Extending Fence Posts


This is a duplicate from alt.home.lawn.garden - I did not know the best place to post it.
I am replacing the panels on my fence because of rot and lack of integrity (1 x 3 cross pieces). It is currently 4' tall and I am installing 6' panels. The posts are cemented in and in good shape - I would like to keep them. They are on 8' centers. What would be the best method for adding 2'+ to the posts? I was thinking I could toe nail (least desirable) but I could also use some square metal brackets on 2 sides (not bad) or several wood dowels (time consuming - there are 45 posts). I think the best and cleanest install would be to use (if it exists) a screw that is threaded on both ends. With a couple pilot holes I could screw into the extension and then twist the whole unit onto the existing post. The panels have 3 cross pieces and since 1 would fall on the extended piece it should keep it from ever twisting.
My question is what would be the best option as far as stability, ease of installation and aesthetics (in that order I think). If my screw option is the best - do those exist and what would they be called? Does anyone have a online resource for that stuff? Are they made big enough?
Thanks! Ian
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Others may have better ideas, but I don't think you'll be happy with any of your three choices. I'm afraid that anchoring the post only where the two pieces meet will not only be very weak but also not look very good. Posts should support the fence, but with your plan the fence panels would be supporting the post. I'm assuming your posts are 4x4 pt lumber, not round fence posts.
It seems to me that your posts only have to be tall enough to support the topmost rail, so you may not have to have the post go all the way to 6'. I'd suggest that you cut the extension to the added length you'll need, then use 2 x 4s on either side of the existing post plus the extension, securing through the 2x4s and 4x4 posts with carriage bolts. This ought to be something you can do in short order and should be strong enough for a stable fence. It may look a little cobbled-up, so you may want to put a 1 x 8 facing (trimmed to 6 1/2" width)over the inside of the posts to hide the built-up post, then put a cap on the new post to protect the endgrain from rain.
p.s. -- I saw your post in both fora. --

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All great suggestions. I like your idea with the 2x4 and the finish 1x8. The only issue is that with 45 fence posts I would looking at a significant additional cost. I am going to price it out anyways and if it doesn't prove too expensive I may go that route.
One other question - what is the optimal clearance between the fence and ground? I want to keep small animals (cats) from going under it but it is somewhat moist and I want to avoid rot as much as possible.
Thanks again.
JimR wrote:

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ianjones wrote:

Forget the clearance issue - cats will go OVER the fence. I see 'em all the time go up a six foot fence and jump from there to the garage roof (another seven feet). With cats, you have to think in three dimensions.
As to rot, stack one or more pickets horizontally at the bottom. When one rots, you replace only one board instead of ten.
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Dream on. Attach hardware cloth to the inside of the fence, and bury the trailing edge at least 6".

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You'll have to be the judge of the aesthetics, but by far the easiest and and one of the most stable ways would be to simply nail a 6 ft 2X4 to each post.
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carports are framed with) the correct size to fit tightly over the post, and go up another 2 feet. 30" ought to work. You will need a rain cap (stock item at fence or deck aisle), and you'll have to paint them the same general color as the wood, but they won't look funny. A couple of through bolts with a 6" overlap will be plenty strong. For just 2 feet, the square plastic tubular fence posts would likely be strong enough, as long as the panels were securely bolted lower down onto the real post.
aem sends....
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

This will be by far the best looking and easiest scheme for post extensions. But first price all the pieces you need, figure you can cut 4 extensions out of a 10' post or 3 out of an 8'. Price the same number of new posts with concrete if needed. Make a reasonable estimate of the time to yank out the old posts amd replace.The square extensions will likely be four times faster. Sit back, pop the top on a cold one as you decide what matters most, money or your time and then go for it.
Joe
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also soil and climate affects answer to this, try: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=installing+fence+posts+in+different+soils+and+climates&btnG=Google+Search
ianjones wrote:

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ianjones wrote:

Another way would be to join the existing post and the extension piece with a lap joint. Like so:
| | | | | _| |_| _ _| | | | | | | |
Using glue and screws or bolts. Might be better looking than the mending plates.. -- H
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ianjones wrote:

Another way would be to join the existing post and the extension piece with a lap joint. Like so:
| | | | | _| |_| _ _| | | | | | | |
Using glue and screws or bolts. Might be better looking than the mending plates.. -- H
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ianjones spake thus:

Such things do exist; they're called dowel screws, basically a double-headed wood screw.
But keep in mind that this would be the weakest possible way to do it, since screws don't hold well in end grain, which is where they'd go in this case. Dowels would be better, but, as you point out, a pain in the butt if you have 45 posts to extend. Plus they'd have to go pretty deep into both ends.
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On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 11:17:35 -0700, David Nebenzahl

If you're going to extend a stick, you use the joints that are designed for extending sticks. Generally, you'd use a half-lap, a finger-joint, or a variant of a scarf joint. Of those, a half-lap would be easiest, and if you set it perpendicular rather than parallel to the fenceline, the weakness will be in a direction that shouldn't get much stress.
Alternatively, you could use decorative (or plain) metal straps or collars, but that can get expensive fast.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/Extending-Fence-Posts-155367-.htm nwblondie wrote: I know it has been a few years, but my husband and i are looking at extending the 4 foot open rail fence on one side of our house with a 6 ft privacy fence. The posts are in cement, so we would hate to rip them out.
I was wondering what you ended up doing and how it looks. Do you have pictures? Any good advice? Things to avoid?
C
ianjones wrote:

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