Installing a Lamppost in Your Yard
If you are looking to add a little extra light to the exterior of your home, you may want to consider using a lamppost. Not only is installing a lamppost in your yard a great way to add that light, but it can also be a great decorative element as well. While the task isn't all that complicated, it will take a bit of effort and time on your part to accomplish. These instructions will show you how to do the work yourself.
- Contact utilities. Before you do anything else involved with installing a lamppost in your yard, you need to contact your local utilities offices. When you have them on the phone ask them to come over to your home and mark any and all utility lines you have in your yard. This will help prevent any accidental damage to the lines, and show you where you can safely dig.
- Choose your lamppost. If you don't already have a lamppost kit you will need to pick one up. Go to your local home improvement store, and look at the various models that are available. As you look over the models make sure that you choose one which is designed to work outside, and which will go with the look of your home.
- Carefully read the instructions. Take the kit home, and open it up so that you can remove the instructions. Carefully read the instructions at least twice right away to become familiar with the particular installation requirements for that model. As you are reading the instructions make a list of all the materials and tools you will need for the project. Double check the list each time you go through the instructions.
- Get all materials. With the list of materials and tools in hand, go back to the home improvement store and gather all the items you need. Do not purchase any tools that you may already have, and only purchase tools that you will be using more than once in the future. Anything large (like a posthole digger) you can rent from most home improvement stores. Make sure that you also pick up some concrete to form the base of the lamppost.
- Dig the hole. Return home with all of the materials, and begin getting to work. Use a posthole digger to dig the hole for your concrete base. Typically you will want to make the hole at least 18 inches deep, and wide enough to fit the concrete form you were told to make or use by the lamppost installation instructions. If the instructions say to dig it deeper, then make sure you do so. At this time you should also put the power cord through the concrete form and pull it towards the power source you will be using. If you want, you can also dig a little trench along the way to help hide the power cord.
- Mix and pour the concrete. Follow the instructions for mixing your concrete as printed on the packaging. Once you have the concrete mixed go ahead and begin pouring it into the hole and the form. Stop pouring the concrete when it is about five inches from the top, and then set the mounting bracket and the threaded bolts into the concrete. Make sure that any electrical connections are kept dry and out of the concrete so you can complete the connection later on.
- Dry and assemble. While the concrete is drying, begin assembling the rest of the lamppost. As you do this make sure that you are carefully connecting any and all electrical connections that you need to. Again, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions as you do this to ensure you do it correctly for that particular model.
- Attach the lamppost. After the concrete has dried completely, which typically takes at least 24 hours, you can begin attaching the lamppost. The manufacturer's instructions will tell you exactly how you do this, and in what proper order. Before you finish make sure that the lamppost is stable, if it is not then you need to tighten down the bolts until it is. You may want to have a friend hold the post still while you are tightening the bolts. When it is stable, and tightened down, attach the power cable to the power source and test your work. If you have any problems with the power, double check your connections to make sure that they are all good.
Congratulations, you have now finished installing a lamppost in your yard. All you need to do now is make sure that you maintain the lamppost properly. If you don't you can quite easily find the investment you made going down the drain as your lamppost goes to pot. It shouldn't be that difficult, just periodically clean off any dirt and grime that accumulates, and change the light bulb as necessary. Other than that keep an eye open for any signs of rust, and take care of it as soon as they show up.
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