There are many ways to build a fence and likewise, there are many options in materials; from wood to vinyl or concrete block to metal. Most would think that a footing is only necessary for a concrete block wall/fence. The truth is, if you want a fence that is going to last, a concrete footing is a must! Pictured is our latest build on a redwood 65’ picket fence. This is what we call our life fence.
Why is a concrete footing so important and is it worth the investment.
Moisture - First and foremost, the killer for ANY type of fence is moisture. Keeping the wood away from the soil is a huge factor to longevity. There is another consideration; most would also think that placing wood into concrete is acceptable, but the truth is… not so much. Concrete will keep wood away from the soil, but it won’t keep it away from moisture. In fact, it will form a cup for water to settle and will also hold in moisture, hence encouraging wood-rot.
Stability – Second is the stability of the fence. Post holes and using concrete to secure them in is standard practice, but digging out a footing to tie and placing some rebar is the ultimate for stability.
Interchangeability – Did I mention that wood post should never be placed into the ground? By using a “Galvanized Column Base”, the base is set into the concrete, while the post floats, barely sits on the cap and is bolted in place. What we did is screwed in a decking screw at the bottom of the 4x4 post and the screw is what touches the base, not the wood. We have included pictures of the column base.
No moisture to saturate the wood, the ultimate in stability, and if years down the line… and I mean lots of YEARS down the line, you have a problem with a post, it can easily be changed out by unbolting it and bolting in a new one. YES, it’s more expensive, but it’s your fence that you will never have to worry about. Some would think that building a fence like this is overkill, but if you consider the additional cost of materials and labor to do it the right way, as opposed to having a leaning fence a few years down the line, then investing out a few extra bucks now, might just be the right thing to do.