Attaching Wood Fence To Metal Posts

Wooden privacy fences are a popular choice for those looking to add a fence to their property, but this comes with all the drawbacks of using wooden posts, such as being prone to decay more so than other fence post materials like vinyl and metal.

With the proliferation of fence posts made of metal, it introduces a possible alternative to wooden fence posts, but is it worth it? Is it better than using wooden fence posts? Read further below to answer your burning questions. 

Is It Possible To Attach Wood Fence to Metal Posts?

Yes, attaching metal fence posts to a wooden fence is possible. Brackets and screws will be used to hold the two together, for it to be stable. The brackets, referred to as pipe grips, will grip onto the metal post and will be screwed onto the wooden fence railings. 

Quick Resource List

For easy installation, we recommend you have these tools before getting started:

  1. Screw Gun Drill
  2. #2 Philipps head screw bit
  3. Shovel
  4. String to trace the perimeter of the fence
  5. Wooden Stakes.

How To Attach Wood Fence to Metal Posts (Step By Step)

For this guide we will be using 50mm x 50mm x 1.5 mm galvanized metal tubes as the fence posts, and these will be attached to 2 x 4” by 16ft wooden boards for the outer railings and 2 x 4” by 8ft wood boards for the inner railings.

The pipe grip brackets will be attached to the railings using 1⁄4″ x 1 1⁄2″ screws, 4 screws per pipe grip are needed, so one fence panel with 3 railings will need at least 24  1⁄4″ x 1 1⁄2″ screws.

Cement will also be added to the base to further strengthen the foundation.  The length of the metal post will depend on your needs but keep in mind that at least ⅓ of the fence’s height should be underground.

For example, a 6-foot fence should use an 8-foot post with 2 feet of its length underground to achieve 6 feet.

Setting Up the Posts

Before placing the posts, line the perimeter of the fence with the string. After setting up the layout of your fence, place some wooden stakes or markers 1 inch away from the string and 8 feet away from the adjacent wooden stakes, because we will be using 8ft and 16ft long railings.

  1. Use the markers as a guide to where the holes will be dug. 
  2. Dig a hole that is 2 feet deep and 6 inches in diameter. 
  3. Add cement powder to the hole until it reaches 6 inches in height, 
  4. Place the metal post then fill in the remaining space with cement. Remember to wiggle the metal post to remove gaps caused by trapped air.
  5. Add water until it reaches a viscous consistency but can still flow.
  6. Wait for the cement to dry.

Attaching Fence Railings to Metal Posts

After setting up all the posts, it is now time to attach the pipe grips and the fence railings. 

  1. Slip in the pipe grips onto the metal post at an interval of 24 inches or 2 feet at most. 
  2. Tighten the pipe grips by turning the hex screw that comes with the pipe grips. This can be done manually or using a hex drive socket attached to the drill.
  3. The 16 ft-long outer rails should be attached first by drilling in a total of 24 screws per rail, it will span the length of 3 posts. 
  4. After installing the outer rails, attach the inner rails also using at least 24 screws. 

Now that metal posts are attached to the fence railings, you can now start adding the pickets onto the railings. 

Why Should You Attach Wood Fence to Metal Posts?

Wooden fence posts are the load-bearing parts of the fence. These are susceptible to rot and decay, especially because it is near moist ground.

To prevent this, maintenance is needed to protect it from the environment. Wood preservatives, wood stains, sealers, and paint are usually applied onto the wood to further extend its life but all this can be avoided if the wooden post was replaced with a metal one. 

Aesthetically, attaching to metal fences gives the fence some contrast with the gray metal contrasting against the wooden fence panels or pickets that are usually a shade of brown or white.

Allowing the property owner to enjoy the sturdy look that the metal post brings and the traditional and rustic vibe of the wooden parts of the fence. 

Advantages Of Attaching Wood Fence to Metal Posts

Attaching wooden fence panels or pickets to metal posts allows for a more durable and longer-lasting fence post; galvanized metal posts are used to avoid all the drawbacks when using wood.

The fence will be harder to tip over and finishing products like sealers and stains do not need to be applied on the fence posts as it isn’t susceptible to decay, unlike wood, and the galvanization markedly slows down the formation of rust. 

Metal fence posts are also not susceptible to termite infestation so a part of the fence completely collapsing because the wooden post was weakened by termites isn’t going to happen to fences that use metal fence posts. 

Which Is Better (Wood Fence Post Or Metal Post)?

In terms of individual costs, a metal post is more expensive than a wooden fence post, with the latter going as low as $20 and the metal posts being at least $50.

However, taking into account the number of additives and maintenance that wooden posts need to prevent things like wood rot, decay, algae, and mold growth. The metal posts might end up costing you less in the long run because it is not made of organic material.

The metal posts will end up costing less in the long run because of their superior durability and longer-lasting material, as well as making the fence’s foundation stronger, clearly making the metal posts the better choice. 

Final Thoughts

Although wooden fence posts have a lot of advantages when it comes to versatility, being both sturdy and have a kind of aesthetic that cannot be easily replicated. The metal post clearly outmatches it in durability and lower long-term maintenance needs.

While a wooden post will need wood stains, paints, and sealers, a metal post does not need any of those and will take a longer time to show deterioration because of the galvanization that protects it from rust. Switching to metal posts is a worthy investment if one is after a longer-lasting and stronger fence. 

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