There are several options when it comes to post selection when building a privacy fence for your home or property. We’ll list the most popular and expound on the strengths and weaknesses of each and which materials and methods we at Butler Contracting prefer when building a long lasting fence.
What Not To Do - Using Landscaping Timbers As Fence Posts
Landscaping timbers are made for a horizontal application. They are made with the purpose of being used on the ground for landscaping, bordering, edging and decoration. They are not made to vertically suspend a lot of weight, so if you start adding pickets, rails and all of the fence components of a fence system on landscape timber, it tends to bow, flex and crack. It will break and cause issues over time. Landscape timber also rots out a lot faster than a standard 4×4 treated post would. Here at Butler Contracting, we do not recommend using any landscaping timber for a fence post. We do see it used for fence posts pretty frequently and it is the most cost effective option when it comes to a fence, but it will not last very long.
Wood - Treated and Cedar 4x4 Posts
Treated pine posts are very common in privacy fences. Some of the good things about these 4×4 posts is that they are treated with chemicals that preserve the wood, so they’re going to last a while. Treated posts are durable and should stand up to weather for several years as long as they are maintained.
You can get cedar posts as an option as well. Cedar is even more durable than treated posts. They’re not going to warp as much as a treated post might.
Treated posts might have a little warping over time, but in general a 4×4 treated post is going to be structurally sound enough to hold a standard privacy fence better than a landscaping timber.
One thing to consider with the cedar 4×4 posts – sometimes fence builders encapsulate the post with concrete, which creates a lot of moisture that’s getting into that wood all the time that’s not treated. It can cause that post to prematurely rot off at the bottom or start sucking and wicking up moisture kind of like a straw. All of the moisture getting inside the cedar post causes some types of decay and rot. Also carpenter ants and wood destroying insects can move into it, bore it out and eat it from the inside.
Metal Post Options
Apart from wood posts, the next option is metal posts. At Butler Contracting, we prefer to use metal posts whenever possible. Most of the fences we build have metal posts holding them up.
There are two different types of metal posts. You can go with a round style galvanized post, but our preferred product is a postmaster post. They’re both good products, but the postmaster post has a 15-year structural warranty and it has a 73 MPH wind rating. Postmaster Posts also make the fence look a lot nicer and more sleek, because we can hide the posts in the fence line.
The galvanized round post we offer can’t really be concealed or hidden inside the fence, but they are still high quality steel and work well. However, they don’t have that same warranty and wind rating as the Postmaster Posts.
Choose Your Posts As Wisely As You Choose Your Builder
Make sure the fence is installed correctly the first time! Butler Contracting loves to build fences and will build the privacy fence that best fits your needs. Take advantage of our Fence Estimator Tool to get a rough idea of a quote or talk to us directly by calling (844) 628-8537.