We have all seen it before, whether or not it is the neighbours fence or your own. High winds, rain, soggy ground, rotting wood, all these conditions could cause a fence to fall down. So how do you replace it properly. You have got 2 choices, do it yourself or get a general handyman in. In case you intend having a go at it yourself then here are a handful of handyman tips for you.
First of all here is a list of what you will require to carry out the work successfully.
2 bags of fast-setting concrete
One 50 pound bag of gravel
Small shovel (something to mix the concrete in the hole)
Large shovel (to clear out the hole)
String to create a plumb line (at least 50ft.)
Here’s the way to do it:
Allow us to assume that our fence post hole is prepared for the re-installation of the new fence post after removing the old one completely. For this example allow us to also assume that it is a 6 foot fence so I need a minimum of 24 inches of the post to be below ground for setting into concrete. To make sure I have the correct amount of post sticking out of the ground, you will need to run a plumb line from the top of the fence posts on either side.
Add 3-6 inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole. The gravel will assist with drainage and keep your post from rotting prematurely. Should you have soil that drains away very slowly, you may want to dig your hole a little bit deeper and add more gravel. Be sure that at least 24 inches of your post will be below ground to set in concrete.
It is better to start with a 10 foot post so that you can cut it to size. Measure from the bottom of the hole (with gravel added) to the plumb line (mentioned previously) and cut your post to size with a circular saw. Remember to measure twice before cutting. It is better to be safe than sorry!
Place your post in the hole and align it with your plumb lines. Make sure you put a spirit level on your post to ensure it is plumb. You also need to make sure you that you have got equal distances on either side of your post so the fence panels line up correctly and can be secured to your new fence post. Once you have this done you will should brace the fence post by screwing some 2 1/2 inch deck screws through a few 2×4?s to keep it in place.
It is now time to add the concrete. Since this is a 6×6 post, the hole is a bit larger than a standard 4×4 fence post hole and will need two bags of fast-setting concrete. The manufacturer say to add water to the hole first, but if the soil drains away quickly, add one bag of concrete followed by the water. Mix the concrete with the water inside the hole until you have a good thick slurry. If you have some gravel left over, throw a bit bit of it into the mix for added strength. Now you should add the 2nd bag, a drop more water, and mix it all together like a big mud pie.
The fast setting concrete will set in about 20 minutes should be hard enough to put the fence panels back on in about 6 hours, but you ought to give it a good 24 hours just to make sure. Once it has set hard, get some help to hold the fence panels in place and use some stainless steel screws to re-attach them. I prefer screws better than nails in such an application, especially since the fence panel cross members already have holes in them from previous use. You might be tempted to re-use the original holes, my advice is, don’t! The nails may hold for a short time but after a few strong winds they might loosen up and you will be back outside re-attaching the fence panels before you know it.
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I have spent a lot of my time working for a company called General Handyman London, and I have seen some pretty sites and some not so pretty sites. I now run my own building maintenance company and I really enjoy the work.
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