10 Things to Avoid When Installing a Flagpole

An American flag on a flagpole.
What You'll Need
Crushed rocks
Regular cement
Extension piece
Flash collar
Wood shims
Drill and drill bits

Flags flying high in the air are generally on flagpoles. Flagpoles are fairly easy to install, but there are a few things you should avoid in order to enjoy a smooth and successful project.

1. Improper Location

One of the worst mistakes is locating your new flagpole where it can come into contact with automobiles, lawn mowers, bicycles or any other objects that could ram into it. Also, always avoid any overhead obstructions such as power lines. Check with any municipal authorities or utility companies before you dig to make sure you will not damage buried lines or pipes in your selected installation area.

2. Sloppy Pole Storage

Avoid leaving your pole lying on the ground when it is delivered. You should raise the pole as soon as possible. Until you do, leave it in whatever protective wrapping it arrives in. Avoid leaving it lying flat. Stand it up and keep it dry until you are ready to install it.

3. Small Hole Size

Don't dig the hole for your flagpole installation too small. You should dig a hole four times larger than the diameter of the pole. It should also be deep enough so the flagpole ground sleeve is flush with the surface. Do not use sand or dirt as fill around the sleeve. Instead, use crushed rocks.

4. Ready-mix Cement

Avoid using ready-mix cement. Use regular cement that dries naturally. Never position the sleeve without making sure the filled-in concrete is level. Avoid placing too much cement in the hole so it does not overflow.

5. Extension Slip-Ups

Large poles (such as a 40-foot pole) need an extension piece you insert on the end and place into the ground sleeve. Don't allow the extension to show above the ground. Do not force the extension into the ground. You may need to cut it to make it fit.

6. Removal of Plastic Wrap

Avoid the temptation to remove the plastic wrap around the flagpole. Keep it on for added protection during the installation process.

7. Belated Flash Collar Installation

Don't set the pole into the ground hole before you slip the flash collar around the pole. You will not be able to place it on the top and bring it down, so save some aggravation by remembering to install it on the flagpole before you place the pole in the ground.

8. Lack of Shims

Don't place the pole in the extension without using some shims to ensure it stands evenly. Use a wood shim that can hold up to the task. For instance, strips of cedar shingles work well for this project.

9. Wrong Drill Bit for Cleat Holes

Avoid using the wrong-sized drill bit for making the cleat holes. Use an 1/8-inch bit for a 15-foot pole, a 5/32-inch bit for a 20- or 25-foot pole and a 3/16-inch bit for a 25- to 40-foot pole.

10. Windy Weather

Avoid installing your flagpole in windy conditions. Such weather can make your task more difficult.