Privacy Fence update #1

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Here's the first hole I dug and the post, plumb and ready for concrete. The digging was extremely difficult but I think putting in the flagstone patio myself was harder than this project (so far).

I did cut corners while putting in the posts so I don't want you to think I'm completely amazing. I was only able to dig the posts down to 19" each (another 6" would have been ideal) but I used landscaping timbers rather than 4x4 posts. They will not stay up forever but for now, they are perfect.

Middle school science lessons about the earth came back to me while I was digging the 6 post holes. Top soil is easy to get through but it only about 2 inches deep (in Knoxville, Tennessee). Next, you hit sort of a gravely  subsoil which is 4 inches deep, then you're digging red dirt with rocks. Past that, you hit hard, red clay that sticks to the diggers.

It was slow going. I literally dug a couple of scoops with my post hole digger then used a maddock to break up what I could, scooped with a spade and stabbed the soil to break it up and then started the process again. It was tedious work and today my right wrist is killing me.


The picture is blurry, sorry, but you can see the progress. I put up 6 posts (the far one is down a little hill and in a bit on purpose) and the opposite side of the fence-to-be is the neighbor's property. I'm putting up 6 cedar panels and I hope they like how it looks. 

When you hang a privacy fence, keep in mind you are supposed to put the "nice" side out and the posts will be on your side as well.

Next, I prepared the concrete. I used my spade and put 15 scoops into a large bucket, added water and mixed with the spade. Then I dropped it into the holes (around back filling such as broken bricks) and used the level to make sure both the wide and the "in" sides of the posts were level.

(Supposedly you are supposed to mix concrete in a wheel barrow and while I do have one, I preferred to mix in a large bucket using smaller tools. My neighbor across the street came over to watch me working and said, "I've never seen anyone mix concrete in a bucket!" I was brave, smiled and said, "Well, that doesn't matter." He also asked, "Who dug the holes for you??" Grrrr.)

The concrete hasn't quite cured today (dried) so I'm going to wait until Sunday to put up the panels.

1 comment

Jinjajam said...

Oh my word...I think you are absolutely amazing...Digging holes, mixing cement .putting in poles ..I can haedly believe it you are truely wonderful...love you sweetheart xxx