INSTALLING A McGREGOR DOG FENCE: CEMENT FOOTINGS
INSTALLING CEMENT FOOTINGS
Some fence posts should be put in cement footings, these generally being corner, end, or gate brace posts or posts to which earth anchors are attached. You do not need to put your corner posts in cement footings if these posts are not braced.
Note that if your fence never needs to deal with heavy, wet snow at a time when the ground is unfrozen, that relieves its ground-gripping parts of an immense potential weight burden. So if you are putting up a short dog fence in Georgia or California, you may reasonably decide to forego the joy of installing cement footings.
To create a cement footing, start by digging a 10 to 12-inch diameter hole with an auger or manual post-hole digger. This hole should be below the frost line if there is deep winter ground frost, and 2 feet deep if frost is not a problem. If the hole is, say, 3 feet deep, fill the bottom 12 inches with large rocks (softball to hardball size), place the post in the hole, and measure to ensure that the top is 7 feet above the ground, adding or removing rocks as necessary to obtain the proper height. If the hole is 2 feet deep follow the same procedure without initially placing rocks but adding rocks if necessary.
Plan on using a high-strength concrete mix (cement mixed with crushed rock) that should be available locally in 60 or 80 pound bags. Do not use the quick-setting type unless that is the only kind available. Mix cement and water to create a batch of cement with a jelly-like consistency. Use this soupy mixture to fill the hole to a few inches above the rocks if the hole is 3 feet deep, or to a depth of a few inches if the hole is 2 feet deep.
Then return the pipe to the hole and use moderate-size rocks to secure it firmly in place until it can stand on its own, keeping the post as close as possible to the center of the hole. Take a carpenter’s level and place it against the side of the post to make sure the post is straight up and down; adjust as necessary until the post is vertical. Then fill the hole to the top with the cement mixture and take another level measure to ensure that the post has not shifted. Let the cement set for 12-24 hours if the temperature is above 60º F, or for 24-48 hours if the temperature is below 60º F (it is not advisable to do this work if the temperature is below freezing).