How To Replace A Broken Fence Post.

By: Rick Skew


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 can you replace it correctly. You have got 2 choices, get it done yourself or get a general handyman in. In case you intend having a go at it yourself then listed below are a few handyman tips for you.

Firstly here is an inventory of what you will need to carry out the task effectively.

Fence post
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.)
Bracing material
Spirit level

Here’s how to do it:

Let us assume that our fence post hole is ready for the re-installation of a new fence post after taking out old one completely. For this example let us also assume that it is a 6 foot fence so I need at least 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 need to run a plumb line from the top of the fence posts on either side.

Add 3-6 inches of gravel to the base of the hole. The gravel will assist with drainage and keep the post from rotting prematurely. If you have soil that drains away very slowly, you may want to dig your hole a little bit deeper and add more gravel. Ensure that no less than 24 inches of the 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 using a circular saw. Remember to measure twice before cutting. It is better to be safe than sorry!

Place your post inside the hole and align it with the plumb lines. Ensure you put a spirit level on your post to be sure it is plumb. You also have to make sure you that you have got equal distances on either side of the post so that the fence panels line up correctly and can be secured to the new fence post. Once you have this done you will should support the fence post by screwing some 2 1/2 inch deck screws through a couple of 2×4?s to hold it in place.

It is now time to add the concrete. Since this is a 6×6 post, the hole will be 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 and then 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 in your mix for added strength. Now you should add the next bag, a little more water, and mix it all together like a big mud pie.

The quick setting concrete will set in about 20 minutes and is hard enough to put the fence panels back on in about 6 hours, but you ought to leave it a good 24 hours just to make sure. Once it is 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 this application, especially since the fence panel cross members have already got holes in them from previous use. You may be tempted to re-use the original holes, my advice is, don’t! The nails might hold for a while 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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