Follow us on Pinterest
Welcome, Guest! Log In  |  Join Now

Be a Post Master, Installing Deck and Fencing Posts

Well-built outdoor projects start with accurate layout of post locations. A few 1x2s, a length of mason's string, and simple arithmetic will get you to that goal.

Pages in this Story:
Post Master

Post Master

Many of the pergolas, garden gates, decks, arbors, and other outdoor structures featured in WOOD magazine call for posts set in straight lines and with square corners. A few 1x2s, a length of mason's string, and simple arithmetic will get you to that goal.

The illustrations and captions on these pages show you the essential steps in locating and lining up the posts you'll need. Posts set in the ground, and anchored with concrete, are the best way to support a gate, a fence, or a pergola with an attached swing.

Use posts made of pressure-treated lumber or foundation-grade (heartwood) cedar. Make sure to sink them deeper than the frost line for your area, to counter the effects of frost heaving. For a neater job, and added protection against heaving, buy cardboard tubes at your home center to line the post holes before filling them with concrete.

Before you go too far, check with local or county government officials to make sure your project plans are in compliance with building codes and ordinances regarding setback from your property line. Also, call 811 from any phone in the U.S. (or the "One Call" phone number for your province in Canada), and ask to have the buried pipes and wires on your property located and marked before you dig.

Continued on page 2:  Get organized


Comments (8)
pbarnrob wrote:

My 1910 Craftsman house was reworked in about '78, and the wooden porch was taken out (rotten) and replaced with concrete. The 12x12 redwood posts were sunk into the concrete deck of the porch as the roof was re-assembled. Now one post is about 8" lower than the other, rotting in the hole, since there's nowhere for rain to go.

4/20/2012 03:18:59 PM Report Abuse
claysoules wrote:

RogersI2 raised the red flag about sinking wood in concrete. It it the WORST POSSIBLE solution to fixing a deck/fence post to the ground. Even steel posts when sunk into concrete will begin to rust at the surface of the concrete where the moisture from the elements oxidises the steel and rots the wood in a surprisingly fast pace. As RogerI2 said, use GALVANIZED embeds in the concrete and SEAL THE CONCRETE at the interface with the embed for a long-lasting installation.

3/26/2012 09:10:42 AM Report Abuse
stolicky602136 wrote:

A comment about "one call" numbers. You can now simply dial "811" anywhere in the country in order to reach your nearest one-call center. There is no longer a need to remember lengthy telephone numbers.

4/22/2010 09:58:42 AM Report Abuse
stwining wrote:

Great article. Clear concise and to the point. If one can not follow this, they should probably farm the job out to someone more qualified.

4/1/2010 05:16:05 PM Report Abuse

Add your comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Register | Log In

Please confirm your comment by answering the question below and clicking "Submit Comment."


Connect With Us
  • Recent Posts
  • Top Posts
See More >