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  1. #1
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    Default Fence posts into poured cement wall

    I'm having some poured cement retaining walls installed around my house in the next few weeks and want to have something to work with in the way of fence/railing posts when they're done.

    I welcome any suggestions on what to set into the cement. I can pretty much work with either wood or round metal posts. Someone told me it's not allowed to set metal posts all the way into a poured wall.

    The walls will all be less than the 4' threshold that requires engineering and permits and I don't get the feeling my concrete guy really cares what I put in there. I'm just curious what you guys have seen/done with this type of thing.

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  2. #2
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    MF: There are many ways to do this. What type of fence will you be building?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Galvanized metal posts in my opinion.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Not entirely sure on what you are asking ... you want to build a fence on top of the retaining wall after it is poured but aren't sure what fence you will be building.
    - If you go with chain link, I would just put the round galv posts in the wall prior to pour and pour around them.
    - If you want a nicer wood fence, lets assume 4x4 posts, you could cut 4x4 styrofoam post templates and stick them into the wall to create post cavities. After the concrete cures you can pull/cut them out and slide your wood posts in. You may need to sand the bottom of posts for good fit. This way looks clean and allows removal.
    Or you could pour the wall, bolt the Simpson base plates on afterwards and set the posts, this doesn't look as nice but can be dressed up by installing trim around the metal base plates.
    I have done all of the above procedures on jobs over the years.
    Good luck

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  5. #5
    Clint White's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Matt,

    I see that you are located in Oregon. I grew up in the NW (Seattle) and I still remember what happens to fences. If they are wood (treated or not) they suffer from the effects of moss, mold and other green furry substances. If they are metal ( galv or non galv )...they rust...period.

    I would suggest using vinyl. You can set the posts easily in concrete, build your fence, and then what I have done a number of times in the past is fill the hollow posts with concrete. It is a little tedious pouring concrete into a 4"x4" hole, 6 feet high, but in the end, the result is a very ridgid fence that will not rust or mold or.....nuthin.

    I have also used composit fencing too (timberwolf brand) same install procedure but WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

    Good Luck


  6. #6
    David DelVecchio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    I said this is another post, but it bears repeating. This is not "inspection" advice but "design" advice. Hire an architect to design this. Why would you want to take on the liability?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I'm having some poured cement retaining walls installed...
    Matt,

    I would use concrete rather than cement.

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  8. #8
    David DelVecchio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Good catch, Gunnar.

    And just because the law does not require engineering (because it's less than 4 feet high), it is obvious from the poster's question that he should seek qualified design advice.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    If you use vinyl don't fill the posts all the way to the top. It makes them top heavy and they will break off, go about have way and you will get the same effect and with out the danger of them breaking off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint White View Post
    Matt,

    I see that you are located in Oregon. I grew up in the NW (Seattle) and I still remember what happens to fences. If they are wood (treated or not) they suffer from the effects of moss, mold and other green furry substances. If they are metal ( galv or non galv )...they rust...period.

    I would suggest using vinyl. You can set the posts easily in concrete, build your fence, and then what I have done a number of times in the past is fill the hollow posts with concrete. It is a little tedious pouring concrete into a 4"x4" hole, 6 feet high, but in the end, the result is a very ridgid fence that will not rust or mold or.....nuthin.

    I have also used composit fencing too (timberwolf brand) same install procedure but WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!

    Good Luck



  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    How about a metal bracket that is set into the concrete and then the post is secured into the bracket. I have seen this done before. Or you could set threaded bolts into the concrete and some type of bracket that would hold a wood or steel post.

    I don't think that you really want to put the wood into the concrete.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    How about a metal bracket that is set into the concrete and then the post is secured into the bracket. I have seen this done before. Or you could set threaded bolts into the concrete and some type of bracket that would hold a wood or steel post.

    I don't think that you really want to put the wood into the concrete.
    That's the method I would use, I would not want either steel or wood embedded into the concrete retaining wall for several reasons, including: wood WILL rot; metal WILL rust; either takes up a lot of width in the wall and displaces a lot of concrete, and you really would need steel reinforcing laid in around the posts to take the loading of the fence and transfer that loading into the concrete wall.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    place a full soda can(not beer )into the pour and when dried open the can and remove,then epoxy or grout in galvanized post. been doing it for years.


  13. #13
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    pvc pipe set into the concrete,tape one end,space accordingly,when cured slip galv pipe into pvc pipe,plumb and grout.


  14. #14
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    I had some other good methods, but since MF seems not to know what type of fence he is building, he won't be needing that advice.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Thanks everyone (or, at least everyone with suggestions and not advice to get a designer).

    I'm probably going to go with a wood fence or railing or some type. I'm liking the idea of some type of brackets set into concrete (notice I didn't say cement, Gunnar ) The indecision is largely because there is a school being designed/built on the other side and we are wating to see what we're looking at before we decide on a railing/fence, etc.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    "The walls will all be less than the 4' threshold that requires engineering and permits "

    From the 2006 IRC Bold added

    "R105.2 Work exempt from permit.Permits shall not be
    required for the following. Exemption from permit requirements
    of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization
    for anywork to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions
    of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this
    jurisdiction.
    Building:
    1. One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and
    storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the
    floor area does not exceed 120 square feet (11.15 m
    2).
    2. Fences not over 6 feet (1829 mm) high.
    3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in
    height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top
    of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.
    ..."



    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  17. #17
    Philip Ngai's Avatar
    Philip Ngai Guest

    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I'm having some poured cement retaining walls installed around my house in the next few weeks and want to have something to work with in the way of fence/railing posts when they're done.
    This should be strong enough, maybe even overkill.

    CBSQ Column Bases

    (note the distinction between post base and column base. Post bases are a different product and not recommended for fences.)

    I would also try to tie the base into the rebar for extra strength.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    I used that same Simpson product back in August on bottom posts for a stair railing. It was OK, but not great. For a fence it would probably be ok, but for a hand rail post it was definitely not strong enough. The architect was calling for it out in front of the steps, and there was no way it would have been strong enough out there by itself. We moved it back so we could tie it into the bottom of the stringer, and it was pretty solid. So much for paying for the architect's expertise.

    I like the methods of leaving the hole in the concrete so you can put in either the galvanized or wooden posts. If you'll never be leaning on it or not much wind in your area, the brackets might work ok for you.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    For a fence it would probably be ok, but for a hand rail post it was definitely not strong enough.

    Fence posts take A LOT of loading, probably more so than even a stair railing. Especially if the fence is a wood fence, but even if chain link.

    Take all that weight, add leverage to that hing point at that anchor, then add force (wind, snow, rain, etc.) and I suspect those will not hold strong for very long.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  20. #20
    Brian Johnson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Am I the only one who wants to tell Mr. Delvecchio to pound sand???
    Ask all the questions you want in this forum, dumb or not (in your mind)this is a place to get help. If you dont want to help GO HOME!!!


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Nah, I just blew it off. If you need an architect or an engineer to design a fence for you, you are pretty much helpless. And from my experiences with architects, you might as well just do it yourself because you're going to have to adapt along the way anyhow.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Out of 6 posts to that point, at least 2 were stating the same thing, possibly even 3 stating the same thing, in different threads.

    That would have made 50% of his posts saying that, which, I guess, adds consistency to his posts.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fence posts into poured cement wall

    Thanks for the help all.... it seems things have taken a turn (not sure if it's better or worse) - There's a sewer easment across the back of my property and I can't do a concrete wall. It looks like it's going to be rocks/boulders which will ultimately leave me with a bit less yard but will look a bit better.

    Once again I'm looking at options for building a fence close to the edge, in the fill, but I figure just a lot of concrete and some good compaction and things should turn out okay.


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