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Old 05-29-2018, 02:54 PM   #1
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Reusing old fence post holes


Hi,

I've been replacing my fence and have been digging new holes rather than reusing the existing ones because the holes created from removing the old post makes it almost twice as bigger. That's been going well, but I do have to deal with the corner post.

After pulling the concrete base out, the hole is now almost twice as bigger. I could reuse the right away and just pour a bunch of concrete in there. I'd rather avoid having a 200lb concrete block sitting there. Plus the property stake would get enveloped in the new concrete. I was wondering if anyone tried refilling the hole with dirt and redigging the hole a few weeks later. Would the ground be hard enough to keep the fence post up? Is two weeks long enough?
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


You could tamp it in very small lifts/wet it/and drive a concrte truck over it... and I would not want it for my corner post.....

It's a little pricey, I haven't used it, but have you seen that new expanding foam.. I think Silka makes it....

and someone said the other day, it works great.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


A wood fence corner can get a lot of support from the next post in both direction, A wire fence will need a lot of help in the corner.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Concrete is fairly cheap and easy . . .

Especially for a corner post, seems like a good place for extra strength.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:43 PM   #5
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


I would pour the lump of concrete but put the post in a piece of sewer pipe so the next time the post can be pulled with out the concrete. Measure and stake a set distance from the stake in two directions so you can replace it in wet cement when poured.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:28 PM   #6
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


This is for a 4x4 wood post btw. I figure even if the ground is soft after redigging it, it'll harden up over time. I just need to make sure the post doesn't drift until the ground hardens up. I also need to wait long enough so that it's possible to redig and make a hole that doesn't collapse. I guess the standard procedure is to just pour more concrete instead redigging a hole? I did that for the other corner post a couple of months ago, but that one didn't have a property stake near it.

I've seen the expanding foam but I prefer to avoid stuff that doesn't mix naturally with the environment.

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Old 05-29-2018, 04:32 PM   #7
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Back fill around a new house is considered undisturbed after ten years.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:44 PM   #8
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Here is what I have done in that situation.

Take a sledge, break the old concrete off the old post, save it, if the post is still good enough to reuse, great, use it.

Also have a supply of more rubble ( broken concrete, stones, broken bricks, etc.) place the post in the large hole, get it situated nearly exactly where you want it to be, now start adding the rubble, around the post base, go around as many times as it takes to get the post stable and plumb, with the rubble packed tightly around it, packing, tamping with your spud bar, check for plumb, when you get the hole packed 3/4 way, then you can use concrete (wet), to fill up the rest of the hole, push the wet concrete into the crevasses with the spud bar, until the hole is barely overfull.

Now mound the concrete in the center around the post, to make it shed water, rain, snowmelt, gardening, all this water will drain away from the wood, and preserve the post a long time.

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Old 05-29-2018, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Quote:
Originally Posted by de-nagorg View Post
Here is what I have done in that situation.

Take a sledge, break the old concrete off the old post, save it, if the post is still good enough to reuse, great, use it.

Also have a supply of more rubble ( broken concrete, stones, broken bricks, etc.) place the post in the large hole, get it situated nearly exactly where you want it to be, now start adding the rubble, around the post base, go around as many times as it takes to get the post stable and plumb, with the rubble packed tightly around it, packing, tamping with your spud bar, check for plumb, when you get the hole packed 3/4 way, then you can use concrete (wet), to fill up the rest of the hole, push the wet concrete into the crevasses with the spud bar, until the hole is barely overfull.

Now mound the concrete in the center around the post, to make it shed water, rain, snowmelt, gardening, all this water will drain away from the wood, and preserve the post a long time.

ED
Ed: that adds up to a frost trap, you want the sides of the concrete as smooth as you can get it to depth.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:56 PM   #10
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Use a concrete tube at least 8" in diameter, set your post and back fill around the tube and tamp it very well. Use screw when making connection to that post and you will have no problems.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:01 PM   #11
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Ed: that adds up to a frost trap, you want the sides of the concrete as smooth as you can get it to depth.
That's a possibility, but I have never had frost-heave happen. Maybe the spud bar poking the wet concrete fills the exterior surface voids.


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Old 05-29-2018, 05:42 PM   #12
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


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Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
Use a concrete tube at least 8" in diameter, set your post and back fill around the tube and tamp it very well. Use screw when making connection to that post and you will have no problems.
I'll give this a try if the hole i redig doesn't hold up. I have a concrete tube already in case I might need it. The post will be connected with screws to two sets of railings so it should have enough stability from them as the ground sets over time. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:43 PM   #13
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


In your OP you mentioned proximity to the "property stake". If this is a survey marker, you need to be careful not to move, alter or interfere with it. Survey markers are covered by local or federal law depending on jurisdiction.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:12 PM   #14
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Ayuh,..... Sono-tubes was My 1st thought too,.....
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:34 PM   #15
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Re: Reusing old fence post holes


Sono tubes are great for a nice smooth side to your pier but they are only self supporting when connected to a footing
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