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Installing Fence Posts With Sand

G.K. Bayne

Installing fence posts with sand is a sturdy method for packing around a wooden upright. Whether the fence is a wire or wooden type, strong posts are key to a lasting fence installation. An alternative to concrete, sand packing will hold that post straight and secure. By following a basic procedure, installing fence posts with sand is a sure method for creating a strong barrier for either keeping things in or out of that enclosed area.

  1. Mark the posthole placements by placing marking flags at every opening that needs to be dug.

  2. Use the shovel to begin the hole and place all the soil removed into the wheelbarrow. The hole should be at least 3 inches wider, on all sides, than the post itself. For example, if you are using a 4-inch post, the overall width of the hole should be 10 inches wide.

  3. Keep an eye on the hole's diameter by using the tape measure. Once the shovel begins to interfere with the dirt removal from the hole, finish the cavity by using the posthole diggers. The rock bar will come in handy for loosening up the soil in the hole. The overall depth of the hole should be a minimum of 24 inches.

  4. Place the post in the hole and plumb the post with the level on two sides of the post.

  5. Pour a half of the bag of sand into the hole around the post and check for level again.

  6. Using the garden hose, add water in the hole to pack the sand around the post.

  7. Add the rest of the bag of sand and add water to pack the remaining sand. Fill the hole with water several times. This allows it to permeate around the post, and you can work on the other holes as the water seeps into the ground.

  8. Using the soil from the wheelbarrow to fill the remaining void in the hole with the dirt excavated from the hole.

  9. Water the area around the post one more time and allow the post to stand overnight before adding the fencing to the project. Like concrete, this will allow the sand and soil to firmly settle around the post.

  10. Tip

    Extremely wet locations may not be suited for this type of method as a constant wet area may never firm up to hold a post. In locations such as these, concrete with added packed rocks maybe the only solution for holding the post in place.