Do you Have to Use Concrete for Chain Link Fence Posts?

November 15, 2022

You can install a chain link fence without using concrete, but it is not recommended.

Anchoring each fence post in concrete is the best way to ensure your fence will stand straight and tall for many years. It can be tempting to skip the time and expense of setting the posts in cement, but in the long run, the savings usually aren’t worth it for a number of reasons.

Soil Composition Matters

The type of soil you’ll be setting fence posts in will help determine how stable the ground is, and how much you can expect the posts to move over time.

Much of the Wichita area has clay soil. Clay soil expands and contracts a lot between dry and rainy spells, this allows the posts to shift and settle differently. Concrete anchors are a must in clay soil.

If you have particularly sandy soil, you may be successful without concrete. You will want to use a polymer backfill to improve stability and drainage around the post.

Close Up of Chain Link Fence

Installing a Chain Link Fence with Concrete

Whether you use concrete or not, installing a chain link fence yourself requires several tools and materials, including fence posts, gates, chain link mesh, fasteners, tension bars and wires, post-hole digger, power auger, hacksaw or pipe cutter, shovel, line level, mason’s line, plumb bob, rubber mallet, socket wrenches, pull bar, fence puller, pliers, pre-mixed concrete, gravel, and a trowel.
This method usually takes two full days to complete, which includes time for the cement to dry overnight.

Installing Chain Link Fence without Concrete

If you decide to install your chain link fence without concrete, use a post-hole digger to make a hole deep enough to bury the posts at least two feet, or about 1/3rd of the height. Never pound the posts into the ground, especially if you have hard clay or rocky soil, because you’ll bend the tops. The hole should be slightly bigger than the posts, so you can back fill it with dirt packed tightly around the post.

Installing your fence without concrete will save you a small amount of money on the concrete, trowel and gravel. You might be able to complete the installation in a day if you use the auger to dig your post holes. If you opt to save the auger rental fee (usually around $50 or so), it will take longer because you’ll be digging the post holes by hand.

Anchoring Fence Posts with Cement is Most Secure

If you just need a temporary fence, concrete anchors aren’t really feasible. In all other cases, anchoring each post is the best way to prevent shifting and leaning for years. Some people suggest just using cement on the end, gate and corner posts, but this method can still allow a lot of movement, so you’ll end up resetting the unanchored posts in a few years anyway.

Many homeowners choose to install their own chain link fence, but if you decide the job is too big or you just don’t want the hassle, the professionals at Reddi Fence can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Schedule your estimate at 316-858-0757.

Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.