Setting fence posts the right way

Step-by-step guide to ensure solid construction

Setting fence posts is a pretty common occurrence around any do-it-yourselfer's house. But there are a few steps you need to follow to ensure that the posts hold the load they're intended to hold, and remain solid and functional for years to come. With fences, you have vertical posts that are supported only by that portion of the post that sits below ground. The post is designed to carry a lateral – side-to-side – load, with no other bracing other than the stringers that connect it to the next post in line. If the post is set too shallow, if the hole is too narrow, or if the soil does not provide firm compaction and support, the post will simply sag over. First, lay out the line of the posts using a string that is stretched tightly between two stakes. If your property is hilly, or if the run of the fence is quite long, you may need to add intermediate stakes to support the string properly. Lay out the location of each post along the line of the string, and mark it with a ...