I am going to be installing a vinyl fence this weekend. I'm looking for
some tips. What is the best way to make sure the posts are all at the same
height? Also is there a trick to making sure the posts are perfectly lined
up? I'm concerned the fence will end up being twisted and facing different
directions. I'm up in central New York. How deep should the holes be? How
much gravel and concrete will I need per post? Lastly there will be a gate
connected to a brick wall. Any thoughts on how best to latch it to the
Any thoughts on these questions and anything else will be greatly
Set a string across the line of the fence secured to brick wall and
beyond the last post. The hole depth will depend on how tall you posts
are, the fence supplier should be able to give you recommended depth.
Between 100-150 lbs of concrete per post is normal. (Again you can
check the supplier too) For the gate attaching to the brick wall, you
can either mount the hardware with a good set of anchors and bolts or
put up a post next to the brick wall and attach the hardware to it, the
later may be the easiest
Normally the gate posts have rebar and concrete halfway
up the tube. Since one side of it is going to brick then you only
have half the work.
Make sure that the gate itself is installed first. (you can make
the gate or have it made. When installing it make sure you have
a few inches under it to clear the ground.
Use the rope line from the center of the post of the brick to
the last post. I would take a 4 foot level here and there to
make sure things are plumb and level. Depending an how
much fence you are using, RENT a hole auger!
Using a pole digger SUCKS if you have allot of holes to dig.
Are you using the home depot stuff or going to a real fence
company and getting better fence. No offence to people
who use the HD stuff, but its not that good quality (the use
wood supports in it) while others use steel on the bottom
brackets. The HD stuff also comes ONLY in 6 foot lengths.
The ones the fence companies usually use are 8 footers.
David DeBoer wrote:
David, I did this last year and learned quite a bit. I put a carpenters
square alongside house and used that to direct a taught stringline. All
posts must hit that line. As for gate, I put a 5' on one side and 4' on
the other side of house. I did not put aluminum insert into "hinge"
post nor fill it up with concrete. That 1/4" thick post is not holding
the gate up enough. I need to remove the hinge screws and get the
aluminum insert down into post to get the strong spine established.
When you install posts, I measured forever and found it easiest to dig
(power augers are too much work) each post hole around 12" diameter.
Get the $40 post hole digger from Depot and the $30 big thick heavy
steel "shale" bar with points on each end. They are in same aisle as
post hole digger. The digging went very quick in my New Jersey
clay/shale soil. When I installed gate posts, I tool (2) 2x4's and
clamped them horizontal to ground across the gate posts. One at ground
level, the other at top of posts (now in hole). That sets the gap
between gate posts at exact dimensions. This is a very critical step.
When all posts are in position, pour cement into each hole. I filled
hole till about 8" below ground level. Also, I wanted my truck to get
into back yard, so I got a set of "clips" that screw into posts. I
"just" slide the fence section in or out and it takes 2 seconds to open
fence to get my truck thru.
The manuf. typically suggest you drill holes in the lower section of
posts and put a piece of rebar thru. That would be embedded in the
cement and otherwise lock the post from creeping up. This is great, if
you will NEVER need to remove a post. I did not do this, and its a good
thing because I need to remove a fence section due to some remodeling.
Good luck, I don't regret it but now need a power washer to keep it
clean. More tools !
David, use a jigsaw. It is very easy to drift off the marked line, be
Also, did you plan on designating a section for "simple" removal ? This
is very important when selecting the posts. If your gate is > 4 feet,
you must get the aluminum insert into the hinge post before you screw
the hinges on. My wheelbarrow and motorcycle did not fit thru the 4
footer with enough clearance so I had to put a 5 foot gate in. Keep in
mind, the gate width + 1/2 the hinge must be subtracted from the
clearance of the gate opening since they typically do not swing past 90
degrees thus remain in the opening. Example for me; (4 foot gate ) -
(6inches gate width + 2inches for hinges) = 40ish inches This is NOT
48inches. One last thing, get the height of posts set before cement.
You don't want to cut the tops of fence posts.
Good luck, Tom
..... help! I cut it TWICE and its still too short !!
How tall is the fence? Taller fence would need a deeper hole.
I'm in southern NY. I put 4' high picket type 8' vinyl fence around my
in-ground pool. My 4"x4" PT posts are only about 3 feet into the ground
with no concrete. I used string to get them aligned. The fence sections
are not 6 or 8 feet long, they are shorter and are meant to fit between
posts that are installed on center at either 6 or 8 feet, so I used a
section of fencing to locate the next hole, putting the fence on the
ground after the last installed post and then digging where it ended. I
installed the fence as I went along, attaching it to the posts and
adjusting each hole as needed. After all posts and fencing was
installed, I aligned and squared up the posts and filled the holes with
dirt. I also bought 2 lengths of 2"x3"s for each section and stuck them
in the fencing's hollow rails for more strength.
On my pool fencing, I hinged two 8' sections, one on the back and one on
the side, for emergency access into the pool area (in case someone
needed help in the pool). A hasp and staple secures them.
You can almost use any type of hand saw to cut the vinyl. I wouldn't use
a power saw which tends to melt the plastic around the cut.
In Hamptonburgh, NY
To Email, remove the double zeroes after 'at'
Don't know whether this will be of value to you, but here it is:
We just got back from a visit to our son's home. The fence at the back
of his yard (belonging to his neighbor) is vinyl, with vertical posts 4
or 5 inches apart.
My son has a 75-lb "golden oodle", which is a combination of a golden
retriever and poodle. He is much wider than 4 or 5 inches. But he has
discovered that if he hits the fence right between two bars, he will
punch right through (the bars flex; it really is something to watch).
Might be something to think about if your fence is there to enclose a
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