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Archive for the ‘Fence Repair’ Category

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.


Posted in Exterior, Fence Repair | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Metal Fence Post Replacement

Posted by diynovice on August 7, 2008

Metal Fence Post Replacement


A small section of my fence was leaning, to a point where I could no longer open or close the gate.  After closely looking at the fence, I discovered that the base of the post had rusted away, and was only being held up by a rusted quarter of an inch of material.  Since the gate closed on this post, I didn’t want to move the post.  So, I dug up the post and replaced it.


Time: 6 hours
Cost: $35
(add another $35 if you do not have a Slate bar, Lowes has these, make sure to get one with a point on one end and a flat other end)
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Tools required: Screwdrivers, Socket Wrench, Slate bar, Hoe, mixing tub

General Tip:
Fence posts should be placed 2 to 3 feet in the ground.  Corner posts should be at least 3 feet deep.

1. Since this small section of the fence had a hose reel attached to it, the hose reel was removed.  No screws had to be removed.  Most hose reels can be lifted up and then pulled off of the screws, similar to how picture frames are hung.



2. A support was placed under the fence a couple feet away from the broken post.  A scrap piece of granite and an old outdoor flower pot holder was used.  This kept the fence at the correct height.  A temporary post was installed next.  This prevents the fence from leaning.  An old Antenna pole and string was used.  The temporary support post was hammered 2 feet in the ground.

[This was a short section of fence, which could have easily been removed.  However, I did not want to leave an obvious hole in the fence.  Also, I wanted the fence to be inline.  In other words, if the whole fence leaned a little, I wanted the new post to lean a little.]



3. The rusted fence post was removed.  This was very easy, requiring one gentle swing of the sledge hammer.  Next, the concrete had to be taken out.


4. Using the Slate bar, the concrete around the post was broken up.  Use the pointed end of the Slate bar to hit the concrete.  The concrete should break up in chunks.  Eye protection was critical here, as small fragments of concrete were flying everywhere.


5. The remaining post stub was stabbed with the Slate bar.  Using a brick for leverage, I stood one the other end of the Slate bar, and the stub and most of the remaining concrete came right out.



6. The hole was cleaned out, removing all of the remaining small clumps of concrete and dirt.  This post hole was about 2 feet deep once everything was cleaned out.  So, the hole was deepened a few more inches and widened.


7. Using the old fence post clips, the new post was attached to the fence, so that it hung in the hole, about an inch from the bottom of the hole.


8. Concrete was mixed in a tub two bags at a time.  This is a very cheap way to mix concrete if you lack a wheel barrow.  These tubs can be found at the Home Depot and Lowes.  The concrete was mixed using a hoe, which was easier than using a shovel, since the tub is on the ground.


9. The concrete was poured into the hole, and a downward slope from the post to the ground was made, to keep water from gathering around the base.  Concrete was also placed in the post.  By knocking on the post and listening to the different sounds, the level was made slightly higher than the post base. This maybe unnecessary, but if you are interested, here is my reasoning:

The highest stressed location in this fence post (this is the post where the gate closes) is at the base where the post meets the concrete.  Corrosion (rusting) will occur faster at higher stressed areas, so, by keeping water away from the stressed area (filling the lower area of the post), rusting of that area should be delayed.


10. Let the concrete cure for the recommended time while keeping the temporary supports on the fence.  Any stress on the post should be minimized to ensure proper concrete curing.  Once the concrete has cured, remove the temporary supports.  A sledge hammer was required to knock the Antenna pole back and forth to loosen it enough to pull it out.


Posted in Exterior, Fence Repair | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »