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replacing old fencing

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  • replacing old fencing

    Hi - First post here.

    We bought a house with existing fencing 2 years ago. Half is old, dry-rotted 3 rail PVC fencing and the other half is wooden post with 5 strands of barbless-wire. We want to replace all of it with 4 rail post and board fence. 3500 feet in total. We are in NW Arkansas and the prices quoted are extremely high, at least for us, between $1200 and $1500 per 100 feet, so we are just going to do it ourselves.

    My 2 questions

    1.When replacing the posts, can i put the new posts in the holes the old posts were in and then backfill, or do i need to place the new posts in new holes? I have a post hole digger for my Kubota tractor.

    2. If i need to drill new holes, can i use my 6" auger for 5-6" posts or do i need to step up to a 9"? I know I'll need to rent a 9" for the gate posts.

    Thank you,

  • #2
    long shot but that PVC fence may have a warranty that could have been transferred... most of the manufactures had Long warranties to entice people to buy. Many were 25 year and could be transferred at least once.

    Can your new posts be driven rather then set into bored holes?


    • #3
      If you end up digging post holes....For my arena fencing with 4x4 posts, I thought I would be real smart and use a small auger. I think they used a 6" auger. The trouble with a small auger is that if it is not perfectly vertical, you'll have trouble getting the post straight. A bigger hole gives you more wiggle room, literally. Just a thought.
      Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


      • #4
        Also, use concrete specific for posts (Postcrete in UK) it goes off at the right rate and makes positioning easy


        • #5
          I've used the old holes to replace individual posts, so that should probably be fine for you. The trouble you'll have is the spacing, particularly on the wire section, probably. Board fence posts are usually 8' apart but wire fences are usually spaced farther apart.


          • #6
            You will want a bigger auger for more wiggle room when setting posts. Have you taken out the PVC posts? We have PVC 3 rail that I hate but was told it would be an awful job to remove as they are concreted in. Would love to hear how you get them out.


            • #7
              The 6" auger, or the old post holes, will be fine. Remember, when you use the larger auger, you have much more to pack in around the posts, and that's when you get loose, leaning posts. The smaller hole might need to be cleaned up a bit, but you will end up with a better set post. Also, as regards digging the holes, use a string line to get a new fence line straight, and spray paint the ground where the posts go- then, get someone to make sure that the auger is perpendicular to the ground, prior to digging. The easiest was is to put the auger down onto the spray painted mark, and then go back or forward until it is straight. You absolutely need a second set of eyes for this. Ask me how I know...
              When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


              • #8
                It is well worth having someone drive the posts if you can. I just fenced another five acres this summer...and I have a tractor and auger. But I still hired someone to drive the posts and then I finished the rest of the fencing myself. They are sturdier, and the guys who did mine had eighty -posts and corners and bracing done in just over four hours. It would have taken me days using the tractor and auger, and it cost $6 per post to have them driven. Worth every penny.
                "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                -Richard S. Bach


                • #9
                  Let me tell you that removing old posts that were concreted in is the worst job ever.
                  "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


                  • #10
                    A 6" post is huge. I very much doubt they need to be that big. I've never used posts that large except for the corner posts. 4" posts would weigh less, cost less, and do the job just fine. Bear in mind that with a rail fence the posts are nailed to horizontal solid rails which increases the strength of the construction relative to wire and I've contained some very large beasts with wire on 4" posts. You'll want your holes to be 2" to 4" wider than your posts or you'll have trouble getting them vertical. Yes, that gives you more hole to fill in after the post is placed but trust me, that is the easiest part of building a fence. You don't need to concrete them if the hole is deep enough and you use posts specifically made for fencing. On my family farm there is a fence my father and I built 45 years ago with pressure-treated posts and it's still standing. I wouldn't concrete them because it's expensive and unnecessary and removing them causes much cursing. Dig your post holes 1/3 the depth of the post length. If you want a 4' high fence, use 6' posts and bury them 2' deep. Put the boards on the animal side of the fence so they can't pull the nails by leaning on the fence because they WILL lean on it. As for using the old holes, when you pull out the posts you will have a hole exactly the size of a post. After trying to jam posts into the holes a couple of times you'll give up and drill out the old holes anyway. Just start with new holes. That way you know the spacing is right.

                    The most secure way to attach the rails to the posts is with screws but that's expensive and time-consuming. Borrow or rent a pneumatic nail gun. You'll thank me later. You can dramatically reduce the time to get the boards up compared to screwing or using a hammer. Use a level on each post to be sure they're vertical when you install them and on each board to be sure it's perfectly horizontal, otherwise you'll find that in some places your boards don't reach and in others they're too long. Install the top board first the entire length of the fence because if you get the spacing right at the top it will be right below but if you get it even a little off at the bottom the error will be magnified at the top.


                    • #11
                      We removed the concreted posts when it was wet / water table was up and used a 4 in 1 bucket. First, we pushed and pulled with the bucket, then we opened the "mouth" of the 4 in 1 and grabbed the post and pulled it up.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jawa View Post
                        We removed the concreted posts when it was wet / water table was up and used a 4 in 1 bucket. First, we pushed and pulled with the bucket, then we opened the "mouth" of the 4 in 1 and grabbed the post and pulled it up.
                        Yep. And then you had to use the bucket to move the post with the bottom encased in concrete so it can be disposed of. They are too heavy for one person to pick up. So how did you dispose of them?
                        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                          Yep. And then you had to use the bucket to move the post with the bottom encased in concrete so it can be disposed of. They are too heavy for one person to pick up. So how did you dispose of them?
                          The concrete knocked off and the posts were reused.