How to set out posts for a Colorbond fence

Eric
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Project Overview

Colorbond is ideal fencing material because it’s low maintenance, long-lasting and comes in a range of colours. Setting-out and sinking the posts for a colorbond fence is relatively easy. We’ll show you how to measure the distance between posts, how to join the posts and keep them at the same height and the best way to make sure the plinths are level.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How To Build a Colorbond Fence

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and mark out a string line
2 Measure and mark where the fence posts will be sunk
3 Before digging the post holes
4 Dig the holes for the posts
5 Join two posts together
6 Sink the posts and check their height
7 Check that the fence is level
8 Set the posts in the ground
9 Cutting a plinth board to size
  • Step 1. Measure and mark out a string line

    Run a string line along where the colorbond fence will be built and where the posts will be set-out and sunk. Use the marker paint to mark along the ground where the string line is.

  • Step 2. Measure and mark where the fence posts will be sunk

    Place the plinth, so that it’s running along the string line and flush with where the fence will start. Use the marker paint to mark on the ground where the end of the plinth is. Using the plinth as your measure, pick it up and then mark where the next post will be set-out and sunk. Repeat this until you reach the end of where the fence will be. Remove the string line.
  • Step 3. Before digging the post holes

    Before you start digging, call your water, gas and electricity providers to make sure that there aren’t any pipes where you’ll be digging. Also, take into account the height of the plinth, the fence panel and the fence capping, this will help you work out how high to set your posts, so that you have a straight line running across the top of the fence. Refer to the instructions for help.
  • Step 4. Dig the holes for the posts

    Dig the holes for the posts where you marked the spots on the ground with the marker paint. The depth of the holes will depend on how high you want to set the posts.

  • Step 5. Join two posts together

    Where two fence panels meet you will need to join two posts together, so that Colorbond fence panels can be fitted on either side. To join the posts lay them back to back on the saw horses and clamp them together at both ends, so they are flush. Read the instructions that come with the colorbond posts. It tells you where the screws should be drilled, depending on the length of the post. After joining one side with screws, turn the posts over and fix from the other side.

  • Step 6. Sink the posts and check their height

    Sink the first and second posts at either end of the first plinth. With your tape measure, check the height of both posts. If a post needs to be higher, add more soil to the hole. If the post needs to be lower, take some soil out of the hole. Do this until both posts are the same height.

  • Step 7. Check that the fence is level

    It’s important before setting the posts that you check that the fence is level. Place the spirit level on the plinth board to make sure it’s flat. If necessary, adjust the soil level below the plinth to get it flat. Use the spirit level to also check that the posts are straight.

  • Step 8. Set the posts in the ground

    Once the posts are straight, pour the quickset concrete around them, add the water, following the instructions on the pack. Backfill the hole with dirt and use the spirit level to check that that the post is still straight. If it isn’t adjust it as required. Continue this process of laying the plinths, digging the holes and setting the posts into the ground until you’ve finished.

  • Step 9. Cutting a plinth board to size

    When you come to the end of the fence, you might need to cut a plinth board to fit. To do this, measure the gap between the last two posts. Mark this distance out on a plinth board. Clamp the plinth board to the saw horse and cut it. Slide this piece of plinth between the last two posts and make sure it’s sitting level. 

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses
  • Saw
  • Saw horses
  • Shovel
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Cement
  • Colorbond fence posts
  • Marker paint
  • String line
  • Water
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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