How sturdy should wood fence be?

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Old 04-13-07, 11:28 AM
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How sturdy should wood fence be?

I have a cedar fence with steel posts. When I shake my fence, it moves quite a bit. I don't have to shake hard either. Is this normal? How much give is norm? If needed, how do I make the fence more sturdy. Fence posts are 8 ft apart I believe. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 12:34 PM
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How sturdy should wood fence be?

Is the wood fence moving or are the posts moving in the ground? or both?

If the posts are moving - How are the posts anchored in the ground? - Depth? concrete? gravel? dirt?

Dick
 
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Old 04-13-07, 12:36 PM
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It is both. The posts were put in with cement.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 01:37 PM
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I think it is normal. Wood has a certain amount of inherent flex and so do steel pipes. What diameter and wall thickness are your posts? How deep are your footings dug and how much of that is filled with concrete? What kind of bracketry are you using to attach your posts to the panels?

I completely overbuilt my fence and you can still shake it a bit and see the jiggle propagate out to the neighboring posts. Some wobble doesn't mean weakness. Have you ever stood on a concrete overpass or parking deck while cars drive by? You feel some tremors but the structure is very sound and strong.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 02:56 PM
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The posts were similar to the "Postmaster" style posts. They used 3 braces per our request. I'm not sure how deep they dug the holes or how much concrete was used.

When you barely shake the fence, the whole line shakes. Pretty badly. Would someone be able to go back in and attach metal pipe style posts in between the "postmaster style" posts. I know you'd have to dig the hole and cement them in and then attach them at the 3 braces. This is the only thing that we could come up with. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the prettiest fence, but if it is stable, we could probably live with it. The Postmaster style posts were covered with cedar, so you would only see the new posts. Would this even work? Any other ideas?

Since we hired someone to do this, is it within our rights to ask them to pay for the supplies to fix it to our satisfaction? We're going to ask them to do it anyhow!

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 04-16-07, 09:45 AM
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Sorry to hear you're having some trouble - That style of post may just allow more flex than a tubular post. Becoming permanently bent and allowing flex are two different things. If you do a search, someone previously posted that they thought their postmaster fence had too much flex.

It may stand just as long as tubular steel?
 
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Old 04-16-07, 10:54 PM
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There is a simple test to tell if the fence will stand the test of time. Simply push a post or two firmly perpendicular to the line of the fence if the posts do not resume their previous position but adopt a lean then the posts are either not sunk deep enough into the ground or are too weak. To determine which is easy, if the post is bent then its too weak, if not then the holes were too shallow or too wide when filled.

If the post resumes its position then its good to last. Please remember to be firm but not too firm as you will be able to break, bend or move the post it you push too hard.

As for wobble, all fences have it, but the fence should be firm enough for someone to climb over mid way between posts. This is a commonsense and probably public safety issue. If someone attempts to climb over your fence and it collapses while they are on it then its probably your fault and I hope your insurance is good.

So if there is any doubt get your contractor to make the fence stronger.
 
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Old 04-17-07, 02:12 PM
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Are you posts cemented in the ground? Do the posts themselves sway back and forth?

I am not one of the experts on here but just got done with my fencing project and I would say they shouldn't move at all! Possibly a wiggle at the top, but more of a "flex" then actually moving at ground level.
 
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