Is a 1-Foot Deep Hole Strong Enough to Hold a Post?

Rate this post

Is a 1-Foot Deep Hole Strong Enough to Hold a Post?

The depth at which a post is buried is crucial, because it helps to determine how strong that post will be over time. Especially since posts are responsible for supporting the rest of the fence, including panels and heavy gates, you must make sure that you buy a long enough post for your purposes and bury it deep enough. In most circumstances, a 1-foot hole will not be deep enough to provide proper support.

Understanding Post Function

Posts provide anchoring for the rest of the fence. Usually buried in the ground with cement, posts are four-by-four-inch wooden uprights for hanging the cross rails to which you attach the fence panels. Main posts are the ones found at the corners of the fence and are also used on either side of gates. Line posts are used in between main posts, providing support for the rails. Usually rails attach to posts in two places on a fence, the top and the bottom, although sometimes fences have more than two rails.

Determining Post Length

For any type of fence, the depth of the hole you must dig depends on how tall the post will be above ground. You should always bury one-third of your fence post underground. For a 6-foot fence, for example, you need a 9-foot post, so that 3 feet can be underground. This means that unless you are building a 2-foot fence, which is unlikely in any garden, a 1-foot hole will not be deep enough to support your post. For main and gateposts, you should dig the holes an additional 6 inches deep.

Digging Holes Correctly

When digging your post holes, make the hole even larger than it needs to be to fit the post, so there will be room for cement. Dig 6 inches deeper for all posts, so that you can fill the bottom 6 inches with gravel to facilitate water drainage away from the bottom and reduce rot. Dig the hole 10 to 12 inches wide. Although you can use a shovel to accomplish this, posthole diggers and power augers make the job easier.

Supporting Fence Posts

Posts are often braced for extra support by embedding wooden stakes in the ground, then nailing two-by-fours between the fence post and the stakes. Before cementing in place, you should always check that a fence is plumb using a plumb line or level, so that it will resist leaning. Always buy the best materials you can for a long-lasting fence. When choosing woods, for example, it is better to go for more-expensive heartwoods than cheaper sapwoods, as these will resist decay and insect predation above and below ground.


Writer Bio

Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. She holds a master’s degree in journalism.

You are viewing this post: Is a 1-Foot Deep Hole Strong Enough to Hold a Post?. Information curated and compiled by along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here