Building a Fence: Alternatives to Concrete Anchors?

Building a Fence: Alternatives to Concrete Anchors?

Trent Johnson
Oct 6, 2008

I've finally begun construction on my pallet fence which will enable our dog to roam our yard, sans supervision. My two main priorities: Build something the neighbors will approve of and minimize my impact on the environment.

My first challenge is to figure out how to anchor the sustainably harvested 4x4 posts I plan on using. Concrete is the standard choice for strong, long-lasting anchors. Concrete is the choice of flooring in many green homes as it is long lasting, generally maintenance free and often attractive.

However, concrete has many environmental pitfalls. For every ton of concrete that is produced, it uses approximately six million BTU's of energy, produces 3/4 tons of Co2, uses copious amounts of water for facility/vehicle cleanup, contributes to increased alkalinity levels in streams and lakes which leads to increased mortality times of fish and has significant inhalation concerns for humans.

In search for an alternative, I came across Peak's Heavy Duty Spike, designed for anchoring 4 x 4's. Oz-post and Impactapost make similar products.

The premise behind these spike anchors is simple: simply drive them into the ground and uses them to support your 4x's. The strength is dependent on your soil. I'm guessing they would not hold up in high-wind situations or for larger fences.

As my fence is only to be pallet height (~3.5 feet), I'm seriously considering using these instead of concrete, I just hope they're strong enough. Anyone have experience with spike anchors?

Information on Concrete from BuildingGreen.com

Created with Sketch.