Rules for making a foundation for a fence

Rules for making a foundation for a fence

To make a foundation for a fence with your own hands, you need to be guided by special rules that guarantee the correct construction of the entire structure. Before starting work, you must definitely decide what the foundation for the fence is for, what type is used in which case, and also take into account the aspects that should be paid close attention when choosing a foundation.

What is it needed for?

The foundation for the fence is a necessary component of the entire structure, which protects the fence from negative influences, which cannot be dealt with in other ways. These include exposure to moisture from soil or groundwater, subsidence, windage and others.. It should be borne in mind that the foundation is not a universal solution..

There are a number of situations in which it is not necessary to erect such a part. An example would be cases when the fence is needed only for a while, and in the near future it will need to be dismantled. Such fences are used to enclose objects under construction or those that are closed for repairs..

If we talk about a fence being built for long-term use, then we can say with confidence that the service life of the entire fence depends on how well and correctly the foundation base is built..

If the foundation for the fence is made poorly, and low-quality materials were used during its construction, then in the future the fence will crack or deform. This applies to options from any materials: wooden fences, concrete, corrugated board. Thus, we can conclude that foundation – an element actually necessary.

There are several functions that the foundation performs:

  • Hedge support. Prevents the fence from squinting, deforming, cracking, sagging.
  • Load distribution. With the help of the foundation, an even distribution of the weight of the structure is achieved over the entire area on which it was erected. It also prevents the fence from sinking..
  • Erosion protection. The foundation supports the soil, and it does not wash out from under the fence.
  • Flood protection. The foundation does not allow a large amount of water to flow under the fence, thereby ruining it. We can talk, for example, about melt water, which in the spring season often leads to various kinds of deformations of such buildings..
  • Giving aesthetic appeal. The hedge erected on the foundation looks more beautiful and reliable than without it.

The main task of the foundation is to support the fence. The choice of a base of one type or another is based on the material from which the hedge itself is made. In addition to those listed, you can use the chain-link mesh, slate, brick, forged gratings. Each fence erected for long-term use must be supplied with a foundation base, otherwise it will not stand for a long time.

Types of bases: pros and cons

It is extremely important to select the base for a certain type of fence, so before deciding on the foundation, you only need to know what the main fence will be made of.. So, there are five different types of foundations:

  • tape and columnar;

  • columnar;

  • tape;

  • option on a gravel bed;

  • stone or rubble.

Each of the listed types differs from others not only in appearance, but also in manufacturing technology, the amount of money and labor required for its construction. This list contains both relatively cheap options and expensive ones..

Pouring the foundation yourself is an interesting task, but not easy. So that everything goes as smoothly as possible, and all work is done quickly and correctly, you must first calculate the foundation. To do this, you need to know the dimensions and weight of the future fence, and also take into account the composition of the soil, since the depth to which the base deepens depends on this..

It is worth noting that this data is required for each of the types of foundations..

Also, the marking of the terrain is preliminarily done. It is extremely important to make it as flat as possible so that in the future there will be no problems with pouring or laying the base. Often, an ordinary rope is used for marking. At the corners of the future structure, stakes are driven in, onto which this rope is pulled. This gives you straight lines that go exactly where you need it..

Each of the options has its own characteristic features, which further determine the reliability of a particular device. For capital structures, a strip foundation is most often chosen, since it is both simple to perform and sufficiently reliable. However, the rest of the options successfully replace the tape, if the soil requires it, and also if a different base is needed for aesthetic reasons. Most often this applies to rubble or stone samples, the appearance of which cannot be imitated by anything..

If you decide to fill the foundation yourself, be sure to study as much theoretical information as possible. It must be borne in mind what possible complications may arise in the process of work, how does a prefabricated fence differ from a monolithic one (and, accordingly, their foundations), how reinforcement is made.

Only with comprehensive preparation will you be able to build a truly reliable and high-quality fence.

Tape and columnar

A tape-and-column base is an excellent option if the fence is being built in a place with difficult climatic conditions. It provides increased hedge strength. The strip-column foundation, in some cases called combined, is suitable for fences made of corrugated board, brick, mixed, when a couple or more materials are used at the same time.

To make such a foundation with your own hands, you must use the following step-by-step instructions:

  • First, a trench is drilled. Its depth should be about 50 cm, length and width are determined by preliminary marking.
  • In the trench itself, recesses are made for the pillars. Depending on how often these pillars will be installed, pits are also made. Usually the step is 200-300 cm, the width of the pits should be 40 cm or more, the depth should be 150 cm.
  • Next, the pillars are installed in the recesses. It is necessary to pour concrete immediately..
  • After the pillars are installed, and the concrete has set a little, the reinforcing cage is laid in the trench. At the same time, formwork is installed – a form of wood, which is then poured with concrete.
  • The concrete is poured to the original ground level.

Depending on what the poles are made of, additional preparation may be required for their installation. So, in some cases, it is necessary to make waterproofing so that neither the pillars nor the foundation will crack and deteriorate in the future.. It is important to take into account the grade of concrete, because not all of them are suitable for outdoor use..

It is also necessary to pay special attention to the process of installing the reinforced frame. It protects the entire structure from subsidence, so it is extremely important to perform it correctly. It is best to consult a professional about such work, since it is they who largely determine the outcome of the entire construction event..

By the way, sometimes experts recommend putting a metal frame under the pillars in order to further strengthen and fix them..


As the name implies, the columnar foundation is partially similar to the combined one. The difference is that you do not need to dig a trench when making this type. It is worth noting that the columnar option is much cheaper than other types of bases, since it does not require the same large amount of materials and mortar..

The installation process is as follows:

  • First, they make holes for the posts. Drilling is carried out using a special tool – a garden drill. The depth of the pit can vary from 1 m to 1.5 m, depending on the type of soil on which the fence is being erected. Its diameter is determined in relation to the diameter of the post: the hole should be 20-30 cm larger.
  • It is important to pay attention to the frequency with which the posts are installed. The standard distance between them should be 2-3 meters. It should be borne in mind that the step is calculated based on the size of the span, so you must first purchase the main fence.
  • Before directly installing the pillars, the pits must be strengthened. For this, a mixture of sand and gravel is used. It is poured into a pit with a layer of 20 cm, tamped, and then watered thoroughly. This is done so that excess air comes out of the composition. This ensures a high degree of adhesion of all components..
  • The pillars are being installed. It is imperative to take this step as responsibly as possible. So, the pillars must be aligned. For this, it is best to use a special building level, which will show even a small inaccuracy..
  • The final step is to pour concrete into the holes. It takes about a month to fully harden..

note that in this case, you can save on formwork. Installation of such block-forms is not necessary.

The foundation will work with a variety of fences, but don’t use it for brick, concrete, or other heavy materials. Columnar base is preferable to combine with light options: chain-link mesh, boards and the like.


This option is used most often on private territories. The strip foundation is extremely easy to manufacture, which is why it has gained such popularity..

The construction process consists of the following stages:

  • First you need to dig a trench. Its depth usually varies within 60-80 cm and depends on the climatic conditions under construction, on the severity of the main fence and on the composition of the soil. The width is determined by the width of the future fence.
  • After the trench has been dug, it must be reinforced. For this, sand is used. They cover the entire bottom and tamp it. It is necessary to lay sand in layers, be sure to water each of them with water for greater stability.
  • For greater strength, the foundation is strengthened with a metal reinforcing cage. The fittings used here have specific requirements. So, its cross section should be 10 mm. The laying process also has its own characteristics:

  • The reinforcement should be laid 5 cm above the trench day. This assumes the presence of a special support that fits under the reinforcement cage..
  • The reinforcement, laid along, should be shorter than the length of the dug hole by 14 cm – there should be a gap of 7 cm on each side.
  • Transverse rods are laid on the longitudinal rows. The distance between them should be 40 cm.The transverse options should also be shorter than the trench itself in width, by 10-14 cm (the indent is 5-7 cm from each side).
  • It is not necessary to fasten the reinforcement cage by welding. Wire can be used.

  • Next, the formwork is prepared. A box should be made of boards 2.5 cm thick. It should be borne in mind that the foundation should be 30 cm or more above the ground level, depending on the needs of the owners and the required aesthetic appearance of the structure..
  • The next step is filling. To make a concrete solution, it is necessary to mix concrete and sand in proportions of 1: 4. To make the ebb tide more durable, substances of different fractions are added to the solution: crushed stone, screenings and others. Before pouring, you need to water the bottom of the trench with water again, so as not to allow moisture from the cement mortar to be absorbed into the soil..
  • Finally, you must wait at least three days before the base tape is completely dry. Only after that you can proceed to the direct construction of the fence..

If you start work earlier, then the foundation will not gain sufficient strength, and the structure under construction will not stand for a long time.

On a gravel bed

This type of foundation is monolithic. It is used only for very heavy fences: brick, concrete, and so on. For relatively light structures, for example, from corrugated board, it will not work.

A gravel pillow can be likened to a puff pastry. Basically, the option when only gravel is used is not used in modern construction, preferring a gravel-sand bed, therefore, it is often represented by alternating layers of sand and gravel. It is also worth noting that to further strengthen the foundation on the pillow, use a stone – quarrystone.

Note that the gravel cushion is placed in a pre-dug trench. In fact, a foundation on a gravel bed is one of the variations of a strip foundation, only reinforced.

In addition to the design of the pillow itself, the sequence of actions will be the same. If you list the layers in the sequence in which they go when laying a cushion of sand and gravel, then the diagram will be presented as follows:

  • A rubble layer is laid out at the very bottom. This will additionally protect the structure from subsidence..
  • Next, a layer from the squeak is poured. You should not take fine sand, it is better to choose a slightly larger option. For a foundation of this type, river sand is ideal, which has optimal characteristics. After filling, the sand must be well wetted in order to increase its adhesion with other materials..
  • Next, a layer of gravel is laid out. Its thickness should be about 20 cm. The gravel layer must be leveled and tamped down. To do this, it is best to use a vibrating plate. If you do not have this tool, you can rent it. There is no alternative to properly compact the gravel.
  • Next, a twenty-centimeter layer of sand is laid out, which is well watered with water. At this moment, not only the sand layer settles, but also the gravel layer, and the maximum strength of the coating is achieved.
  • It is necessary to alternate gravel and sand until this pillow, in a settled state, fills the entire trench. Then you can go to the manufacture of the foundation.


This option is the most durable among all presented. It should be borne in mind that it is not mounted under a fence made of mesh or slabs, and the stone base looks most advantageous in combination with a solid forged fence. Self-assembly of a stone or rubble foundation is a matter that is feasible only for a person who is well acquainted with construction, so it is strongly recommended to entrust the construction of this type of foundation to professionals.

Since the construction process itself is extremely complex, it makes sense to cover not all nuances that only a construction master will know about, but only a few of them:

  • Particular attention should be paid to the joining of stones. Since they are all different sizes and shapes, it makes sense to take care of looking for similar options..
  • Smaller stones must also be prepared. This is done in order to be able to fill the voids, making the foundation more durable. Small stones are laid out around large ones to fill the space as much as possible..
  • If the texture of those stones that will be inside the foundation is not so important, then only stones with a flat surface should be laid outside..
  • During installation, either a solution or a mixture is used. Laying with a mixture, that is, dry, can only be performed by experienced craftsmen who know how to carry out such work so that the foundation does not crumble at the first rain. As a solution, a concrete-containing composition is used, which reliably holds the cobblestones together.

It is not recommended to build stone or rubble foundations in areas with clay soil. This is due to the fact that during the sliding of the earth layers, there is a high probability that such a foundation will also slide with them..

If possible, it is better to choose an alternative foundation, which will not be much inferior in aesthetic characteristics, but will turn out to be more stable..

Other options

All of the above options are classic, but besides them, there are other options that deserve attention. So, the foundation on piles is very popular. For its arrangement, screw piles are used. In their structure, they resemble ordinary metal pipes, equipped with a blade at the end. This blade acts as an anchor – in other words, a fastener.

The pile is fixed in the ground. It should be located below the level to which the soil freezes. Information about this can be obtained from a specialized reference book, since for each climatic zone, for each region, the indicators will be different. It is necessary to position the piles so deep so that they are not pulled out during the heaving of the soil..

It is extremely important to install the piles strictly perpendicular to the ground – the stability of the fence structure in the future depends on this. Levelness is checked using a building level.

Separately, it is worth considering the foundation for the fence on brick pillars. This type of hedge is gaining more and more popularity, but it is extremely important to ensure that the brick pillars do not sag or crack. First, you need to prepare for the fact that such a foundation will cost a lot, therefore if you do not have the financial ability to organize the correct foundation, it is better to abandon the construction of a fence with brick pillars altogether.

This fence sags unevenly, which leads to its cracking..

It is extremely important to ensure that the foundation lies below the level of soil freezing. This is the only way to minimize the risks of deformation and destruction of the fence with brick pillars..

What to look for when choosing?

There are several important aspects to consider when laying the foundation. These include the material from which the base is made, and the depth of its laying. If everything is clear with the material (you need to buy high-quality raw materials from trusted manufacturers), then it can be more difficult to calculate the depth of the bookmark.

Please be aware that laying the foundation deep is not always rational. In some cases, the depth of the trench or pole holes may be lower. It depends on the quality of the soil: for example, if the soil is non-flowing and solid, then you can lay a trench 10-20 cm higher. This is also true when the fence weighs little, and increased reinforcement is not needed. However, one should not completely abandon the foundation. If you do, the fence probably won’t last long..

If the fence itself is massive, and the soil is loose, or there is groundwater in it, then it is better to increase the depth of the trench. So you will protect the structure from premature subsidence. Please note that soft soils include clay, sandy, and hard soils – shale and other stony.

Also, the depth depends on the slope of the site. If the slope is strong or the relief is uneven, then the depth of the foundation may vary along its entire length.. It is imperative that the trench is level.. Since it will not be possible to determine this relative to the ground level, it is recommended to use the building level and special beacons. In such places, the base is made of concrete, making out first one section of the foundation, then another, and so on. The work is carried out sequentially.

It is important to make sure that the foundation protrudes beyond the upper limit by at least 10 cm in order to foresee a possible error and be able to eliminate it.

You can see how to fill the foundation under the fence with your own hands in the next video..

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