Wrought Iron Fence Installation

Asked May 18, 2015, 2:18 PM EDT

I am installing a new 5' high wrought iron fence in my driveway. Is it stable enough to install the wrought iron fence by bolting it to the (concrete) ground, or do the posts need to actually be set in the concrete? i.e. should my contractor be coring out a hole in the existing concrete and pouring new concrete to set the posts? Thanks for responding.

Los Angeles County California engineering building construction

1 Response

Your fence attachment method should consider the weight distribution of the fence, the open area (for wind loading) and the seismic exposure. The local building codes likely address this, but often they can be very difficult to decipher. Therefore, best practices indicate that you consult an engineer or have the contractor include this professional in the project. If you, as the property owner, make this decision by yourself, you will bear all of the risk / liability. The use of licensed professionals that design to applicable codes or a "reasonable standard of care" will help the owner to better manage the risk.

Logistically, if the fence was to be directly bolted to a concrete slab, an adequate baseplate and post element should be designed / built to meet calculated loads. If the slab was cored, the size of the core would depend on the embedding depth of the post / pier, the size of the post and the required protective covering of concrete. Soils can also present issues with stability and corrosion.

Some fencing contractors may be working on the margin of a trade that may not require licensing, certification or other consumer assurances. Best practices should provide adequate information to the owner that engineering has been performed and that the application meets the requirements of the engineering, applicable codes and actual site conditions.