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Weekend home projects on a budget

Quikrete offers easy, affordable outdoor improvements

April 23, 2010|By Family Features
  • Fence posts, deck footings, trellises and arbors - they all require solid posts set into concrete to make them stable.

Fence posts, deck footings, trellises and arbors - they all require solid posts set into concrete to make them stable. This project guide will show you the basics for your post project.

Required Tools and Materials

o Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix - poured dry from the bag and into the hole

o Quikrete All-Purpose Gravel or crushed stone

o Plumb line or level

o Shovel or post hole digger

o Pressure treated wood posts or galvanized steel posts

o Wood braces and nails (if needed)

o Deck or fencing hardware (if needed)

Note: To figure out how much concrete you will need for your post project, visit

1. The diameter of the posthole should be 3 times the post diameter. Hole depth should be 1/3 the overall post length, plus 6 inches (150mm) for the gravel base.


When the post is to be used for structural support, such as for decking, the hole must extend at least 6 inches (150mm) below the frost line. Deck hardware, if applicable, should also be kept away from water as a safeguard versus rust and other corrosives.

When installing basketball goal poles or other equipment that requires a solid footing for safe use, follow the manufacturer's recommendations concerning mounting hole depth and size.

2. Tamp the sides and bottom of the hole until firm and place 6 inches (150mm) of gravel or crushed stone in the hole to aid in drainage. Tamp it down with the post, a 2 x 4 or tamping tool.

3. Position the post, checking that it is level and plumb.

4. Pour the concrete mix dry from the bag into the hole until it reaches 3 to 4 inches (100mm) from the top. Recheck the post for plumb and brace as needed.

5. Pour water onto the dry mix and allow it to soak in. Depending on soil conditions, you will need about 1 gallon of water for each 50 pound bag of concrete mix placed in the hole. Dig larger, dish-shaped holes for posts set in loose or sandy soil.

6. Fill the remainder of the hole with soil dug from the hole.

7. The concrete sets in 20 to 40 minutes. Wait 4 hours before applying heavy loads to the post, such as a basketball backboard. (If the temperature is below 72 degrees, additional time for curing will be required.)

For Best Results

Use pressure-treated lumber or apply creosote equivalent to prevent below-ground deterioration. Galvanized metal should also be used to prevent rust.

More Weekend Project Ideas

With no mixing or tools required, fast setting concrete is a versatile material that can be used in any number of landscaping and home improvement projects, including:

o Concrete patios and sidewalks

o Fences and trellises

o Garden water features

o Garden walls

o Concrete landscaping borders

Get step-by-step guides for these and other home projects at

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