How to mix concrete for post and rail fencing - cost, methods and steps.
Whether you want to install a timber post and rail fence or steel, one of the most important steps is mixing the concrete that will hold the posts in place. A sturdy foundation is crucial for the longevity and stability of the fence.
To make the most out of this article, we suggest familiarizing yourself with the process of building a steel post and rail fence or installing timber, depending on the material you will be using. This will ensure that you have a clear understanding of the steps involved and can fully benefit from the information provided in this article.
However, if you have already completed your research and are ready to move on to the next step, feel free to continue reading.
At Stock & Noble, we specialise in providing top-quality fencing solutions to property owners throughout Australia and New Zealand. Our team has extensive knowledge of every stage involved in creating stunning properties with post and rail fencing.
With years of experience in the fencing industry, insights gained from successful client projects, and expertise from our trusted fencing contractors, we are here to guide you through the process of using concrete for your post and rail fencing needs.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the cost, methods, and steps involved in mixing concrete for post and rail fencing.
How Much Does It Cost to Mix Concrete for Post and Rail Fencing?
If you’re planning to install post and rail fencing, it’s important to know how much it will cost to mix concrete. The cost of materials will depend on the size and scope of your project.
To help make the calculations more comprehensible, we will take an example of mixing concrete to install 35 Steel posts which equates to 100-metre fencing.
Option 1: Purchase Pre-mixed Bags
If you choose to install the fences yourself, there are two ways to purchase the required material. You can purchase 20 kg concrete mix bags, which retail for around $12. The price varies from different hardware suppliers. You will need 3 bags of concrete or 60 kg per post.
For 100 metre fencing, you will need concrete for 35 posts.
The total cost of materials for mixing concrete using pre-purchased materials for 35 posts would be: 3 bags of concrete x $12 x 35 posts = $1260
Note: For steel posts, you need to use concrete mix and not rapid set. Also, while the concrete comes in premixed bags, you still need to add water and mix it. For this, you will need to follow one of the 2 mixing methods, either a wheelbarrow or a portable concrete mixer.
Cost to hire a portable concrete mixer: $73 per day
Option 2: Mix Your Concrete
Another way is to buy materials in bulk. You can purchase sand, rock, and general-purpose cement and mix your concrete. The ratio to mix is 3-2-1, 3 sand, 2 gravel, and 1 cement, then add water until the mix is consistent. Avoid too much water. It doesn’t matter how much you mix, a small amount or a large amount, as long as the ratio is the same in every mix, you will get consistent concrete.
To mix the sand, gravel, and cement together, you can either mix it by hand in a wheelbarrow or hire a portable concrete mixer.
The cost of materials to mix your own concrete for 35 posts would be:
Sand: $115 per cubic metre
Rock: $95 per cubic metre
20 kg bags of general-purpose cement is $11
A portable concrete mixer is $73 per day to hire
Working on 60kg of product per hole, you would need approximately, 30kg of sand, 20kg of gravel, and 10kg of cement.
1m3 sand is 1600kg – approx. 0.75m3 needed.
1m3 gravel is1680kg – approx. 0.5m3 needed.
17 bags of general-purpose cement needed.
Note: Your local garden, sand and soil company should be able to help you with the best product to buy.
The cost of materials to mix your own concrete:
Cost of sand: 0.75m3 x $115 = $86.25
Cost of rock: 0.5m3 x $95 = $47.50
Cost of cement: 17 bags x $11 = $187
Cost of concrete mixer hire: 2 days x $73 = $146
The total cost of materials for mixing your own concrete for 35 posts would be approximately $466.00.
Methods for Mixing Concrete for Post and Rail Fencing
There are two main methods for mixing concrete: by hand and by machine.
If you’re mixing a small amount of concrete, you can do it by hand. Start by mixing the dry ingredients (cement, sand, and gravel) in a wheelbarrow or mixing tub. Then, add water slowly, mixing constantly until you reach the desired consistency.
For larger projects, it’s best to use a concrete mixer. These machines can be rented from Hardware stores or equipment rental companies. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adding the dry ingredients and water, and let the machine do the work.
Steps for Mixing Concrete
Here are the steps for mixing concrete by hand
1. Measure out the materials: Use a shovel or bucket to measure out the correct amounts of cement, sand, and gravel.
2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a mixing tub or wheelbarrow, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with a shovel or hoe.
3. Add water: Add water slowly, mixing constantly until you reach the desired consistency. The amount of water you need will depend on the amount of dry ingredients you have.
Tip: Note the amount of water used when mixing the first few batches to achieve a consistent mix. Then, measure it out and add it when needed for future batches.
4. Mix thoroughly: Once you’ve added enough water, continue mixing until the concrete is smooth and free of lumps.
5. Pour the concrete: Pour the concrete into the hole you’ve dug for the post, making sure it’s evenly distributed around the post. Use a level to ensure the post is straight and plumb.
6. Allow to dry: Let the concrete dry and set for at least 24 hours before attaching the rails to the posts.
Ready to mix concrete for your post and rail fencing?
Mixing concrete for post and rail fencing plays an important role in ensuring the stability and longevity of your fence. By following these steps and using the proper materials and methods, you can build a sturdy foundation that will last for years to come. You are also well equipped with two ways to purchase your mixing materials, to make the best decision for your budget and your property.
While the cost of materials may vary, the investment in a well-built fence will pay off in the long run. To get an overview of your complete expenditure, you can dig into the cost of buying and installing Steel posts and rail fencing.
If you have more questions on installation, fencing material, required machinery or cost, book a personalised consultation. One of our fencing experts will connect with you for a detailed discussion and answer all your queries to help you build a safe and beautiful post and rail fence.