Discussion on choosing fence post gauge: Proper Planning Can Go a Long Way.
Recently viewed a damaged fence in the Lakeview area of New Orleans after a strong storm blew through in early March. The high winds caused the posts to fail and the fence to collapse. See photos below:
The fence posts shown here are standard 2 – 3/8″ x 8 ft. x 0.065″ thick (or 16 gauge) tubular steel posts. The homeowner installed these posts (and a new 6 ft. cedar, privacy fence) right before Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and did not replace the posts after the storm. The thin gauge, or thickness, deteriorated quickly resulting in post failure. Many people are not aware that there are better choices (and prices) out there when choosing fencing materials for quality and longevity. As the posts are usually the most labor-intensive portion of the project, a thicker gauge post will provide many more years of life (and less labor costs over the life of a fence). A quick comparision of a neighboring fence with a thicker gauge post (also installed shortly before Katrina and not replaced after) showed the thicker posts still going strong with no signs of failure imminent. Most big box stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot charge over $20 per post. Westside Fence offers 16-gauge posts for $15.44 each (or $13.90 each for bundle quantities), but we also stock better grades not offered at Lowe’s or Home Depot such as 0.080″ thick (which is slightly thicker than 14-gauge) tubular steel posts for $19.50 each (or $17.50 each for bundle quantities). We also offer Schedule 40 (or 9 gauge) tubular steel posts with prices available on request.
When you can get a better grade fence post at a better price from a local supplier, you’ll extend the life of your fence and reduce your long-term costs as well.