Do It Yourself Knowledge

Because life ain't cheap…

Fixing a leaning fence post (Metal fence post)

Posted by diynovice on August 21, 2008

The proper way to fix a leaning post is to dig up the leaning post and replace it.  But, when multiple fence posts and tree roots are involved, fixing the problem may become more difficult.  The fence post can be dug up, but some of the tree roots could be damaged, jeopardizing its health.  So, an alternative is to pull the fence straight.  Most likely, if the leaning post is very stiff and leaning, it is caused by a root.  Otherwise, it could be caused by unstable soil.  Either way, straightening the post may take a very long time, and may not be permanent.

Time: initially 2 hours
Cost: $50
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Tools required: Sledge hammer, side cutters
Material required:
1. Support Posts: 2” diameter pipe, 12” to 16” long (the bigger the diameter, and the longer the pipe, the better)
2. Turnbuckle
3. Wire: The wire was rated to 150lbs, and thin enough to be workable.  Since high loads will potentially be held by the wire, it is highly recommended that the wire is doubled up.


1. Two support posts were used because 1 most likely will be pulled toward the fence, instead of the other way around.  To position the two support posts, the height of the fence post was measured, and was 6 feet.   The support posts were put in at a 45° from the top of the fence post, two feet on either side of the post.

2. The Support posts were hammered into the ground at a slight angle.
Note: Be careful of any buried cables or gas lines and wear eye protection!

3. Wire line was wrapped around the top of the post

4. The wire line was then twisted by hand to double it up.

5. A turnbuckle was added.

6. The wire line was attached from the supports to the turnbuckle.  The wire was looped around one post, strung through the turnbuckle, and then looped around the other post.  Using a screw driver, the wire was twisted to tighten it up.

7. The turnbuckle was tightened until the post could not be pulled by hand toward the supports.  To tighten the center post, the tree next to the fence was temporarily used as an anchor by wrapping a rope around the tree and the top of the post.  In a tourniquet style, the rope was tightened.

8. After about a week, the posts had shifted and became “shakable.”  The turnbuckle was tightened.  When the turnbuckle maxed out, the wire running from the fence post to the turnbuckle was removed, the turnbuckle lengthened, and the wire was restrung.  This was repeated many times in the coming months, until the post was straight.


10. After a month, two of the three posts were straightened.  The middle post still was not budging.  The anchors were being pulled toward the fence.  Therefore, the support posts holding up the third fence post were removed, and added to the second fence post.

11. After one year, the fence is finally straight, but, the wire supports are still needed to keep it straight.


3 Responses to “Fixing a leaning fence post (Metal fence post)”

  1. donnaaries said

    I can’t believe you drew a detailed diagrammatic shop drawing-es

  2. Hayley said

    Do you want to add ceiling fan hanging to your list? I think the living room is a bit tall for 1 person, so DIY Idiot might need some assistance – at least he actually knows how to hang them. He did a superb job in the other rooms.

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