‘Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail,’ as someone once said.
This is so very true when it comes to fencing, and many DIY jobs fail due to a lack of preparation.
An essential part of any fencing project is preparing the ground for post hole digging.
There are a few parts to preparing your ground for post hole digging; get them right, and the fence will be a good one. If you cannot get the posts right, then the fence will not last for very long. The chances are you will be rebuilding the fence sooner rather than later.
To prepare the ground for post hole digging you should:
- Clear away the obstacles
- Mark the post holes clearly and from a map
- Avoid the colder and hotter parts of the year
- Check for utilities
- Get the right tools for the soil type
Let’s take a closer look at each point.
Clear away the obstacles
Get an idea of where you want to build the fence and make sure it is on your land.
It would surprise you how many people get this one wrong.
You will need a clear run at building the fence and erecting the poles.
Cut away any bushes, scrub and small trees which will be in the way.
Remove rocks, boulders, and concrete from the post hole area before you start to dig.
The less you have to do on the day of installation to better for the project.
Mark the post holes clearly and from a map
You should always have a boundary map for a fencing project, but you should also have one for the fence itself, so you know exactly where it is going.
Using the project map, mark all the potential fence holes on the ground. Ensure that the fence is running perfectly straight and that each post hole is exactly the same difference apart.
We recommend using spray paint to mark each spot with an X, in advance of the digging.
By getting this right, you will be clear to start the work.
Avoid the colder and hotter parts of the year
You may like to spend the winter building the fence, so you have it ready for the next spring.
Alternatively, you may think that a few weekends over the summer will get the fence up for the fall and winter.
The problem may be the simple process of digging the land.
Frozen or very dry land is almost like digging through rock.
You will not get down to a proper depth and width, and the toil involved may put you off the project.
Choose a time when the soil in your area is suitable for digging.
It will make the job much more manageable.
Check for utilities
Many, many people have come up short on this one.
Even recently a client of ours cut off the water to his block by digging through a pipe.
The temporary geyser looked good while it lasted, but the neighbors weren’t happy.
The more serious side is that you may dig into power cables running under the land.
Always, always check with utility companies for advice on where to dig. There are sensors which you can hire for the day that can see beneath the surface, and the rental will be worth it.
Calling 811 in most communities solves this problem. in some states, it is the law.
Get the right tools for the soil type
Clay is difficult to dig through and can make a job last a lot longer than planned.
You will also have problems with rocky or sandy soil.
Ask a neighbor or two for advice on what the soil is like a few inches below the surface, and it will save you a lot of time.
Knowing the soil type allows you to get the right tools for the fence post digging project.
We know a few things about post hole digging.
Ask our experts for advice on preparing correctly.
Use our Draw It & Quote It software for an idea on costs.
Call us today for all your fencing needs.