Fence Gate

A Guide To Digging Depth Requirements for Fencing

How Deep Do You Need to Dig for a Fence?

Installing fences around your property gives it a more sophisticated look while making you feel safer, as strangers and animals cannot enter and cause damage.

While installing fences, you need to make sure that they stand strong in different types of weather conditions. You also want it to last for a long time and be stable.

To achieve this, your fence posts need to be placed at specific depths, which are also determined by the desired height of your fence.

Although misconceptions exist, specific depths work for specific fences.

There are some very difficult and easiest fences to install yourself, and if you are not sure how deep you have to dig for these fences, we have you covered.

Process of Installing a Fence

Process of Installing a Fence

The vertical poles in the fence are called fence posts and support the rest of the fence to stand upright. If these posts are not stable, the integrity of your fence will be at risk. Therefore, it is essential to install these fence posts carefully.

Measure the perimeter accurately before buying the materials because if this measurement is incorrect, your fencing needs a lot of adjustments and rework. You can measure it easily with a chalk string and check twice if it is accurate. Now that you have the measurement and the fence, let’s get to the digging!

How Deep Do You Have to Dig for a Fence?

How Deep Do You Have to Dig for a Fence?


Generally, a rule of thumb for the depth of the fence post is one-third to half its height it. For instance, if your fence post is 1.50 meters tall, then your fence post hole should be at least 0.50 to 0.75 meters in depth. This will ensure that the pole withstands difficult conditions. Although you can go for one-quarter the height of the fence post, it is better not to take risks.


There is a rule of thumb for the width of the fence post hole as well. That is to dig a hole roughly twice or thrice the diameter of the fence post. For instance, if your fence post is 4 inches in diameter, then the width of the hole has to be at least 8 to 12 inches.

Although some suggest digging a 2-foot depth hole regardless of the height of the fence post, this is not recommended. This is because some fence posts might work out well with this, but most won’t, as they are too tall and won’t have enough support at this depth.

Another tip for making sure that your fence posts stand firmly is to make the bottom of the hole wider than the rest of it. Picture a bell bottom shape. This will give more support to your fence.

The same rule of thumb applies to timber and concrete fences as well, but you need to add a good amount of concrete to ensure that they have been installed properly. You can add a layer of gravel below this (around 2 inches) to have good drainage between the post and the concrete.

How to Install the Fence?

How to Install the Fence?

Since digging several deep holes isn’t easy with normal shovels, you can buy a rabbit hole digger, also called a post hole auger. You can consider renting it instead of buying it because it may not be useful after the installation of the fence.

This has been specifically designed to dig deep holes and can be very useful in installing fences. Keep the concrete and the post-fixing mix ready to install it quickly. Fast-setting concrete is best because it dries quickly in about half an hour or so, depending on the temperature outside.

After you have dug the hole of the desired size, you can add a layer of gravel (about 2 to 4 inches) and then make it even using your post. Now, keep the fence post and use a level to confirm if it is perfectly vertical/straight or not.

Support it with two braces so that it stands in its place after being staked. Now, you can pour the concrete to surround the fence post. Don’t fill the entire hole with concrete, as you need to leave at least 2 to 3 inches near the top of the hole so that you can pour water (about a gallon).

This will ensure that the water saturates the concrete. You need to now wait for around four to six hours before starting to install the fence panel or applying any weight to your post.

In Summary

Installing fences around your property gives it a good look and serves many functions. If you are installing the fence yourself, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

You need to dig a hole about one-third to one-half of the height of the fence post and twice or thrice the post’s diameter for the width to install the fence strongly. You need to add a layer of gravel (about two to four inches) at the bottom of the hole.

You can use an auger tool to dig the holes. After fixing the post in place, pour the concrete, and after 4-6 hours, you can apply weight to it.

Chloe Adams
Chloe Adams is an expert in landscape design with a degree in Landscape Architecture from University of California, Berkeley. Her specialization in outdoor structures has been an asset to our website since she joined. Her articles are a testament to her commitment to blending practicality with style. Before this, Chloe worked with several landscaping firms, developing a keen eye for functional and aesthetic outdoor design. She is known for her sustainable and creative solutions in her articles. In her spare time, Chloe is an avid gardener and enjoys hiking, constantly drawing inspiration from nature.

Is It Hard to Install Chain Link Fence

Previous article

How Do You Prepare Ground for a Fence?

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Fence Gate