There are many reasons a homeowner would want to have taller fences than they already have. For instance, you might want more privacy from passers-by and curious neighbors, or you might just like the look of a tall fence.
The good news is you might not have to start from scratch. You can make your fences taller by adding more panels or lattices. To do that, however, you’ll also need to extend the height of the posts supporting them.
Should You Extend a Wooden Fence Post or Replace It?
The height of a wooden fence post can be increased as long as it’s in good condition. Even if it’s partially rotted or otherwise damaged from the midway point up, you can add to its height by cutting off the affected area before installing an extension. However, if the entire post has issues, such as insect damage, it will need to be replaced.
Simple Ways to Increase Wooden Fence Post Height
Note that to extend your wooden fence post, you’ll need a second fence post the same width and cut to the length needed for the existing fence post to reach the desired height. You can then use any of the following methods to link the fence posts together.
Use Metal Post Extenders
Typically made from strong, corrosion-resistant metal, post extenders reinforce the joints of a wooden post so that they’re capable of carrying the load of additional fence panels.
Post extenders for wooden fences come in either bracket or box styles. A bracket post extender, also called a tie plate, is a metal plate with pre-drilled holes, and you need two per fence post. Meanwhile, the box style slips over the existing post like a sleeve and is bolted in place.
If you’re using the brackets, link the two posts together. Then, affix the two plates on either side of the combined fence post using structural nails or structural screws. If possible, place them on the sides where they’re not easily visible.
If you’re using the sleeve style, simply slip it over the existing post and bolt it into place. Then, drive the new post into the sleeve and secure it with nails or screws.
Use a Wood Fence Extender
With this method, you’ll need two 1×4 pieces of lumber. You’ll face either side of the post with them. To start, affix the new post on top of the existing posts. Then, screw or nail the facer boards on either side of the post to reinforce the joints.
Use a Half-Lap Joint
This method for increasing wooden fence post height is a more complicated method than the others previously mentioned. It is best for those who have experience working with wood and can use tools such as circular saws.
Lengthening a wooden fence post using a half-lap joint involves cutting into one end of both posts so that they can fit into each other, like puzzle pieces. Accurate measurements are key to pulling this method off. Ideally, the half-lap joint should be cut six to eight inches from the end of either post.
If cut and installed correctly, the half-lap joint will be the same thickness across both posts. You can connect them permanently by driving through bolts through the part where the old and new posts meet.
Important Considerations for Increasing Wooden Fence Post Height
Laws and Regulations
Most municipalities set limits on how tall fences can be. For instance, in Dallas, people living in duplexes or single-family homes can build front yard fences up to four feet tall and backyard fences up to eight feet tall. Make sure you have all the necessary permissions first.
Also, homeowners’ associations (HOA) often have fence line height restrictions. Before you start working on your fences, go over their rules first so you won’t run into any problems with the HOA later on.
The Longevity of Your Fence
Cutting into your existing wood fence posts to increase their height can expose their interior to moisture to enter. This may result in it warping over time, leaving it vulnerable to wood rot. This is especially true for treated wood, so practice extra care when working on your fence posts or better yet, call a professional to do it for you.
A Fence Contractor You Can Rely On
NorTex Fence & Patio offers custom cedar fences that enhance the beauty of any home and may even add to its value. We have been offering our services to residential and commercial clients in North Dallas since 1998.
We take pride in our reputation for quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer care. Learn more about our services or request a free estimate by reaching out to us today.