More fence advice

I'm getting closer and closer to building my fence (yeah!). And still have a few questions.
Based on comments from others, I think I'm going to put a post about one foot from house, and just run wood from fence to house, leaving a gap between end of wood and house. It won't be that strong, hanging off the post like that with , but it doesn't need to be since it's just a board or two. The last person here actually bolted a fence post to the house (argh).
I'm using 4" x 4" x 8' wood, set 2 feet deep in concrete.
Question: Should I set the posts 2 1/2 feet deep and have posts stick up 5 1/2 feet, and have boards 6' tall that stick up 6 inches from post? Or is 2 feet deep adequate for an 8 foot?
Related to the above, I want to space the posts 6 feet apart instead of 8 feet apart. Most fences I see spaced 8 feet apart sag inbetween posts, and I don't want that to happen. It means maybe 10 extra posts, but the overall expense is not significant and the fence will be stronger. Comments
Gates. Should I use thicker wood/deeper posts for gates? I've never built a fence so I really don't know. And is there a standard gate size? This gate won't get used much, but it still needs to be strong enough.
TIA for all the excellent advice and putting up with my n00b questions.
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 12:45:34 -0700, "Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote:

that's the width of the largest standard vehical. You don't need a stronger/deeper gate-post as much as you need to brace it. Run a wooden angle from the top of the gatepost to the bottom of the next fence-post back.
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This is a small gate, for people only. I currently have a 4 foot gate, but I'm moving the fence and was thinking of sticking with the same size. For vehicle access, I can always remove a fence section - in the last 20 years, I've never had to drive anything into my backyard, and I don't think it's worth the trouble to make a big gate.
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2006 16:52:33 -0700, "Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote:

In that case, it should be 4" wider than a wheelbarrow, and you should build an arch over the opening.
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The arch doesn't sound bad. Is there any reason for it other then aesthetics?
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"Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote in message

It would add some rigidity to the setup. Look at any arched wall or bridge.
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Ook wrote:

Yes it will make the gate posts stronger and less likely to move. The gate posts are subject to more stress than the other posts because the swinging gate puts lateral stress -- and especially if you have a spring on there, the post that it bangs into gets stressed. So the arch is a good idea; you may need longer posts for that to give enough headroom. Even better, structure wise, is to use some more posts and make it into a little arbor.
How deep you put the posts depends in part on your climate, you need to get below the freeze line. I had to set mine about 3 feet deep (Chicago area) and so I had to get 10-foot posts, which irritatingly cost about 50% more than 8-footers, and then cut a foot off the top of them, but I didn't want to risk having them not deep enough.
--


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The ground does not freeze here, so there is no freeze line issue. Well, on really cold winters the ground may freeze down to a few inches :P
I gather from other comments that 8 foot posts set 2 feet deep in concrete is adequate, and that 8 foot spacing is also adequate.
Any suggestions about what to do about sag? I see a lot of fences with 8 foot spacings that tend to sag over time. I've thought of adding a small support in the middle of the run, that would certainly stop the sag.
Lastly, and info and suggestions on how to mix the concrete that the fence posts are set in? Premix? Buy sand and gravel and cement?
Are there any good fence building web sites that covers this basic stuff?
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Ook wrote:

2 feet is entirely adequate especially if sunk in mortar.

8 feet is used because it is the standard lenght of the boards I assume you will use to span you posts. You will just have more scrap wood. With 8 foot boards you may not have to cut at all saving work. Many designs take advantage of the standard lenghts and for good reason. It's less work than cutting those board down to 6 feet.

Actually, your gate posts will be plenty strong if sunk in mortar. The line posts do not need to be in mortar at all and can just be tamped well with the existing dirt or perhaps with a well draining material or with a dirt and cement mixture. What type of soil do you have?
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