Jun.20,2017

HOW TO INSTALL CHAIN LINK FENCE POSTS WITH CONCRETE

Skill Level: Give these projects a try if you're a confident DIYer with a good working knowledge of a variety of tools.They can take a day or more to complete. If you can build a birdhouse or install a ceiling fan, your skill level is probably appropriate.

Know Your Soil Composition: The type of soil you’ll be setting fence posts in will help determine how stable the ground is, and how much you can expect the posts to move over time. The eastern part of Wichita has clay soil, which can be very difficult to dig in. Clay soil also expands and contracts quite a bit with moisture fluctuations, so concrete anchors are a must. The west side of Wichita has more sand in the soil, but using cement on each fence post is still recommended.

Installing a Chain Link Fence with Concrete

If you’re going to install a chain link fence, anchoring each post in concrete is the best way to ensure your fence will stand straight and tall for years to come. Whether you use concrete or not, installing a chain link fence yourself requires several tools and materials, including fence posts, gates, chain link mesh, fasteners, tension bars and wires, post-hole digger, power auger, hacksaw or pipe cutter, shovel, line level, mason’s line, plumb bob, rubber mallet, socket wrenches, pull bar, fence puller, pliers, pre-mixed concrete, gravel, and a trowel.
This method usually takes two full days to complete, which includes time for the cement to dry overnight.

Setting terminal posts

The following steps explain how to set chain link fence corner,and gate posts in concrete. These posts are also referred to as terminal posts.
1. Calculate the height of the terminal posts to be installed:
1) Measure the height of the chain link fabric.Add 2" to allow for attachment of the rail band and cap.
2) This measurement is where the ground will line up with the post. Mark that measurement on the post.
3) Add the depth of the post that will be in the ground, following local building code or manufacturer’s instructions.

Chain link fence posts installation.jpg

2. manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Cut the terminal post if necessary.
4. Add gravel to the bottom of the post hole for drainage. Make sure the mark you made on the post earlier is at ground level.(Check with local building regulations to determine how much gravel is required in the hole and how deep the post must be set below the frostline.)
5. Set a terminal post in place against the layout line. Use a level to adjust it for plumb. Temporarily hold the post with clamps and braces.
6. Add concrete following the manufacturer’s instructions, working it to about 2" below the surface to allow for fill dirt later.
7. Verify that the post is still plumb with a level.
8. Continue installing terminal posts at ends, corners and gates.(When setting posts for the gate, allow sufficient space for hardware installation. Check the manufacturer’s recommendation, as some account for the hardware in the gate’s listed size. For example, a 42" gate is actually narrower so it will fit in a 42" opening with the hinges and latch. Cut a scrap board to the full gate width to use as a spacer between gate posts to make precise gate post placement easier.)

Setting line posts

1. The next steps explain how to set chain link fence line posts between terminal posts.
Calculate the height of the line post to be installed:
1) Measure the height of the chain link fabric.
2) Subtract 2" from the height to allow for the top rail.
Chain link fence posts installation.jpg 3) Add the depth of the post that will be in the ground, following local building code or manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Cut the line post if necessary.
3. Add gravel to the bottom of the post hole for drainage. Make sure the mark you made earlier is at ground level.
4. Set the line post in place against the layout line, adjust it for plumb, and temporarily support it in place with braces.
5. Add concrete following the manufacturer’s instructions, working it to 2" below the ground surface.
6. Verify that the post is still plumb with a level.
7. Continue installing line posts, evenly spaced between terminal posts.
8. Allow all concrete to thoroughly dry before continuing installation.

Installing post hardware

1. Install the terminal post hardware:
1) Add the tension bands and bolts. The number of tension bands you’ll need is the height of the fence (in feet) minus one. For example, for a 4' fence, install 3 tension bands. Make sure the flat surface of the band is on the fabric side of the fence. For corner posts, add an extra set of bands for the adjacent run of fence.
2) Install the top rail bands, cups and bolts. If installing on a corner post, alternate the end cups—bottom one up,top one down.Installing Chain Link Fence without Concrete.
3) Add the post caps to the terminal posts.

2. Install the line post hardware:
1) Install line post tops with the offset ring on the fence side.
2) Slide the top rail through the line post top and into the rail end cup, then tighten the bolt.
3) Continue installing top rails along the line. The narrower end slides into the wider end.
4) Cut the final top rail in the line to fit snugly inside the rail end cup, and secure with a bolt.

3. Install optional tension wire along the bottom to help keep pets from squeezing under the fence:
1) Add rail bands and bolts to the bottom of the terminal posts.
2) Secure the tension wire to the bottom rail band with pliers, making a loop and twisting a few times.
3) Run the wire along the outside of the posts and connect it to the rail band on the other terminal post.
*If you can’t get the tension wire taught, use a fence stretcher or come-along(used to stretch fence fabric) to stretch the tension wire.*

4. Install the tension wire clips or hog ring clips about every 2' on the tension wire. The clips will be attached to the chain link fence fabric in the next video and printable instructions in this series.

If you decide to install your chain link fence without concrete, use a post-hole digger to make a hole deep enough to bury the posts at least two feet, or about 1/3rd of the height. Never pound the posts into the ground, especially if you have hard clay or rocky soil, because you’ll bend the tops. The hole should be slightly bigger than the posts, so you can back fill it with dirt packed tightly around the post.

Installing your fence without concrete will save you a small amount of money on the concrete, trowel and gravel. You might be able to complete the installation in a day if you use the auger to dig your post holes. If you opt to save the auger rental fee (usually around $50 or so), it will take longer because you’ll be digging the post holes by hand.