Fix a Fence Post for Good (Hopefully)

During the 25 years we’ve been at our house, this section of fence has blown down 3 times.

The first time was in the winter when there were 100 mph wind gusts. We called professionals, and they charged us about $1000 to mend about 20 feet of fence.

The second time, I fixed it myself, and put a good, solid amount of fence post concrete around the post.

And this year, it failed again. I was thinking, I’ll sink the post hole 4 feet into the ground instead of 2 feet – that should hold for a good long time. But then, I took a good look at what had broken. The concrete base was still solid and stable. It was an effort to dig it out and break it up for disposal. I turned my attention to the post, itself.

The failed post. Even though this was “treated” wood, the treatment was apparently only on the surface. The part of the wood that was underground got moist, and eventually rotted through. At our previous house, the fence posts seemed to last forever, but then again, that was 1940’s construction using heart redwood, possibly from the old growth forest.

Last July, I decided to try a different approach.

I set a Simpson Strong-Tie column base into the new concrete footing. There is also re-bar in the footing. The wooden post sits on top of the bracket, and is actually not underground where it could stay wet. Only metal is below ground. Hopefully, this will last longer – but even if it doesn’t, all I need to do is unbolt the old post and put in a new one.

The cost for everything – lumber, concrete, bracket, and hardware – was about $135.07 – which my neighbor split with me, so $67.53 each.

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