I'm installing a short fence to run from the side of my house to the external garage. It will run along a seam where my asphalt driveway meets my concrete patio. I'm fairly certain that the footers will have to be on the concrete side in order to keep the fence from sticking out of from the side of the house.

My question is, is there a good way to dig the holes into the patio without having to break up the entire slab and re-pour it? Also, once I've dug the holes, is there something special I need to do when I set the footers in concrete since the concrete will be joined with the exiting patio?


I just wanted to clarify. I'm installing a wooden fence because the rest of the yard already has a wooden fence that I'm trying to match so I'm trying to avoid using chain-link.

  • You could surface mount an aluminum fence to the slab instead.
    – Evil Elf
    Jun 27, 2013 at 17:02
  • I should have clarified this. I'm trying to do this with a wooden fence because I'm matching some fencing from the rest of the yard so aluminum isn't an option here. Jun 27, 2013 at 17:49
  • How thick is the slab?
    – bib
    Jun 27, 2013 at 20:46
  • About 1.5". Maybe 2". Jun 28, 2013 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


What you want is something like this:

enter image description here

Get some Red-Heads or other appropriate concrete bolt and fasten it down. Slip the 4x4 in and tighten it up.

Ideally, you should still have some posts properly embedded in the ground to help support the torque caused by someone leaning on the fence, but you can use these in between.

  • That's probably a good solution for the interior posts. I think it's going to take 4 posts to do this job (one on each end and two in the middle around a gate). This would take care of the gate posts, but as you say, I'll still need some in the ground to properly support the fence. Also (and I have to double check this), the local laws may require that I actually put the posts in the ground. I think I remember seeing that when I looked at them before, but I'll have to check again to be sure. Jun 27, 2013 at 17:57
  • Can one end of the fence be attached to the house? There are issues with this, but it might be the only way. Jun 27, 2013 at 18:01
  • I'd have to double check that they line up, but assuming the local inspectors don't have a problem with it, that's a possibility. Jun 27, 2013 at 18:02

If you have to do this by digging down under the concrete, here's an outline of how I would go about it:

  1. Consider renting a motorized earth auger to drill the actual hole. Unless the hole to be dug is very shallow this can be a big labor saver. Otherwise, you will probably need a post-hole digger. Either way the tool to be used will determine how big of a hole in the concrete you need. That said, you definitely will need a good margin around the tool width to be able to work efficiently.

  2. Use a diamond grinding disc on a demo saw or even an angle grinder to cut through the concrete. I'd not make this any larger than necessary mainly to save work. Doing this will make for a clean cut on the top surface of the concrete, which is most important. But cutting with a disc like this is fairly easy. Use ear, eye, and respiratory protection. If the concrete is too thick to get through entirely, cut what you can into a grid of ~1" squares and then you can pretty easily hammer those out. The lower portion of the concrete below the cutting depth could be knocked out with a rotary hammer in chisel mode, a cold chisel, sledgehammer, etc.

  3. Dig the hole & set the post. (I think setting the post itself is a separate topic entirely.)

  4. Once the post is in place, neatly fill around it with concrete to restore the patio surface.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.