Choosing and installing fence posts with your own hands
Choosing and installing fence posts with your own hands
The most important elements of the fence frame are the pillars that take the load from snow, wind and the mass of the sections themselves. In order to perform their task as well as possible, they must be stable, strong and durable to the maximum. We will consider which poles to choose for the fence with our own hands.
Choice of fence posts
Here are the factors that determine the choice of design and material of the column:
- Purpose — various solutions are being developed for options when you need to build a budget fence between your own and neighboring land, a chic fence as part of the entrance group, or even a decorative fence that marks the border of zones.
- The required height of the fence — it is required to choose according to the recommendations of urban planning standards or SNT rules. In most cases, it will be limited to 1.5-2.25 meters.
- The type of sectional filling — the load on the supports is very different, it will turn out to be a breathable light picket fence, heavy brick or solid profiled flooring.
- Do-it-yourself installation possibility — far from all types of poles are suitable for self-assembly, and in particular, driven types of piles are installed only with the help of a special pile-driving mechanism.
- Soil type — rocky, sandy or even marshy soil needs a different approach.
The calculation is carried out according to the wind load, the type of filling and the bearing capacity of the earth. In accordance with the tasks and results, the issue of the columnar structure and the material of manufacture will be resolved.
The best fence posts
For the construction of supports, metal, concrete, wood, blocks, bricks and asbestos-cement pipes are used. In the role of additional materials, components for the device of the base and reinforcement are used.
The most popular pipes are shaped metal or pipes with a round section. They are installed in combination with sections of their eurostudent, profiled flooring, plastic, wood and forged gratings. Metal poles are easy to install, durable, not afraid of summer heat, frost and fire, and also light and high-strength. To install the fence, you can buy a ready-made metal system (logs, poles, accessories and fasteners). This is done according to fixed dimensions for standard fences and is far from always suitable for certain tasks. Ready-made factory-made supports have welded elements for fixing the transverse logs, i.e. «ears», and the ends are tightly welded to protect against the effects of precipitation.
Typically, the tubular surface is treated with a primer. And yet, during installation, it is worth making additional protection — coat the underground part with mastic, and paint the outside so that rust does not appear. If you have special working skills in metal and a welding machine, you can make fence posts with your own hands. But even if the use of welding is not available to you, the technology makes it possible to assemble structures through mechanical fastening — brackets, bolts, brackets, clamps, etc.
Screw metal piles with a length of up to 4 meters are used as supports. They are manually installed with a special collar that must be put on the “head” of the pile. When rotating, the blades will begin to cut the soil layers, and the column will gradually deepen. There are also short piles that provide for the installation of supports on the head after installation. In this case, the metal fence post will play the role of the base for the upper structures, which are welded or bolted to a horizontally placed platform.
Made from natural wood
This is the most affordable material for the construction of fences. Wooden poles are easy to assemble, process, quite durable and environmentally friendly. Wood structures require constant impregnation treatment, but even in this case, their service life is much less than that of concrete or metal fences. Wooden supports are used to make low fences or even a picket fence. A small underground part will take on loads commensurate with the strength of the material. to create pillars there will be bars or barked logs, which should be treated with antiseptics. The underground part should be smeared to the depth of the recess with bituminous mastics, and then wrapped with roofing material. This will protect the tree from ground moisture, and also prevent rotting. When processed with a blowtorch, the pores in the wood will close, and moisture will not enter the surface.
Made of such a durable material, the poles are universal, and also go well with any fillers. For masonry, finishing bricks of different colors, type of coating and even the relief of the front side are used:
- With rounded, curly or cut edges.
- With imitation of marble or rock.
- Under a chipped, wild or even «torn» stone.
Valuable properties of brick pillars:
- Fire resistance.
- Resistance to influences from the atmosphere.
- High level of strength.
The supports are very massive, and they still need to equip a solid foundation. Its sole should be placed lower than the freezing level. The base must be reinforced. In order for the supports to be stable for a long time, vertical reinforcement is placed inside with further concreting. In the role of an amplifier, rod reinforcement or steel pipes are used. At the end of laying, the top of the column is covered with protective caps.
From concrete blocks
Hollow blocks made of concrete for fences imitate all kinds of materials, which makes it possible to use them without additional cladding. Elements are made by vibrocasting or pressing from semi-dry concrete with the addition of cullet, granite chips, pigments and bricks. When creating surfaces, they give a different relief — for slate, cobblestone, mosaic, sandstone, natural or “torn” stone, clinker tiles and chipped bricks. Concrete poles for the fence during manufacture are laid to the entire height of the pole, reinforced and even concreted. The vertical type of reinforcement will give the structure additional stability. Such blocks are also moisture resistant, durable, and do not burn yet. They are much cheaper than poles finished with natural materials, and therefore quite popular. In voids that are not filled with concrete, lay electrical wiring for alarms, video cameras, electric bells and lights.
Structures made of asbestos cement are not afraid of moisture, do not rot and are quite budgetary. They are often used for slate, wood and chain-link fences. The main disadvantage was the fragility of the material and the tendency to crack. If installed incorrectly, the pipe can break during thaws and winter frosts. To prevent this from happening, it is worth using wooden lived, and not metal. They are less susceptible to expansion from temperatures, and yet do not cause destructive stresses in asbestos-cement pillars. As practice has shown, pouring concrete is optional, and even more so in a fence made of lightweight materials. Pipe concreting is used to create foundations where structures experience high compressive loads. Such pipes will play the role of formwork.
Factors that affect the depth of laying pillars:
- Own weight — the larger it is, the deeper the pit should be.
- The mechanical composition of the soil and properties, as well as the level of groundwater on the site.
- Relief — supports need to be strengthened with large height differences.
- The close location of the reservoir — during floods, the fence can be flooded.
- The mass and occupancy of the structures — certain sections increase the windage, and will also create an additional load.
- Installation step — the distance between the fence posts will affect the degree of load.
How deep should fence posts be dug in? At first it may seem that the larger the foundation, the stronger the pillar will stand. Many sources strongly advise placing supports lower than the freezing point of the soil. But at low loads, this will lead to an unreasonable rise in price due to the excess consumption of material, as well as physical resources. The best support pinch size at normal height and average wind load is considered to be between 0.7 and 1.2 meters. When laying a pillar to such a depth, the required level of strength will be fully ensured. The forces of heaving from frost, which appear in watered and clay soils, will decrease due to backfilling the bottom of the pit with drainage material — gravel, coarse sand and gravel. Most often, it is effective to strengthen the columnar base, as well as a device for draining water.
Installation of metal poles
Depending on the load, according to the calculations, the supports are fixed in different ways — by driving into the ground, butting, partial or complete concreting. It is also possible to use a combined type of installation, for example, to drive in supports with butting or partial concreting.
A reliable and simple method of installing metal supports that will not be subjected to high loads. Fillings are made of picket fence, chain-link mesh and other breathable lightweight materials. Crushed stone, gravel and brick fight or other building materials are used for the bottling process.
Everything is done in the following order:
- At the place of installation of the supports, dig or drill holes with a depth of 0.7 to 1.2 meters and dimensions that are 0.2 meters larger than the reference section. When drilling, a hand drill should be turned in one direction, and then in the second and get some earth.
- Pour a gravel layer, and then tamp with a crowbar.
- Place the stand and fix it exactly vertically.
- Fill the hole in layers with a mixture of sand and gravel, compacting each layer as best as possible and watering.
- Sprinkle soil over the installation site.
To securely fasten the particles to each other, impregnate the layers with a clay solution. It will play the role of a binder and give solidity to the base. If you plan to carry out a large amount of work, then it is permissible to rent a drill with an engine that runs on gasoline. Through it, the preparation of wells will take little time.
An equally simple method of installing metal poles for a fence without performing a huge amount of ground work. But no less effort is needed, and a sledgehammer is also required, by means of which the pipe is manually driven into the ground, a special “headstock” device or a jackhammer. It will be attached to the top of the post, and then with the help of a falling weight, cyclic blows are applied. The driving technology is as follows:
- Before installing at the placed points for the posts, dig a pit with a depth of 0.3 meters.
- Stand the pole upright, delivering light blows.
- Hammer the post to the required depth, constantly monitoring the position.
- Fill the pit with sand and gravel, and then tamp it down.
The advantage of this method is the economical consumption of materials, readiness for installation of sections immediately after digging in the supports.
A more complex, but reliable method for any type of soil and loads without restrictions will be the concreting of fence posts. For this process, a solution of M150 or M200 is used. Each of the supports requires no more than 35-40 liters of concrete composition.
This method is used when installing heavy brick or concrete pillars. The pit is filled to the full depth with mortar, which will provide high bearing support capacity. If the site has dry sandy or loose soil, we strongly recommend that you use waterproofing from a dense film or roofing material. The waterproof material should be rolled up into a tube and placed inside the well. This measure helps to avoid rapid dehydration of concrete, as well as a decrease in its strength.
The technology of 100% concreting of fence supports includes:
- Drill or dig a pit with a depth of 0.7 to 1.2 meters
- Sprinkle drainage (gravel, sand and crushed stone) with tamping.
- Arrangement of formwork in the above-ground part, and this is necessary in order to strengthen the weakest points — the area where the column exits from the ground. For the most tight adhesion in such a place, reinforcing trimmings or steel profiles are welded onto the pole.
- Mounting the pole and fixing it in a vertical position, and if there is no assistant nearby, then the pipes are fixed with brick parts, props or other devices.
- Filling the pit with concrete — to release air bubbles, the mixture should be rammed with reinforcement or crowbar.
When filling the well, the reference position can be adjusted. To continue work, it is worth waiting for the complete hardening of the mixture. Depending on the climate and weather, the period will be from 4 to 10 days.