How to Set the Post for a Chain Link Fence


The most important part of installing a chain link fence is setting the posts correctly. If you can do that, installing the rest of the fence will be much easier. The posts need to be the correct distance apart, set securely in the ground with concrete and placed at a consistent height in a straight line. It can be a little tricky to get the posts in perfectly.

Things You'll Need

  • String
  • Post hole digger
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Quick-dry concrete mix
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Make a plan for your fence. Decide where you want it to begin and end, then string a line to mark the location.

  • Dig the first hole using the post hole digger. A manual digger can be bought from a hardware store for about $30, or you can spend more money and rent an automatic digger. The hole should be about 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 2 feet deep.

  • Place the post in the hole and use the tape measure to measure from the ground up to the top of the post. You want the post to sit about three inches lower than the height of your chain link mesh. If you're installing 4-foot mesh, the post should measure about 45 inches from the ground up. If you aren't sure, use the tape measure to measure the height of the chain link mesh.

  • Use the level to make sure the post is standing straight, and move the post as close to the string as possible. Setting all of the posts along the string will ensure that the fence is installed in a straight line. Kick some dirt into the hole to hold the post once you have it in place.

  • Pour in a bag of the quick-dry concrete mix and add water. Continue to add water and mix the concrete until it reaches a clay-like consistency. Use the level to make sure the post is still standing straight, then leave it alone until the concrete dries.

  • Measure 10 feet down your line from the first post and dig the next hole. Repeat steps three through five every 10 feet, installing all of the posts. Once the concrete dries, use the shovel to cover the holes with dirt. You should then be ready to install the chain link mesh.

Tips & Warnings

  • For more secure posts, pre-mix the concrete with water in a wheelbarrow, then pour it into the hole around post.
  • Mix the concrete and water with a shovel. You don't want any dry spots, but you don't want too much water, either.

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