How to Install an Aluminum Fence Post
If you’re going to put up a chain link fence, you’ll need to use an aluminum fence post or two to complete the job. Installing an aluminum fence post is an easy job although it does take some hard work to complete the digging. You can do the work yourself you should check to see if you need a building permit to erect the fence before beginning. You’ll also need to ask different utility companies to mark where utilities enter your property so you don’t accidentally dig in the wrong places and break any lines.
Step 1 - Siting Your Post
It’s important to plan where to site your aluminum fence post. An end post for a fence, for instance, needs to abut your house, garage or the neighbor’s fence. To set out where your fence will be, put stakes in the ground and run a line between them, using a level to ensure the line is straight.
Line posts should be 6 feet apart to give proper support to the fence. Mark the distance with stakes to indicate where you should dig for each aluminum fence post.
Step 2 - Digging
With the place marked for your first aluminum fence post, you can start to dig, centering your hole on the stake you’ve planted. You’ll need to use your post hole digger to make a hole that’s 2 feet deep. It doesn’t need to be a wide hole, just a little larger than the fence post itself.
Depending on the quality and dryness of the soil, this job can take a while and leave you with aching muscles. If the earth is very dry, you should soak it with water the evening before you plan on digging. This will loosen the dirt and make your job a little easier. Keep the sides of the hole as straight as you can. It shouldn’t slope outward toward the top.
Step 3 - Cement
Mix cement to the proper consistency according to the supplier's instructions. Place your aluminum fence post in the hole and then fill the hole to a depth of about 16 inches with cement. Fill up the remainder of the space with excavated dirt.
Step 4 - Making Level
Perhaps the most important part of placing the aluminum fence post is to make sure it stands straight and level. To do this, you’ll need to use your level on all sides of the post and support it with stakes while the cement is drying to achieve a proper straight height.
This can be tricky work, especially arranging the stakes properly, but it’s vital to a good installation. Once you’ve achieved the right settings, you should check one last time and then leave the fence post to dry overnight until the concrete has set and the post is solid in the earth. If the weather is damp, allow 48 hours for the cement to set.
Remove the stakes and test how firm the aluminum fence post is in the hole. You should not be able to move it at all.