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Ornamental Aluminum FAQ | FAQ INDEX

I am unable to set a post tight to a building due to an obstruction buried in the ground. How do I accomodate this?

Applicable Products:
All styles of fence.

It is not abnormal to find a protruding foundation footer, drainage pipe, or other obstruction next to a house or building. There are many ways to go about setting this post in concrete and keeping the post tight to the building. We have resorted to many methods, including welding and building special posts for these applications. When fence posts are made of steel, aluminum, vinyl or other bendable materials, simply bend the post to miss the obstruction. You will need to dig the hole to the proper depth regardless. Usually the post is bent to miss the obstruction and into the alternate hole.

Avoiding Obstacles with Fence Posts
Click Images to Enlarge
Most fence post holes dig easily with little to no obstructions.
Fig. 1
Occasionally one will find drain pipes, protruding foundations, and other obstacles.
Fig. 2
Bending a post for a tight fit is the perfect solution.
Fig. 3

Fig. 1 demonstrates a typical fence post hole, nearly clear of all obstacles. A power auger will take care of any small roots. Larger roots will need cut with a spud bar and cleaned with post hole diggers. Fig. 2 demonstrates the problem of finding an obstruction near the house foundation. Fortunately, most holes near a building are dug by hand so this drainage pipe was found without damaging it.

Be sure to measure accurately before bending posts.
Fig. 4
Usually the bent portion of the post extends to normal depth.
Fig. 5
2" spaces and less are adequate to keep in and out animals and unwanted guests.
Fig. 6

Once an obstruction is found, dig a hole to the side of it to normal depth (Fig. 3). Measure down from grade to determine where to bend the post (Fig. 4). Most residential posts bend easily. Vices, truck racks, hitch receivers, and even forks in tree branches have been used on jobsites to bend posts. Heavier duty posts may require cutting a notch into the post to help start the bend. Bend only slightly, test, the fit and bend more if necessary until you have the perfect fit (Fig. 5). Hold post in place while filling the post hole with concrete. With a properly bent post, you can achieve a tight fit between a building and the post as shown (Fig. 6).

Updated 05/31/06