't drain well the reason for that is you're going to end up putting the gravel in and this area is actually going to fill up with water because the soil doesn't drain well so what do you do with the clay I don't know put the post in pour your cement around it good luck you know now what about painting the wood post with some type of high gloss paint or an elastomeric something that will really seal the bottom of the paint post what that does is actually traps the moisture so any moisture that goes into the wood post above the ground is going to get trapped inside of this rubberized paint that you've put around the post now once the water stays there long enough it's going to rot the post out I actually put a post in did this and had to replace it within one year just doing a test I wanted to see what would happen it just it didn't take long that's not a good idea either what about putting tar around the bottom again it's the same effect so what about just putting your post into the wood now you've got a direct spot for moist soil to enter into the wood so even in the concrete if you have a concrete footing that your post is sitting into water will actually absorb into the concrete and the concrete will remain moist for long periods of time so if I don't care what someone tells you they got the new way this is the pose this is the way your wood post is going to last forever I don't know I've tried everything so if you're planning on pouring building a wood fence on well-drained soil you've got a solution you can use gravel underneath it if you have expansive soil clay something that retains water for long periods of time I really don't have a good solution for you I've tried everything you might consider going with a heavy duty metal post and then attaching the wood railings for the fence to the post somehow and again they have all sorts of brackets now for that so that wouldn't be a bad idea either but don't forget does rust eventually so might not last as long as you think it will so I hope them would post tips for building your fence help you out and shed a little more light on stuff learn from the guy who's done it that's why I'm making these videos trying to share some of the stuff that I've done some of the mistakes I've made in my life so you guys don't have to make here are some more websites you can visit for great tips on home remodeling and construction

45 Replies to “Watch This Video Before Building a Wood Fence”

  1. The way to do it is to place metal h shaped straps into the concrete footing and bolt the post into it. That way the post is sitting above the concrete not in the soil. The only added expense is the brace and the bolts.

  2. Galvanized post is your best option becuz the post I've just dug up had no rust what so ever and it sat in the ground over 15yrs. Matter of fact I'm reusing that posts becuz it had a chain link on it. Took off all the chain links and think about doing my own panels.

  3. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Just some thoughts. I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a composite 4×4 or 6×6 fence post. Something similar to wood but much more durable. I know there was a time when structural lumber that was going to be in contact with or beneath the ground was first treated with a mixture of tar, creosote and sometimes kerosene. Those days are gone though. I think a metal post is the best idea. On a wooden fence you can always box it in for the sake of design, if that's a consideration. Otherwise I get the impression that maybe the type of soil should be a determining factor in choosing the type of fence post.

  4. Here is an idea: Take 4" PVC Schedule C pipe, (4 1/2"external measurement), stick a rebar in it then pour concrete in it. You can do this in place or before setting the pipe in concrete. Then dress the pipe with four pressure treated boards of choice which would end an inch above ground. I used 2'x8' PT lumber rhat I ripped to 6'. This is a bit expensive if you have to fence in a large area. However if you are putting the fence in clay ground then the payback is that your fence posts will last a long time.

  5. I'm so glad I seen this video this week im gona charge a guy to build a fence. So if people want for ever they need to realize nothing last forever silly lil goose

  6. wood rot requires oxygen, moisture and wood. there is no oxygen at the bottom of the post. the post rot at earth level and 6 inches above. no matter what the soil. applying roofing tar starting from 6 inches above ground and stopping 6 inches to a foot at the bottom of the post will add many years if not decades to the post. cement is a waste of time and money….. wood that is buried in lakes and in the earth is retrieved about 50 years later and is sold as very expensive aged lumber. forget pressure treated wood. eastern hemlock, oak, tamarack and black locust will hold up very well. all the nonsense about posts rotting in the ground is exactly that…..nonsense. in my area there are post and beam barns that have been standing since the early 1900s. they're all built out of eastern hemlock and the posts are dipped or coated in tar as described above. what needs to be protected is 6 inches above ground and about a foot below ground. all telephone poles, barns and fences are built out of eastern hemlock in my area…..all are coated with tar. boat docks are built out of eastern hemlock with no treatment and are placed in the water. there's a dock I'm looking at right now that is at least 50 years old. the draining at the bottom is a myth… is the cement. the only people that understand this is the post saver company but even at that I would use tar.

    copper nap and tar wrapped in a polyethylene plastic 6 inches above ground and 1 foot below….that is all that is required. you'll get 30-50 years out of your posts of you use minimum 6x6s and above. don't look for new tricks…..old timers have been doing it this way for centuries…..if you can…..speak to your local Amish community. they still do it this way.

  7. There are metal brackets that get anchored into the cement in the ground. Post goes on top of the ground. Just Google it.

  8. dig your hole twice as deep as you need get a pvc pipe that will fit around your post, and that comes 1 foot up the post, set pvc pipe in back fill around pvc with soil, fill inside pvc with gravel 1 foot short of top put post inside pvc and fill hole with concrete. if your post hole depth is 3 feet, your pvf should be 4 foot long , top of pvc 2 feet from ground level, your post is still going to be at 3 feet deep. so when you fill with concrete it creates a seal around the wood and pvc and any internal moisture will drain through the concrete to the pvc, and it will never drain enough fast enough to fill that cavity inside the pvc

  9. You're right. However, there is a solution. Use a tube to fill with concrete, add an external bracket to the concrete pillar, and then put the post into the bracket (which is above the ground).

  10. Ive got two ideas gravel on the bottom, and wrap the post in tar paper roofing felt, before being inserted into the hole, also line the hole with plastic sheeting or tar paper, so your wood will have a barrier and your concrete will have a barrier, then take some pvc drill a bunch of holes in it and drain it away from your post

  11. In a clay soil, use the two priciples of (a) differential transpiration (b) ground embedded heat pipes; not all soils will release water at the same rate, clays will release slowly and at a different rate than a deliberately different soil (sand/gravel) rigid porousity (angular gravel) will resist compaction and deform to counteract soil upheaval, gravity always wins; metal spikes like grounding rods [draw] heat, copper is best, a solar "catch" on top (a simple metal panel like a passive solar panel) will channel even more heat into the ground and evaporate more water locally than unheated surrounding.. this will depress the local water table and [draw] moisture away from a buried post. Strategically positioned several can help keep the soil around a post much dryer than nothing at all. If your really into exterme "over engineering" you can bury low-temp heater wire like use to wrap pipes in the North and set them to plant moisture sensors so they activate only under very moist conditions.

  12. Hey, nice video! It sure made me think on how to set up the posts and I think I came up with an idea how to. it will be more expensive but it might save money in a long perspective considering the posts might last longer. I want to dig up a hole, fill it with concrete and set a metal foot with rebar in it and fix the wood post in the foot with screws.

  13. What about these plastic caps that sit on top of the footing to keep rain and snow off of where the post and footing meet?

  14. 2-3/8 metal post hands down. It may cost a little over double initially (post + hardware)…but in the long run will be a lot cheaper.

    And for all that is holy… never, never, never buy treated yellow pine pickets …In fact I refuse to buy the 5/8" (thickness) cedar pickets from big box. Find a place that has the full 3/4". Again, cost more initially …but not in the long run.

  15. If you was to install wood posts could you drill an angled hole from a few inch's above the ground to a fair distance deep and just fill it with something like oil or bio oil so that the wood wouldn't hold water.???

  16. In VA (clay soil), we buy 4x4s and let them dry for 6 months before using them. We then paint the whole post with two coats. That way there is little moisture in the post. We protect the end grain on both sides to prevent the wood from acting as a sponge. A little gravel at the bottom of the hole then concrete. They last a looong time here that way. Just make sure to add a coat every 5 or so years.

  17. A few basic steps that will help any install, this is the guaranteed "best way" to build a wood fence you want to last as long as possible. I have some that are over 30 years and still standing solid… in wet, sandy South Florida dirt where big Hurricanes are constant unwanted visitors. The real secret is to keep water out of the wood, do not let it get in via the dirt around bottom or from rain that falls on exposed portion. As Greg mentioned, this is best for sandy soil and not the hard clay type ground. If you are in that condition, I would suggest you encapsulate the entire post (Step 2) and then paint with color stain.

    1. Fill bottom of hole (3 to 5 inches) with pea rock, gravel, etc and then tamp lightly with flat bottom of post.

    2. Coat post from about 4 inches above the ground to about 24 inches down the hole end, with roofing repair tar that is paintable via roller or brush. Also put a coating on the tar on top of post, to create a seal and prevent rain or sprinkle water from entering the open end. A heavier body product is better, just work it down into pores and cracks until flat and smooth. (Note: Be sure you don't coat the last few inches or bottom end, on the part of pole going into ground.)

    3. Multi-layer wrap the tar coated portion with heavy plastic or rubber sheeting and secure with staples, galvanized roof nails, nylon tie wraps, etc. (Note: Best to wrap immediately, while tar is sticky, wet and tacky). Tip: If you have some heavy duty pallet shrink wrap and a hand dispenser available, it's much easier to install and will go a lot faster on bigger jobs.

    4. Set post into position and fill hole with concrete to about 2 inches above ground level, then slope down and away from post to keep water away. A little of the plastic wrapping should be exposed and may be trimmed back after concrete is dry. (Note: The plastic should be stuck to tar and not loose so as to create a funnel for water to enter.) Tip: Do not wrap plastic over entire tar coated section, create a wrap situation that leaves about 1 inch of tar exposed on either end.

    5. Be sure to put a professional cap on top of post, any variety of cheap metal or plastic, to keep water from entering when it rains.

    6. Brush or airless spray a quality stain or clear wood treatment of some type on exposed portion of wood. (This is optional and more costly but a reasonable option for a DIY fence owner. It probably should be repeated every 5 years or so, for optimal protection and life expectancy.)

    This is the end of discussion on how to do it "best", although some may think its overkill. Well bottom line is… "it works"! Plus it is the best option for individuals desiring a more permanent option. Even if you are a professional, this is the way to go if you're offering and charging for top quality and or offer a length of life guarantee.

  18. Hey thanks for the tip, I have a lot of clay pellets that I was gonna throw out. I never thought of using them for the posts.

  19. I am using the plastic protective sleeves for ease of changing post when they inevitably rot. I have not seen a comments on this! From what I learned these allow post to breath and last longer. I also put gravel in the bottom, set my post and sleeve together, add a little more gravel around the base then drop in some dry concrete so the mixed I pour on top will not go under the plastic and adhere to the bottom of the post. This in theory allow the post to drain and prevent rot for a much longer period of time. Not sure how good this approach is with clay or a shale base of the hole, but if it does drain and no concrete sticks to the post it should last longer and when the inevitable rot does occur the post should be easy to replace. Not sure why I have not seen any other posts like this?Dennis Maloy1 minute agoI am using the plastic protective sleeves for ease of changing post when they inevitably rot. I have not seen a comments on this! From what I learned these allow post to breath and last longer. I also put gravel in the bottom, set my post and sleeve together, add a little more gravel around the base then drop in some dry concrete so the mixed I pour on top will not go under the plastic and adhere to the bottom of the post. This in theory allow the post to drain and prevent rot for a much longer period of time. Not sure how good this approach is with clay or a shale base of the hole, but if it does drain and no concrete sticks to the post it should last longer and when the inevitable rot does occur the post should be easy to replace. Not sure why I have not seen any other posts like this?

  20. I am putting a fence up this weekend dig the hole put the post in I am to use dry concrete water go from there good video thanks

  21. Helping someone with a fence job, we used two bags of river rock near the base of each post, which looks similar to the rock used in concrete. But the supervisor later said he would never have anyone working for him that would use river rock instead of pea gravel. ( um, okay subtle hint) The soil is sandy and the 8' posts either rotted or shifted from the winds. Having concrete ( anchors) around them only made it harder to dig and pull them out. I hadn't done work like this in over 30 years and the concrete was something I thought was always a bad idea..especially for the guy that has to dig it out. One of the last jobs I did, around that 30 year ago, the broken post was just set in wet clay and I couldn't pull the post out because the rot and the suction vacuum pulling the post back down. I drove a long spike underneath it to break the vacuum and tried to push up the rotted post, but it didn't work as I'd hoped. When pulling out the rod, what I recalled was of small explosion and flames that shot out. It turned out the rod had cut through a secondary power line. It took another 4 hours for the power company to fix it so we could put in another post. Luckily we weren't hurt and the power company never sent a bill to the guy ( my father) I was working for… But the furnace repairman that went to supposedly fix a neighbors unsurprisingly non working furnace, did for all the time he was there waiting. I don't think my father ever paid him. ( shocking) ;P

  22. I've just watched this video and decided that i'm not building anything. Too depressed. I'm going to buy a high rise apartment and then go out and play some golf.

  23. hi greg. videos are very informative.
    what about tar entire wooden post then paintint for looks?
    currently planning fencing project with clay soil in Illinois.

  24. Great video.  What about using pressure treated wood posts?  Would that help prevent rot?  Thank you.

  25. What if u had a 4" x4" plastic sleeve u could set in concrete then slip ur post inside of that shim it plumb, just a idea?

  26. Buy 4"x3/8" aluminum angle, cut brackets to 2', drill 1/2" holes for galv. Carriage bolts and set in concrete. Then bolt wood post to it 2" above ground. Cold case solved… It will last forever

  27. I love it johnny pooper, sorry couldn't help myself. If I had a quarter for every time someone called me stupid, without providing me with satisfactory scientific evidence, I could probably purchase a nice meal. Some treated materials to rot and I have a treated fence post in my backyard that has actually rotted and is currently braced to prevent the fence from falling over.

  28. what are you talking about? treated posts dont rot and your stupid if you use concrete because tamping with dirt can make a rock solid post if you know what your doing. just go buy you a treated post, dont cut it and tamp it with dirt and your good

  29. Has anyone tried putting all concrete in the ground and then attaching something like a J bolt or lag bolt to a U shaped metal bracket then attaching the wood so the wood is above ground at all times?

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