I have a 6 foot wooden privacy fence I am looking to replace. Several of the posts are rotting right at ground level so their concrete footings are going to have to go.
A company sells a metal fencepost that is meant to be hidden and present the appearance of a wooden fence, which is desirable to me. I am thinking of using them as the metal should outlast any wood.
Rather than installing new concrete footings, I see a popular and cost effective method of installing fenceposts nowadays is with a vibratory driver that hammers the fenceposts right into the ground. Since I'll likely use a skid-steer to rip the old footings out, I can get an attachment that can drive in replacement posts. Put 4+ feet of post in the ground and 6' above and the fence should be solid.
The only question is how to prepare the soil. Ripping out the footings is going to leave holes that need to be filled. What steps should I take to compact or stabilize the soil, so that it can properly hold the posts? Would a plate compactor or jumping jack compactor be a good idea, or something else?
Or, should I just abandon this idea altogether and pour new footings for the new posts?
I live in Minnesota, with serious winters, and pretty loamy easily drained soil, so whatever I do it needs to withstand frost heave. Some of the current posts are not doing well at that.