Do It Yourself
For a 6' wood fence, is it preferable to set the
posts in concrete or directly in the dirt?
Posts that are tamped in will lean eventually due to the wind. It will be
necessary in most cases to straighten and retamp the posts every year, especially the
first year after the dirt settles. Backfilling with gravel helps, but does not eliminate
Tall fences require concrete footers to eliminate the
problem, but there are other considerations. If you use treated CCA pine posts, they will
not rot out due to concrete footers. Using concrete on untreated posts will cause them to
rot prematurely, even if you use a species of wood that is resilient to rotting such as
cedar or redwood. I recommend using treated posts and concrete regardless of the style of
fence. If you don't like the fact that the rails and pickets don't match, consider
staining the posts or facing them off with matching wood.
For short fences with lots of space between the pickets,
such as traditional 3' to 4' high picket fences, tamping in dirt is fine. Consider setting
gate posts in concrete to avoid problems with gates.
Author: Frank R. Hoover, Hoover Fence
25 years+ in the fence business
Copyright 1999 Hoover Fence Co.
May be reprinted as long as source is acknowledged
copyright Hoover Fence Co. and Hoover Enterprises, June 1999.
4521 Warren Rd., Newton Falls, OH 44444, Phone: (330) 358-2335