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Posts in new concrete pads
Do It Yourself

I'm having a pool installed and there is 5 feet of cement that will surround it. I would like to have the fence to be on the edge of cement. Because the cement will go in before the fence will be installed, I was thinking of placing PVC pipe in the cement forms before they pour. What size PVC, depth, and exact distances between line post? Do you have any other suggestion?

The problem is that I would need to know exactly what type and style of fence you want to install. Basically though, it is not a good idea to install forms for proposed fence posts. The problem is that precision must be used and a slight mistake could throw every hole off. Furthermore, most concrete contractors don't want to mess with the responsibility of the forms. It certainly would raise the installation price of the concrete.

Some types of fences are more forgiving of slight mistakes. Chain link post spacing is not critical except for the location of terminal posts (gate, ends and corners). Pre-paneled wood could be a problem because the spacing has to be perfect. You can cut the wood sections to fit, but you can't make them wider. Also, in order to cut a section, you want to cut exactly where a picket space is or you will be ripping down pickets. That would not look good with most styles. If you are building a wood fence from scratch, as long as you keep post spacing below the 8' span of a 2 x 4, you can always cut them to fit. Ornamental fences and vinyl fences that are made in sections require exact post spacing. No room for error is allowed with these types.

I recommend placing the fence just outside the concrete surface so the posts can be set in dirt. It is an easier and therefore cheaper installation. If you must set the posts on the concrete, core drilling the postholes after the concrete is poured and cured is the best. An expansion cement is used to set the posts in the pad. This is easiest on styles with small posts of under 3" diameter, but will work also on large 4 x 4's or 5 x 5's.

Another way is to mount the posts in special deck mount fittings. The type of fitting depends on the style of post. These fittings simply bolt to the concrete and the post fits into the fitting.

Regardless of how you install the posts, always leave a safe distance from the edge of the concrete pad to avoid cracking of the pad. 6 to 12" are recommended. Never make a square form or hole through the pad. This will cause cracking in the pad at each of the corners of your square.

Your question also requests a size for the form. The form only has to be as large as what will allow the post to fit. That does not allow for any error to move posts later, if the form was off. Also the hole size depends on whether you intend to set the post in the formed hole with expansion cement or dig into the ground below so you can set a full depth fence footer, as in normal dirt installations.

Author: Frank R. Hoover, Hoover Fence Co.
25 years+ in the fence business

Copyright 1999 Hoover Fence Co.
May be reprinted as long as source is acknowledged


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