All things Gates! How to Fit Gates

Fitting Gate and Fence Posts

Fit Posts. Whether your putting in new wooden gate posts for driveway gates or placing new fence posts, the procedure for doing this remains the same.

Safety First:

It is advised to wear appropriate PPE when fitting your posts. As you will be using either a post digger or spade wear steel toe cap boots – it’s no joke if you hit your foot! Also, with the use of fast set concrete, gloves and eye protection should be used.

You will be digging to a depth of approx 800mm. Ensure you have no services running under the area. If you still have them, inspect the original plans of the house or get a detector to check. Some services may have moved so do take extreme care when digging.

Type of Post:

It is crucial you select the right type of wooden post. There are many cheap wooden posts out there which claim to have a 10 or 15 year guarantee against rot or fungal growth. This is somewhat true – but only if you DON’T place them in the ground, no good for gate or fence posts! Hence why you are probably replacing posts sooner than you should be. Simply inspect the post when you remove it!


Fit Posts: Tools required

  • Post digger (or spade)
  • Tape measure
  • Spirit level
  • String line or straight edge
  • Fast set concrete
  • Coarse stone/ aggregate
  • Wooden batten (staff)
  • Hammer or cordless screwdriver
  • Nails or screws

Instructions on how to Fit Posts:


  • Using a post digger  to fit posts is a lot easier than a spade or shovel – either buy one or rent one. Start digging the first hole. The depth needs to be approx 800mm with a 1oomm clearance around the post. So, if your post size is 100mm x 100mm (4″ x 4″) you need a diameter of 300mm (12″).


  • Check depth with tape measure. Fill the base with between 50mm to 100mm of either crushed stone. (This is to help prevent water penetrating to the post and gives the post a solid base.) Using the post or compactor, pound the stones.


  • It’s easier to use two people next. One to level the post and support with the other filling the hole with concrete. Place post in hole, check with the spirit level both sides to ensure upright. Once happy, fill with fast set concrete (see manufacturer instructions on the process as some may differ). Re check the levels and secure with a wooden batten or stake. Most fast set mixes will harden in 5 minutes so be quick to secure in place.


  • Once set – fill top of hole with the ground you originally removed and compact down.

If placing a second post in for a gate or driveway gates. Set up as follows:

  • Measure the width of the gate and add clearance for the required gaps. For example, a double driveway gate would need a total of 40mm clearance with a side or garden gate requiring 20mm. Make a staff this distance with some timber. Sometimes two pieces are needed to get the length. Place against the set post and span across opening. The edge of the staff will be where the inner edge of post needs to be. Follow the above instructions ensuring the level and width is correct. You can always check using the staff, top, middle and bottom of fixed post horizontally to the second post.


That’s it…your posts should be fitted and ready for your gate!

Next, learn how to fit a Wooden Driveway Gate or to get a Professional Painted Finish.

By Gates and Fences UK


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