Getting my posts in a row

Setting fence posts starts with the corners. Once the corners are set, get a mason line and a level. That makes it fairly straightforward to get all other posts perfectly lined up, plumb and at the same elevation.

When a post was positioned, we braced it and temporarily connected it with two by fours to the adjacent posts so that it stayed in place. After a full line of posts was set, we carefully poured the concrete footing around each of the post bases. We knew that if we didn’t do it carefully, we might have moved post base and would have had to start re-aligning. And that is a time suck, believe me!

There is a simple trick on how to make pressure treated posts last. Don’t set them on concrete, set them in concrete.

If you set them on concrete, water has difficulty getting out and the post base becomes soggy which accelerates rot, even if they are pressure treated. If you make sure that the bottom one inch is sitting in soil – or even better, on pea gravel – the post base has a chance to drain and dry out, which should make it last longer.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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