Newbie question: Precast concrete anchors?


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Old 02-27-06, 06:59 AM
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Newbie question: Precast concrete anchors?

Hi all. I found this site a couple of weeks ago and now I can't stay off of it. I have to say, reading these posts have been like going to school. I'm getting an education in fence building! I plan on putting up a 6' wood privacy fence within the next couple of months. I'm a first-timer and I'm trying to use the downtime to learn as much as I can about it before I start on the project. So far, Lefty has scared me into making several changes to my original plans. Now, I'm planning on using 2 3/8" metal posts on the ends and corners and 1 7/8" line posts instead of 4x4 wood posts, and I've also decided against prefabbed panels. Thanks, Lefty! Anyways, down to my question. It seems one of the biggest debates around here concerns different options for setting the posts. I plan on setting them in concrete, but I was curious: Does anyone manufacture a precast concrete footing that would serve the same purpose? In my mind, I'm picturing a sort of bell-shaped collar that would sit down in the bottom of the post hole. The metal post could slide down into it and then the hole would be backfilled. I mean, if the goal is to keep the post from leaning and/or tipping, it seems like this would serve the purpose and save the mixing time and also the mess that I'm sure to make.

Any advice would be appreciated. Great forum!

EDIT: I know "anchor" might be the wrong term to use, but I figure you all would know what I was talking about. Bear with me! Thanks!
 

Last edited by champdog; 02-27-06 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 02-27-06, 07:34 AM
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It would be much better to pour concrete in hole around post. Doing so would keep the dirt around the hole compacted. I often pour sackcrete around post dry adding a very small amount of water in layers. This saves mixing, is may not quite as strong but will be fine.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 07:55 AM
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Thanks, broot. That makes perfect sense about keeping the dirt around the hole compacted. I was just thinking about ways to shorten my completion time without compromising the fence's integrity, which is my #1 concern. What I'm picturing in my head would definitely be stable on it's own, but the dirt would be something I'd have to address. Maybe backfilling with stone would fix that? But it's going to be grounded in concrete, one way or another.

However, if there's anyone here that's heard of such a thing, or even used it themselves, I would be interested in hearing about it. I've searched the web up and down and have yet to come across such a thing, but I know I can't be the first one to think of it (or try it).

Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 01:19 PM
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Newbie question: Precast concrete anchors?

It would be possible to make such a precast unit, but I doubt that anyone would be willing to pay for it because of the low volume within a market area. Once something is manufactured and sold, the liabilities need to meet certain standards are established. Also, the logistics for the handling and distribution of several hundred pound pieces make the feasibilit low.

If you were talking abour exposed aggregate trash can enclosures for a MacDonalds, then there are people willing to pay the price because of the value.

It is difficult to beat the cost of a DIYer pouring non-spec concrete into a hole.

Pour in the concrete and backfill with good material (not "dirt") - sand/gravel misture.

Dick
 
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Old 02-27-06, 01:49 PM
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Concretemasonry, thanks for the input.

I'm looking into the Sakrete pour and add water option right now. I'm hopeful that I might be able to get a pretty decent deal on it from one of the local suppliers. Wish me luck. I'm sure I'll be back with some more newbie questions at some point.
 
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Old 03-09-06, 06:16 AM
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Post footing -

Don't waste your time trying to get a precast footing. I put up my fence with 4x4 posts I figure I could use deck footings in the bottom of the hole (similar to what you are thinking) and then stick the post into the footing and refill the hole no dry time or anything - quick and easy. Boy was I wrong. We made the holes 18" diameter by 3.5-4' deep to give enough room for the footing. The first one I dropped in rolled over on it's side so we I leaned head first into the hole and tried to move the footing around lets just say moving 25lbs while standing on your head in a hole isn't easy.
We got putting them in the hole down but then the problem was if the bottom of the hole wasn't level or if one hole was off center from the other it was hard to put the post in level and in line because there was only so much room in the hole to fudge the post placement.
We quickly gave up on that idea and found we could get quickset concrete that cured to a decent firmness (enough to let go of the post) in 5 minutes for less money than then footings.
The new plan put the post in the hole, line it up reasonably well, pour in 1 50lb bag of quick drying concrete, mix in some water, hold the post level for a couple minutes and move onto the next post. Come back after all the posts are in and we refilled the rest of the holes. The concrete was quick and easy (we had almost 60 posts) and the fence is sturdy now.
Good luck!
 
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Old 03-09-06, 09:25 AM
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There's no better way to answer a question than with good 'ol first-hand experience! Thanks for the advice, gsr!
 
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Old 03-09-06, 04:37 PM
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So you found the web site and now you can't stay out of it. A LOT of us have that problem!!! And I scared you out of wood posts and steered you away from the pre-fabbed panels. Here I thought my job was done, and now you ask about prefacast anchors for the posts. Not a good idea. Listen to Concretemasonary and gsr. Digg the, put mixed concrete it them with the posts, and go from there.

It's a fence post. Non-spec concrete will work fine in this application. You are simply trying to make it more difficult for a 70 or 80 MPH wind to blow the fence over after it has rained 2" a day for a week and saturated the soil around the posts. If frost is an issue, taper the holes so that they are a few inches wider at the bottom that they are at the top. Frost will then be trying to push the post DOWN, rather than pushing it up.
 
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Old 03-11-06, 10:03 PM
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Sounds like a complicated solution to a simple problem. Mix the concrete and pour it in the hole. Using dry mix and wetting it is not a good solution either.
 
 

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