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Yes, but I, set the posts only...

Hello everyone, I'm Marco from Fenceshop, the e-commerce of Rete Plastic. Today we want to tackle a topic that we are often asked about: "Setting posts in the ground without additional supports". Recently, a customer told us: "I set the posts only, but I set them well, I set them for many centimeters". This is a common concept, but we want to explain why it's not always the ideal solution.

The problem of setting posts in the ground

Let's imagine having a plot of land and deciding to set a two-meter post, burying it one meter into the soil. This means we need to purchase a three-meter post, which is already a logistical problem. But there's a bigger issue: the contact surface of the post in the ground is limited. If the post has a width of 4 cm and is buried for 100 cm, the contact surface is about 400 cm².

When the post is moved, even slightly, it creates a sort of V-shaped "seat" in the ground. This play increases over time due to wind, ground settlement, and other factors. Eventually, the post begins to move more and more, becoming unstable, somewhat like an umbrella that moves until it is pulled out of the ground.

The solution of the concrete footing

A better solution is to use a concrete footing. If we take the same two-meter post and bury it only 30-40 cm, but build a footing around it, we significantly increase the contact surface. A footing 40 cm high and 30 cm wide offers about 1200 cm² of contact surface, four times more than the post planted directly in the ground.

The concrete grips the ground irregularly, making it much harder for the post to move. Even if it is moved at the top, the footing provides much greater resistance, preventing a seat from forming in the ground.

The difficulty of setting deep posts

Some customers tell us they want to set very deep posts, for example, two meters into the ground for a two-meter-high post above ground. This requires posts of four meters, which are bulky and expensive to transport. Even if we manage to set them, the V-shaped seat problem reappears, only it will be deeper. The post will still have areas where it starts to move, causing instability.

Considerations about the type of ground

Setting posts in the ground depends greatly on the type of ground. In a rocky ground, it's almost impossible to set a post with a hand maul. In sandy ground, the post will go down easily but won't have substance to stay stable. It's rare to find ground with balanced characteristics to set posts effectively.

There are machines like pile drivers, also used to set guardrails on highways, but they are expensive and not accessible to everyone. They are useful to avoid making a footing but require significant investments.


We at Fenceshop do not recommend setting posts directly into the ground. The ideal conditions to do so are rare, and the risk of instability is high. We prefer to say no to this type of installation to ensure a lasting and reliable job. A post set only in the ground can cause problems over time, especially with the first rains and ground settlement.

Finally, it is particularly important to avoid setting end or corner posts only in the ground, as they are crucial for the stability of the fence. If you attach a mesh or wires to these posts, they will move easily, compromising the entire structure.

Thank you for your attention. We hope we have clarified why it is better to avoid setting posts only in the ground. We invite you to subscribe to our channel for more videos about fences and visit our websites and to see our installations and purchase fence products. See you soon!

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