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I am building a 4ft picket fence on one side of the house with no gate, 14ft long. The problem I'm having on this side of the house is that I can only get down 12"-15" in 2 of the post holes because of what appears to be large boulders. Since this is on the unused side of the house and there is no gate, would setting the posts in 12" of concrete be enough for my little picket fence or will I be in trouble in a few years?
 

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Depends on how bad your ground freezes, doesn't it? How large of boulders are they?

The picket fence I put into my yard has the posts buried about 18" down, and no issues so far, but then again we hardly ever see any temperatures anywhere near freezing where I'm at.
 

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Haverhill Trade 1965
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If you have a rental store nearby you can rent a rotary hammer there. drill holes into the rock, put some short pieces of reinforcing rod into it, then drill holes in the bottom of your posts. Put posts over the re-bar then pour concrete. You still could be in trouble in a couple years, (I always am), but that is another subject.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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12" is too shallow. You must have some sort of wind loads on the fence, even if it is only 4' and pickets and you need the posts anchored more deeply or the fencing will act like a giant sail and you will see your work laying in your neighbor's yard, perhaps crushing little fififoofoo, hideous plastic lawn gnomes and prize roses in the process.

Everybody should rent and use a jackhammer at least once in their life. The experience builds character.
 

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Of course there is a quicker way to clear the rock. As I have mentioned before it is universal and favored by Wyoming tradesman from grading contractors to finish carpenters...
Oh come on now. you don't want them to have to much fun. Fun can be Dangerous. Safety first here. :)
 

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I have a 6 foot fence that had rock about 8 inches down under 2 posts. I used a rotary hammer drill and made 5 or 6 holes in each area and then used construction adhesive to glue large bolts with washers down. Then I put some screws into the bottom of each post so they would be able to stick to the concrete better. Wrapped some metal line around everything and poured concrete. It's held up through one winter so far, but it never got really cold in NY this year. Probably not the best method, but just an idea.

In affect, it's like you bolted the concrete down to the natural rock and screwed it to the fence.
 
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