Post Types, Spacing, Accessories - and Post Braces
The posts we recommend (which may or may not need post braces depending on the nature of your fence) are round steel posts with a black powder-coat finish. These handsome posts have been galvanized, so they last practically forever (20+ years). Their diameter (1-5/8 inches) and strength (17-gauge steel) is sufficient to do their job without being too heavy-looking or expensive.
We offer these posts with or without drive sleeves. Drive sleeves get driven into the ground with a drive cap and hammer, and then the post is inserted into the sleeve. The sleeves make installation a bit easier but raise the cost.
If you get posts with drive sleeves you should get one heavy metal drive cap for every 20 posts. If you get posts without drive sleeves, plan on installing them with a manual post driver or (for those who relish heavy labor) a post-hole digger.
Regarding post spacing, figure on a maximum of 15 feet between posts or 10 feet for fences confronting heavy snow loads. Then divide the length of your fence by the spacing between posts to determine how many posts you need. Place the desired number in your shopping cart.
Post AccessoriesAll our posts come with caps, so you don’t need to buy these separately. However, to prevent metal hexagrid or poly fencing from sliding down the posts (assuming you are not installing a top rail) it’s a good idea to get a brace band for each round post. Also consider getting a digging bar. This is very handy for proving your post or sleeve has a clear path downward. If you only need to go 2 feet down we offer a 4-foot digging bar that is less expensive than the 5 and 6-foot digging bars generally available locally. However, if you need to go deeper than 2 feet (you will if you get posts with sleeves) you should get a 5 or 6-foot bar.
If you need them, use post braces to counter possible sideways stress caused by snow loads, falling tree limbs, or the weight of a long fence. If you figure these things will not be a problem, especially if you have a low fence or a short one, you may decide to forego bracing.
We tend to prefer earth anchors over more elaborate post braces (systems consisting of a vertical post with one or two side supports). That’s because earth anchors are more affordable, less conspicuous, and more effective. If you decide to use brace post systems, note that they are sold in pairs. Get one pair of corner braces for every two corners on your fence, one pair of end/gate braces for each gate, and one pair of end/gate braces for every two ends (places where the fence will terminate at a building, wall, or other fence).
If you opt for earth anchors, you can avoid having any cables hanging off the fence line by installing two anchors per corner, backing up one post, screwing each anchor in along the fence line (heading toward the corner post) and attaching the anchor’s handle to a brace band on the post one back from the corner post. Using this approach, plan on installing two earth anchors per corner, two per gate opening, and one per end. Then get 100 feet of 12.5-gauge high-tensile wire (offered right next to the earth anchors) for every 12 earth anchors.