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Frequently Asked Questions Index

Descriptions of Types of Posts
Ends-Corners-Line-Blank-Gate Posts

It is important to understand the differences in end, corner, line and gate posts. With some styles of fence it makes no difference, but on other styles, it is a world of difference.

In the case of some ornamental aluminum fences, vinyl fence and wood split rail, the posts have pre-routed holes to accept rails from the fence sections. The position of the holes will determine the use of the post.

For these styles the following definitions and descriptions are true.

End Post: any post that ends a line of fence. A gate terminates a line for this purpose. The fence may continue on the other side of a gate and that post would also be an end post. An end post has holes on one side of the post only for rails to slide into. Only one section of fence is connected to that post. An end post can also be a gate post.

Line Post: any intermediate post that has fence connected to two opposite sides forming a straight line (180 degrees). These posts have holes on two sides of the post, opposite each other. An easy way to figure the quantity of line posts required on a line of fence is to figure the total sections in the line and subtract one. That is why it is necessary to know measurements on both sides of a gate. the gate breaks the total line into two distinctly different lines for these purposes. In some styles of fence, such as split rail, a line post may have holes bored completely through the post so rails can butt to each other, or overlap. Angles close to 180 degrees require the use of line posts. The holes may need widened to allow the rails to slide in, depending on the style of fence.

Corner Posts: any post that is to be used on a 90 degree corner to join two lines of fence. The holes are on two sides adjacent to each other. Corner posts can be used for odd angles where the angle is closer is between 45 and 90 degrees. An angle of 45 degrees may require a corner or line post, depending on style and preference.

Blank Post: a post with no holes. Commonly these are used as a gate post where no fence is to be attached to the post. Therefore a gate post can be a blank post. Your mail box post is a blank post (most likely). Avoid using blank posts as hinge posts. The fact that a fence is attached to the gate post makes it stronger and a lot of sagging gate problems can be traced to leaning blank posts.

Gate Post: a post that is used to latch or hinge a gate. A gate post can be a blank, end, line or corner post depending on how and where sections of fence also must be attached to the post. Every gate has two gate posts, unless another structure is used to latch or hinge the gate from. Often times a gate post is a larger size than the others and a heavier wall thickness, if applicable. This is necessary to hold the weight of the gate.

Hinge Post: a gate post that the gate is hinged on. A double swing gate would have two hinge posts. A single swing gate has one hinge post. Large gates may require a larger hinge post to support the weight of the gate.

Latch Post: a gate post that a gate latches to. A double gate has no latch posts and a single swing gate has one. Most of the time the latch post is the same size as the hinge post for appearance sake, but it does not have to be. A latch post can be an end, line, corner or blank post.

This may not be the final word on definitions of these types of posts, because every manufacturer and installer may have a different description or different terminology, but it may help to clarify the differences. It will increase your odds of getting the correct response by asking for the proper type, instead of asking, "How much are your posts?". Also you will understand that you do not want holes in your gate post that goes next to the garage (that one should be a blank post).