how to set Fence Posts in Concrete
Things have come along way since we used to get the cement mixer out and load it up with sand and gravel and add some cement to make concrete. It was a messy job and cleaning out the mixer afterwards was a dirty job too.
Thankfully those days are gone and now we can keep the whole job of concreting posts into the ground much cleaner and tidier.
I think it's safe to say that when the ready to pour bags of concrete came out, most of us were sceptical to some degree but we got over that pretty quickly lol. The rapid change over from cement mixer to using Postcrete is testament to just how good it is. Setting posts with this stuff is an absolute game changer.
Here's how it works.
You set your fence post in the hole. I normally hammer it into the ground a few inches so that the post is held roughly in position until I get the concrete in there. Then you half fill the hole with water. I take my time with this bit and let the water soak into the sides of the hole a bit and then top up if needed.
Then you slice open a bag of Postcrete and slowly pour it into the hole, working your way around the fence post in order to make sure you have an even distribution of the powder in the hole. Then you quickly grab your spirit level, you don't have much time at this point, and set your post plumb and straight before the Postcrete hardens off. It takes roughly a minute in the summer months, and a bit longer, but not much in the winter months.
And that's it. In about 10-15 minutes, that post will be firm enough to hammer a nail into it. I did a farm gate post, a big post set in 5 bags of this stuff, 9it was a big old lump of concrete I took out which left a big hole) and in 15 minutes I was using a 14lb sledge hammer to drive hinge spikes through the post and it was rock solid. That was the ultimate test of Postcrete for me. But then I remember one of my clients who phoned to say his son had hit the new fence I had just built, with his car. He had selected reverse by mistake and reversed the car right into the fence. He was laughing when he said, "don't worry, the fence is fine but the back end of his car is wrecked" lol.
And that's why just about the whole industry shifted overnight to using Postcrete. No need to carry a cement mixer around. No need to order a ton of sand and gravel. No mess to clean up. Any spare bags just go back in the van to be used on the next job. The bags are waterproof too so you can stack them outside and you don't have to worry if it rains.
I'll see if I can find you a link to it somewhere, but you'll generally find it in all the merchants and big DIY stores these days.
Here we go;
These guys deliver so that's a pretty good deal. The bags are 20kg each so I wouldn't go putting more than 5 or 6 in the boot of a car. Also, for me, I always use a bit more than one per hole, usually it's about a bag and a half, so if I'm doing 10 posts, I would make sure I had 15 bags, but it depends on how wide and deep your holes are. You get a better feel for it once you've done it a few times, as it is with most things lol.
Next up is what I do after the concrete has set. See you there.
How to protect fence posts from ground rot and frost damage.