How to Extend Wooden Fence Post Height (Step by Step)

There are lots of different reasons that could explain why you might want to extend your fence post, but one of the most common of these reasons is that you are looking for more privacy or security, which comes with a taller fence. Having a taller fence comes with many different benefits that you can take advantage of.

More often than not, you will be allowed to have a fence that is 8 feet tall without needing to get your hands on a permit for a taller fence.

If you have a fence that is 6 foot tall or less, you will probably find that your neighbors will be able to see into your yard. If this is something that you want to avoid, then your best option would be to extend your fence in height.

If you currently have a fence that is 6 feet tall or less, you could work to extend it another two feet, or more if your current fence is less than 6 feet tall.

You could use something like lattice or another fencing material to extend it upwards. We are going to tell you exactly how you can do this in this article. 

What to Do If Your Fence Posts are Rotten or Broken

If you have fence posts that are rotten or broken, you will need to remove and replace these posts before you get started. You might only choose to replace the affected ones, or you could save yourself a job in the future by replacing them all.

You should also keep in mind that if you are going to be extending your fence posts the existing posts that are going to be used will need to be structurally sound.

It makes sense to get all of your rotten or broken fence posts replaced and ready before you think about extending. This way, all of the preparation work will be done, and you can go ahead and get started on extending your fence posts. We will leave some different methods and approaches for you to read about below.

Types of Fence Extensions

There are 3 main ways to extend your wooden fence posts,but the two easiest methods involve adding metal tie fasteners to both posts on the front and back, or adding a wood face board on the front and back of both of the posts.

The third method of extending your fence posts would involve creating a half lap joint on each post and then connecting the posts with through bolts. This method is much more difficult, but it is still a great option. We will look at each of these methods in more detail below.

Metal Connector 

Metal connectors may also be called heavy duty tie plates, mending plates, or tie straps. Essentially, all of these things are referring to a wide piece of thick metal that will go across the front and back sides of the posts. This will help to reinforce the joint and transfer tension loads. 

They come in a variety of different thicknesses, and the lower the number is, the thicker the gauge of metal will be. So, a 12 gauge thickness will be thicker than a 20 gauge thickness.

You will also need to consider the length, which will also vary. It is typically recommended to install them using structural connectors, rather than standard nails or screws, as this will offer more support.

You can use either structural nails or structural screws for this, but the screws are typically easier to install and make it much less likely for you to injure yourself during the installation process.

Nails can also go sideways when you install them, which is something that you will want to avoid. Although, both are considered structural and will get the job done, so it is up to you to decide which one you want to use for this purpose.

Wood Connector

Wood connectors are similar to the metal connectors that you would attach a piece of lumber to the front and back of the posts.

However, where the metal connectors may only be 16 inches long, you could do the same length in wood, or you could use an even longer piece of wood to completely cover the front and back of your adjoining posts.

More often than not, a wood face bard will be used on a fence post in order to cover the not-so-nice looking pressure treated post. So, if you already have a face board on the other part of your fence, you would only need longer face boards to extend your current post with another post.

One of the best attachment methods for the face board is by using the same structural screws that we have previously mentioned above. Structural screws are made from stronger steel, and they are heat treated to provide them with maximum strength. 

Depending on the type of wood that you choose to use, you might find that you have to pre-drill the face board. This will stop it from splitting and compromising its strength. The majority of softwoods, like pine, cypress, or cedar, will need to be pre-drilled for the best possible end results.

Creating a half-lap joint is not too difficult, but you will need to pay extra attention to your measurements to avoid going wrong. You will need to double-check all of your measurements to ensure that they are right. Ensuring that your measurements are correct will ensure that you get the outcome that you desire.

You will want your half-lap joint to be the same on both posts, and it should usually be around 6-8 inches down on your first post, and the same on the post that is going on top.

The reason that it is called a half lap is because you are going to be cutting half of the material from each of the posts at a certain distance down from each post. When you attach them, it will form a joint that is the full thickness across both posts.

It might be helpful to look for pictures that show you exactly what it will look like on two vertical posts that are then connected with two or more through bolts.

The key to this entire process is to cleanly get rid of the leftover wood between the saw kerfs. A wood raps can help to clean up any bumps that are left behind from the saw kerfs. You will need a galvanised bolt that is at least ⅜ thick and 4 inches long to connect the posts properly.

There are also different methods, like using a hybrid method of cutting with a circular saw on both sides, then cutting the rest of the wood with a hand saw. This is one of the fastest and most efficient methods of cutting, but it is something that requires a certain level of skill, which means that it might not be for everyone.

Summary

Hopefully, all of this information will have provided you with everything that you need to know about extending your wood fence posts.

The method that you choose to follow will depend on your current style of fence and the style of the extension that you will be adding. It can also be influenced by whether you are joining two posts together for something other than a fence. 

If you currently have face boards over your posts, the second method would blend in the best. If you don’t, then the quickest method would be with the metal hardware plates.

If you are extending two posts to create something like a deck, then the strongest and most structurally sound method would be the half lap joint.

Ultimately, it is completely up to you to decide which method you want to use to extend your wooden fence posts.