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Fence Post Installation Tips - Your Guide to a Solid Fencing Foundation

Sep 19, 2023 - 6 min read
Fence Post Installation Tips - Your Guide to a Solid Fencing Foundation

Posts are the starting point, the foundation, and backbone to any fencing system. They support the fencing itself, and therefore must be reliable in order to do their job properly - not to mention the importance of a proper installation.

While preparing to construct your new garden fence, may have a few unanswered questions that are holding you back. Questions like: What types of fence posts are available? Which fence posts should I use? And how much will they cost? By understanding the functions of a fence as well as the right products to use, not only will fencing decisions become much easier to make, but you’ll also give your property the fence it deserves.

So, with that said, let’s get into all you need to know about fence posts.

Fence post types

When looking into fence posts, you’ll notice there are different types that can be used to construct a fence. Most fences require the following three:
  • Corner posts – As the name suggest, corner posts are used at the corners of your fence. They are sometimes set deeper than in-line posts to further support the fence, and allow for two fence panels to be attached at 90 degrees.
  • In-line (or intermediate) posts – These are the main posts for your fence, which are needed to fix each fence panel one-by-one in a straight line.
  • Gate posts – You guessed it, if you plan to access your property thought a gate, a gate post is needed to support the joining of your gate via hinges.
Fairly straight forward, right? But before you get ahead of yourself and start purchasing any old fence posts, you need to take into consideration the types of materials available.

Fence post materials

Each material used to create fence posts have their own strengths and weaknesses (some more than others). So be sure to understand the factors you will want to consider including price, looks etc, which we’ll explain shortly.

Materials commonly used for fence posts are as follows:

  • Timber fence posts
  • Concrete fence posts
  • Galvanised steel fence posts
With each material, you need to factor in things like the practicality, aesthetics, durability, and sustainability, as well as the short and long term costs. So, let’s explore each material in further detail and give you our thoughts on which provides the best foundation for your fence.

Timber fence posts

Strengths:
  • Aesthetics – Although looks are subjective and everyone has their preference, if you’re going for natural beauty, timber fence posts are great when they are new. They can be purchased in a variety of shades and avoid the industrial look of concrete.
  • Somewhat sustainable – While some timber is obtained from sustainable sources, the process does involve the felling of trees.
Weaknesses:
  • Maintenance required – In order to keep timber fence posts in top condition, they must be treated regularly. If not, they may start to appear worse for wear with rotting and splitting issues.
  • Durability – Timber fence posts tend to rot in the ground around or just below ground level sometimes even after just a year or so, as well as issues with warping and splitting affected by the seasons. This can make them unreliable in stronger winds even when fairly new.

Concrete fence posts

Strengths:
  • Robust & sturdy – not subject to rot like timber, concrete fence posts offer more peace of mind knowing the damp ground wont affect the strength of your fence.
  • Low maintenance – Aside from ensuring the posts are installed properly, there’s little to think about after… unless you want to try painting them.
Weaknesses:
  • Chips & cracks – When in good condition, concrete is very robust. However considering it’s a long, relatively thin piece of concrete, even light knocks on or before install, or strong winds post install can cause hairline or worse cracks, which expose the metal reinforcement inside to allow in oxygen and moisture causing rust, leading to fence failure.
  • Heavy environmental impact – Concrete has a very poor effect on the environment, being labelled as one of the most destructive materials on the planet.
  • Aesthetics – Many avoid the use of concrete purely based on its looks – not the most visually appealing material.
  • Install – Lifting heavy concrete posts is a health and safety concern as can easily cause back damage, but also it can be difficult to set them perfectly straight due to their weight. The weight also means longer term you can notice posts sinking and moving in the ground too which has its own problems.

Galvanised steel fence posts

Strengths:
  • Durability – Galvanised steel is the most durable fencing material available. Unlike timber and concrete, it doesn’t chip, crack, rot, split, warp, or rust, and typically lasts around 25 years.
  • Maintenance-free – Where timber needs regular painting, galvanised steel can be forgotten about once installation is complete.
  • Cost effectiveness – Due to the fact that galvanised steel has a great guaranteed lifespan, even if the initial install was fractionally more than alternatives it works out the most cost effective option for most circumstances.
Weaknesses:
  • Subjective looks – The look of a galvanised post is similar to concrete in colour and some would view as too ‘commercial’ for a garden environment, however there is colour powder-coated options available or can be easily clad with timber if this is the desired end look.

Which fence posts will you choose?

Getting the right fence post comes down to what’s right for you and your situation, which probably isn’t the same for everyone. You need to consider if how long the fence will last, how it looks and what it will do for your garden. However there is an option we think stands out, offering exceptional value and flexibility whatever the scenario – and that’s galvanised steel.

It offers unparalleled flexibility of what style of fencing you want to achieve, whether that is timber fence panels, build on site fencing or composite fencing – they all work with DuraPost®. DuraPost® trumps all the others on creating stylish looks, strength and longevity and lifetime cost. The initial price of DuraPost® certainly verses timber can be more upfront if you are going for a coloured post, however this does come with an extended warranty of 25 years as standard!

If you agree or just interested to learn more about galvanised steel fencing, get in contact with our expert team at Birkdale today.

Designed to tackle the pitfalls of concrete and timber fencing, DuraPost is the ‘new normal’ for fencing. It’s stylish, durable, and maintenance-free, with matching accessories available for a complete look. DuraPost is also guaranteed to last 25 years, and can withstand winds of up to 110mph! Like the sound of DuraPost? A good way to get started is to use our Fence Builder app Alternatively, if you have any questions, we’re always standing by to help – don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

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