How To Set A Fence Post By Yourself

Paying someone else to accomplish something that should be your responsibility is a turn-off for many. We needed to install fence posts, but I didn’t want to hire someone else to do it.

It’s not difficult to install fence posts on your own. An auger, post hole digger, quick-dry concrete, level, work gloves, several two-by-by-fours, gravel, and access to water are all essentials for this project. Please continue reading for further instructions and advice on setting up your article.

The things you’ll need to get started.

You’ll need the same tools and supplies for this project as any other landscaping endeavor.


When digging a hole, you may encounter hard dirt or rocks that make it difficult. Depending on where you live earth was very rocky in both of our previous residences.

When digging a hole, a standard shovel was insufficient. When we couldn’t find a bulb-digging auger, we used a power drill auger attachment.

A bulb auger can be purchased here. It didn’t turn out as well as we had planned because our ground was full of rocks.

So, you may or may not choose to buy or rent a power drill from The Home Depot or Lowe’s, depending on your needs. This will allow you to excavate more quickly than simply using a shovel.

Digger for digging holes in the ground

You can use the drill to start the hole for you. The drill will leave a lot of soil in the hole, and you’ll need to remove that debris before moving on. To remove the dirt, a post-hole digger is your best bet.

However, it’s possible to use an ordinary shovel in this case, but you may dig a larger hole than is necessary. A post hole digger will be an ideal tool to remove the dirt from the auger-made hole.

Posthole diggers with wood or fiberglass handles are available here. Both will do the job, but fiberglass is more likely to withstand the test of time.

Your post will be checked to ensure that it is straight up and down using a level.

There are a variety of levels to pick from, but there are some that are expressly designed for posting content. Some of them can be found right here.

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Gloves for the job are required.

Work gloves are essential because you’ll be handling a lot of wood and dirt.

Concrete that dries fast

There are a variety of quick-drying concrete options available. Find the best quick-dry concrete at your local hardware shop.

We used Quikrete’s fast-setting concrete mix for our post-setting job. Here, you can learn more about the company’s concrete.

You’ll need quick-drying concrete for several posts because you don’t want to wait for them to harden for days or even weeks. As a bonus, you can have fast dry concrete that doesn’t need to be mixed ahead of time and doesn’t require any cleanup.

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Water supply

For your quick-drying concrete, you’ll need some water. What you require in terms of concrete determines how much you’ll need.

That’s why I think it’s good to have some sort of water supply handy. Alternatively, a bucket of water will do the trick.


Finally, two-by-fours are a necessity for a variety of reasons. To begin, you’ll need something to hold the posts in place once they’re ready to be installed.

As a result, you’ll need to secure the post to the two-by-fours. Second, the two-by-fours will come in handy if you have to move the concrete around in the water.

Steps to setting your post

Once you have all the tools you need, setting the post is following a few simple steps:

  1. Find the spot you want to bury your post. To dig a hole, use a drill. A third of the post should be below ground, a decent rule of thumb to follow. An 8-foot post should be buried to a depth of 2’8″. I followed the specifications for the quick-dry concrete I purchased, which said that an 8-foot post should be buried 2 feet. As a result, you may expect your hole to be between two and two and a half feet eight inches deep. You should also ensure that your hole is at least 4 inches wider than your post.
  2. Once you’ve drilled the hole using the auger, get out your post hole digger and clear away any residual dirt from the hole. Remove any rocks or other debris from the hole before filling it.
  3. After the dirt and debris have been removed, fill the hole with gravel. The post will be more secure in the hole if you do this.
  4. Make a hole in the ground and place your post there. Then, using two screws for every two two-by-fours, secure them to the post. Nails, screws, or clamps can be used to fasten these two-by-fours together. Afterward, place the other two-by-fours’ ends on the floor. Using a level and two-by-fours, level the post by attaching them to it.
  5. You should follow the guidelines on the bag of quick-dry concrete by pouring in the concrete and then watering it down. The top of the hole will be covered by concrete for 4 to 6 inches. Adjust the two-by-fours if necessary after rechecking the post’s level. Before the concrete dries, perform this procedure.
  6. You may need to use your other two-by-fours to stir the quick-dry concrete at this stage.
  7. It will take some time for the concrete to harden. It’s time to cover the hole with the earth excavated throughout the digging process. Then, you’re done.

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Things to keep in mind

First, consider what time of day it is and how hot or cold it is outside when you plan to post. Even if the temperature is over 32 degrees, you may want to postpone digging your hole.

When it’s cold outside, it’s difficult to dig a hole, and the quick-drying concrete takes longer to dry out. When it’s chilly outside, the ground hardens, making digging more difficult, if not impossible.

It took two days for the quick-dry concrete I poured into a post hole to harden because I failed to account for the temperature. Consider the location of any lines that may enter your home.

It’s common for service and gas lines to be buried about 18 inches apart. These lines could be damaged if you use a drill.

A line can be broken even with a standard shovel, but it is less likely. It’s best to get an expert to come out and evaluate the area where you’re digging if you’re unsure.

Local utilities can be contacted by dialing 811, the national phone number in the United States.The day before you start digging, give someone a call and let them come out and set up flags.

Finally, several people have complained that their post has deteriorated with time. This is referred to as “collar rot.”

This problem can be avoided by “doming” the top of the concrete rather than flattening it. Alternatively, you can prevent moisture from collecting around the post by piling the earth on top of the hole.

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Additional sources of information

To put a fence post on your own, Home Depot has a helpful video here.

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