How to Install a Gate Post


Much like regular fence posts, gate posts are typically sunk into the ground. But because of the nature of a gate, these need to be installed even more sturdily.

Things You'll Need

  • Gravel
  • Gate Posts
  • Gates
  • Sand
  • Shovels
  • 1-by-2 Boards
  • 2-by-4 Boards
  • Posthole Augers
  • Cement
  • Common Nails
  • Hammers
  • Pocket Levels
  • Posthole Diggers
  • Trowels
  • Make sure that the gate posts are at least 3 feet longer than their finished height.

  • Lay the gate on the ground with the posts on each side of it in the correct position.

  • Nail three slats of wood across the gate area onto the posts. This will keep them the same distance apart when you pick them up.

  • Dig a trench across the space where the gate will eventually hang. It should be about 6 inches wider than the posts, a foot across, and 3 feet deep at the ends.

  • Put two to three inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench for drainage.

  • Set the posts into the trench.

  • Use a bubble level to check that the posts are vertical, then brace them with 2-by-4s. Nail one end of each 2-by-4 to the post and the other end to a short stake driven into the ground - the idea is to hold the post firmly in place (see Tips).

  • Mix the concrete: one part cement, two parts sand, three parts gravel. Add enough water to make it thick but not chunky.

  • Pour concrete into the trench up to ground level.

  • Poke the air bubbles out of the concrete with a 1-by-2 board.

  • Check the level and adjust the posts if necessary.

  • Use a trowel to add some more concrete around the base of each post, making it mound-shaped. This will allow water to run off and not pool around the posts.

  • Level the concrete in the center part of the trench with the ground, sloping in one direction just slightly for water runoff.

Tips & Warnings

  • When bracing the posts with 2-by-4s, two boards nailed to adjoining sides of the post should keep it steady and vertical.
  • An old wheelbarrow and a shovel work well for mixing concrete. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly before the concrete dries.

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