How to Set Treated Lumber in Concrete


Anchoring wooden posts in the earth is a matter of choosing appropriate treated lumber and setting it in concrete. From gate posts and desk posts and any other support system that needs securing to the ground, treated lumber is the way to go when anchoring wood to the ground during an outdoor project. Setting treated lumber in concrete is a sure way to obtain strength, security and resistance to damage and decay that water and insects may cause. The effort required is minimal, and you can rest assured the finished job will last many years to come.

  • Dig a hole. Posts are typically 4-by-4 inches, or 6-by-6 inches. Use a post hole digger to remove enough earth to allow 4 inches of space around the perimeter of the post. The hole's depth will depend on the post's intended purpose.

  • Mix concrete. Following manufacturer's labeling, mix concrete in a wheelbarrow or mixing machine, depending on the amount needed for the job.

  • Fill the hole half-way with concrete and set the post. Set the post into the concrete. Don't press down too hard as the wood should not come into contact with soil. Let the post "float" a little in the concrete mix.

  • Fill the remainder of the hole. Fill in around the post and mound the concrete up slightly to allow for water drainage. Water should not pool around the post. Once the concrete sets, post setting is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • To create piers, cut out the ends of a 5-lb. coffee can and set the post inside the can. Pour concrete inside and cut away the can when the concrete dries. The can acts as a form for the concrete.
  • Cut the tops of the posts to height after setting.
  • It is also possible to mix concrete in the ground. Set the post and dump dry concrete post setting mix into the hole and add water. The concrete will set up and anchor the post.
  • Concrete mix should be on the heavy side. Do not mix using too much water.

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  • Photo Credit fence post image by SKYDIVECOP from
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