Fence Forge logo
0800 086 2926

How To Install Concrete Fence Posts

2 August 2023

There's a lot of satisfaction in fixing things around the home and garden yourself. For those who can't manage or who prefer to keep their hands clean, there are experts like Fence Forge to do the job for you.

But if you're willing and able, there's no reason why you shouldn't tackle certain tasks yourself, like erecting a new fence. In this blog, we're talking about how to install concrete fence posts.

By following these simple instructions, you'll be equipped to handle the task without any problems.

Let's begin with a list of stuff you'll need, as it's vital to have the right tools. Gathering everything together beforehand makes it easier and increases the chances of a quick and successful job.

Tools And Materials Needed

  • Concrete Mix (quick-set concrete is ideal for the job)
  • Digging tool (see below for further details)
  • Spirit level
  • Tamping rod (ideally, or a sturdy trowel)
  • Shovel
  • Gravel
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses

What Is A Fence Post-Hole Digger, And Do I Need One?

You have a choice here: manual or petrol-powered.

Manual diggers come in two basic types: the hand auger, which is a horizontal handle fixed to a corkscrew-like blade, or the classic post-hole digger with long double handles and sharp, hinged blades at the digging end. There's also a fencing spade which has a long, narrow, tapering blade with curved sides.

All of them will require a bit of effort to use, but this brings us to the other part of our question: do you really need one?

Well, that depends on how strong and fit you are and how many holes you need to dig. You might also be wondering whether it's worth the expense. On that score, you can pick up a good quality manual tool for between £35 and £60, so it's not going to break the bank.

As for petrol-powered augers, these are handy if you plan to dig a lot of deep holes, but they're clearly going to be more expensive. You can hire one for around £50 per day, but buying one will set you back at least £100 and anywhere up to around £1,000 or more!

It's your choice, but we would suggest a manual tool if you're only digging a handful of holes, or maybe hiring a decent quality petrol-driven model if you want to avoid the back-breaking work or are digging more than a handful of holes.

You might get away with digging post holes using a spade, pick axe, shovel, and a trowel. However, it's worth investing in tools that will make your life easier!

Now we've got that sorted out, let's see how to install concrete fence posts.

Check out: Types of Fencing UK


Mark The Location Of The Fence Posts.

Use a tape measure and stakes to mark the location of the concrete fence posts. The spacing between the posts will depend on the type of fence you are installing. It's worth measuring each fence panel just to be certain. You can use a gravel board to mark out the spacing if you wish.

Dig The Post-Holes.

Use your chosen tool to dig the post-holes. The depth of the hole should be 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the fence above ground (so, a six-foot fence will need a hole at least two feet deep). The diameter of the hole should be three times the width of the post.

Position The Post In The Hole.

Use a spirit level to make sure that the concrete post is plumb. Check that your concrete gravel boards fit perfectly between the fence posts. Keep the fence post in place while you go through the next stage (it's wise to have a helper!).

Fill The Hole With Concrete.

You can either pour the dry concrete powder (or postcrete) into each hole and add the correct amount of water or mix it beforehand.

Be sure to only mix one batch at a time! Use a shovel to fill the hole with wet concrete if you prepare the mixture outside of the hole. Tamp the concrete down around the fence post as you fill the hole, then move on to the next post.

Allow The Concrete To Set.

The concrete will need to be set for at least 24 hours before you can add the fence panels.


  • Use a post-hole digger with a sharp blade to make digging easier.
  • Keep the hole as narrow as possible (using a hinged post-hole digger can cause the top to be wider than the base). end post corner post wooden posts
  • Wear gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from sharp objects and concrete dust.
  • Be careful not to overfill the hole with concrete. This could cause the post to tilt.
  • Allow the concrete to set completely before adding the fence panels.
  • If the fence panels don't slide in easily, rub an old candle along the grooves first.


  • If the post is not plumb, you can use shims to level it - but try to do so before the concrete sets.
  • If the concrete is not set properly, you can add more water to the mix.
  • If the post is leaning, you can try to straighten it by adding more concrete to the bottom of the hole.

What Posts Do You Need?

Make sure you have the right number of posts of each type!

You'll need two end posts (these usually sit against the wall of the property and can be attached to it for extra support) and two corner posts (these let you fix two fence panels at a right angle to each other), and as many slotted concrete posts as it takes to support the wooden fence panels.

The slotted posts are also known as intermediate posts, and these have a deep groove that allows the timber panels to be lowered from the top once the posts are fixed in place. Because of this, it is essential that the slotted concrete fence posts are in a straight line and in the correct position.

The same applies to the end posts, corner posts, and gravel boards, so always double-check alignment and make sure you measure accurately.

Don't also miss our article "What Is The Strongest Type Of Fencing" - it offers valuable insights into this important topic.

How Many Bags Of Postcrete Do You Need?

While some experts recommend one 20kg bag per hole, we would advise that you use two. Of course, it depends on the size of the hole, which depends on the width of the fence posts.

It will come down to trial and error in the end, but once you've set one post, you'll get an idea of how much each hole will take.

Why Use Concrete Fence Posts?

While they're not as visually appealing as wooden posts, concrete fence posts have a lot going for them.

Firstly, they have a long lifespan. In fact, a concrete fence post will last a lifetime! That's because they aren't susceptible to rot, unlike timber posts, and can handle high winds.

Wooden fence posts, on the other hand, last for between 10 and 15 years, although if they're untreated, they may need replacing after just 5 years!

Concrete posts are also virtually maintenance-free, and they don't require fixings - simply slide each of the fence panels into place when the concrete fence posts are capable of load bearing, that is when the concrete has set.

We also recommend taking a look at our post "How To Fix Fence Panels" for valuable insights.

Fence Forge: The Fencing Experts

Installing concrete fence posts is a fairly straightforward job, provided you plan ahead and make sure you have someone to help you.

And if you need further assistance - or you want us to take on the job for you - just give us a call!

While you're here, take a look at our post "Are Fences Covered By Home Insurance" for more additional information.

Let's talk fencing! Schedule your free survey now

Free Call Now
© 2024 Copyright Fence Forge