converting 4 foot fence to 6 foot fence


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Old 04-24-06, 07:25 PM
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converting 4 foot fence to 6 foot fence

Ive written about this before but I have a new twist on my method and Im only a weekend or two from wanting to do this.

I have a 4 foot fence that I want to turn into a 6 footer and I want the least amount of work possible . To me, I think that means NOT digging more holes and NOT puttig in new posts, and releveling, plumbing, etc.

So, I have 4x4 posts and 2x4 rails. Can I do the following.

Sister a 2x4 on the back up to the 6 foot point. Then, use a 2 foot length of 4x4. Put it on top of my 4'x4'x4" post (making it 6 feet) Then, run a 1x6 parallel to the rails, half on the existing 4x4 and half on the new 4x4.

What Im thinking is that this will secure the new 2 foot 4x4 between the 2x4 in the back and the 1x6 in the front, giving me a 6 foot 4x4. The seam where the 4x4s meet will be hiddden (and strengthened) by the 1x6. Then lattice above the 1x6 and boards below the 1x6.

Visually, the 1x6 should look like a frame around the top of the boards. I THINK it would be sturdy but cant be 100% sure.

I really want to avoid re-digging,re-leveling, re-plumbing, re-cutting and notching a dozen new rails.

Clamping and screwing is certainly easier and faster.

If you dont think this will work, please give me reasons. I like to understand why.

Thanks.
 
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Old 04-25-06, 09:06 AM
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I think you're on the right track, however I'd be concerned about having only the one 2x4 to support it. If it warps back the 1x6 won't be able to keep it from pulling your 2' stub back with it and it'll make for a funky looking fence. Could you use shorter lengths of 2x4 and put one on each side of the 4x4 splice instead of just on the back?
 
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Old 04-25-06, 09:48 AM
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Im trying to keep the sister to just the back because then you wont see it from the front (brilliant observation, huh?)

The sides have rails that Id have to notch out for so that leaves just the back. If I did the front, Im afraid that any separation due to warping or whatever would make it look like a patch job.

Of course, it IS a patch job, but if I can keep the evidence of the patch visible only from the back, and hidden by the 1x6 in the front, I think it would be fine.

So, you dont think strength of the upper 2 feet would be an issue with my solution?

But warping of the 2x4 could be?
 
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Old 04-25-06, 09:56 AM
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wait a second.

I think something you wrote just clicked. If i use shorter lengths of 2x4 on each side of my post to secure the new 4"x4"x2' it would be hidden (from front view) by the lattice.

My top rail is 10 inches (on center) from the top of the post. So I have about 8 inches of existing post to grab onto.

Would left and right sisters be enough instead of left,right AND back?

They would be about 36" long. 8" on the old post and 24" on the new top. Lattice would hide it from the front, and it would be visible fom the back.

I can live with that considering it will probably save me 10-12 hours of work. And probably $50 or more.

But, will it be strong? I cant get too crazy over a little bending warping either becuase, lets face it, even if I put new posts in - they could warp on me. Some of my existing ones did.
 
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Old 04-26-06, 05:44 AM
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Now you've got the picture. Since you're putting lattice in, the wind load won't be too terrible; I think the two shorter lengths on the sides will be plenty. I might consider using carriage bolts to attach them to the post though. That'll be a lot stronger than just screwing them on.
 
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Old 04-26-06, 09:37 AM
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I was actually thinking of using a threaded rod (if i canget one )galvanaized to go through the post and both sistsers competely - carriage bolts is probably easier though.

In any case, I have one final problem...

I planned on putting a 1x6 parallel with the rails, to run the distance of the fence. This would hide the seam of the 4x4 post and its new 2 foot long top. The problem is, as I think about it more, the 1x6 will probably look out of place - too far extruded. The 1x6 should really be flush with the 4x4.

So, is my only option to have a seam on the post? It will likely be a seam with gaps since getting these to mate perfectly would be virtually impossible.

I was even thinking of putting a decorative piece over the seam. Lets say a diamond shape made of 3/4 stock. It would cover the seam and might look like it belongs as a decorative piece.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 04-26-06, 12:36 PM
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converting 4 foot fence to 6 foot fence

Are sure you have enough "beef" in the ground to handle an addition?

Two feet of lattice does more than you expect.

If it is 30% solid you still will have almost as much wind pressure from that part as if it was 100% solid. - Probably 80 to 95% as much.

The added portion is much higher above the ground, so there it more of a tendancy to rotate the base in the ground.

The higher you go, the more wind pressure. - There really is not much wind effect on the lower 2 feet, but there is much more on the upper 2 feet.

The depth of the post is important. Even if you have shallow concrete around the top, that doesn't do too much to provide stability. If you have a post set in concrete that is deep enough, you should be O.K.

I just hate to see people spend a lot of time and money on a fence that starts to lean and continues forever because the ground support is not there.

Dick
 
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Old 04-26-06, 01:57 PM
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ConcreteMasonry,

I think Im ok with whats in the ground, its just about 4 feet. I used 8 footers and they are sticking out about 51 inches. But no concrete. When I put them in I tamped the surrounding area to death with a 2x4 and a sledge hammer. They are in the ground pretty solid - no play at all.

If that seems ok then Im back to my last concern which is visual - hiding the seem on the post. I guess at 4 feet up a hanging planter isnt a great option, huh?
 
  #9  
Old 04-27-06, 05:19 AM
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Depending on how you plan to do the top and vertical seams on your lattice I think the 1x6 could just look like a trim piece.
 
 

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