DIY - Masonry Concrete Fence, The Proper Way

Updated: Apr 6

I saw several concrete masonry fences in rural areas constructed by no-technical people. Its just sad seeing some of them would have lasted several years if just constructed properly.

I’ll be showing you the common mistakes of building masonry concrete fences.

Can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?

(c) untaught-engineer : Sample Picture 1

A closer look of the picture is posted below. This is a masonry fence built over the existing one.

(c) untaught-engineer: Sample Picture 2

This fence is constructed with masonry wall first before the concrete column, which should not be. Concrete column should be built first before the masonry wall. I see that the owner may be trying to save some money on form works here. Because if you do it this way, you’ll be saving 2 faces of the column for the form work as it is already covered with masonry wall.

As a general rule, column should be the one holding the masonry wall and not the other way around.

In structural engineering, concrete column serves as the channel that transmit the load of the building through the footing foundation, but since this is a concrete fence, it is the once that aids the masonry wall which is weak in itself to stand on its own.

Concrete hollow block wall may look rigid on its own and you may not see it directly, but it is subjected to a lot of forces. Wind, earth or seismic, force due to sliding, man-made once and a lot more are acting on it. If masonry wall is to be constructed first, well, technically it is the once holding the entire structure. Since it is the once that hardens first, its elevation, form, and alignment is the one being followed by the concrete column, which should not be.

Check the photo below.

(c) untaught-engineer: Sample Picture 3

This is an example of concrete fence with column casted after the masonry wall. The concrete went all the way down because of improper bracing of the formwork. In addition, the probability that the concrete wouldn’t cover the entire volume will be higher. I believe this is not saving any penny at all. This is laziness at its finest and most owner is not aware of it. Do not be scammed by construction laborers that you paid bulk for an output like this.

The proper way of doing your DIY masonry concrete fences is as follows.

· Site Lay-outing

· Excavation works

· Gravel bed

· Installation of footing / wall footing

· Installation of Concrete Column

· Installation of Concrete Hollow Block Wall

· Electrical Roughing-in or installation of Electrical embedment

· Plastering Work and Painting Works

The picture below shows a concrete fence with the correct sequence constructing as stated above.

(c) untaught-engineer: Sample Picture 4

The sample may not be a full-height masonry but you can see the difference. The concrete wall is rigid as it should be. The reinforcing bars is fully covered and there is almost no need for a plastering work which means a real savings.

Saving some form work costs may not be a savings after all. It is best to follow correct construction sequence for your concrete fence to protect your belongings for a decade or so. If your foreman or any technical person tells you to build masonry first to save some cost, step up and tell them not to.

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©2019 by untaught engineer.