[Greenbuilding] Fence posts--gravel or concrete

Rob Dickinson robd at pobox.com
Mon May 9 14:24:41 PDT 2011

Hi Ben,

Good question.

I'll have to look for the book I was reading that had a recommendation on
this, but I recall it being a combination of the two.

I think the idea is to have the very bottom of the post be in a layer of
gravel so that any water that gets to the bottom of the post can drain away,
and then to have concrete above the gravel layer to hold the post in

If you have the post bottom in concrete, water will flow down the sides of
the post and pool in the base of the concrete cup that you have created and
accelerate the rotting of your post.  Even if it is treated wood, it reduces
the lifespan if the base sits in water long-term.   The gravel at the base
solves this.

Or at least that is how I remember it.


On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM, Benjamin Pratt
<benjamin.g.pratt at gmail.com>wrote:

> I promised to help my friend put in a fence this summer. I was
> recommending that he use gravel, or class 5 crushed gravel, to set
> them in, rather than concrete. From my experience, concrete breaks
> apart anyway when the post swells. I also think the posts would rot
> more slowly in gravel, especially if there is a lot of gravel in the
> hole underneath the posts. But he is skeptical. Do you agree with me?
> Also, how deep should he put them in?  This is in minneapolis, MN.
> -Ben
> PS. No , he will not consider using a GFX  ;-)
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