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I'm going to be building a 6 foot tall cedar privacy fence in the spring (with pressure-treated posts) and need to determine what to do with the two posts that meet the side of my house.

In order to ensure that my 15 lb dog can't get through any cracks, I want to get the posts as close to the house as I can. If I make an 8 or 12 inch diameter hole for the post, that leaves a 2-4+ inch gap by the house, the latter of which I'm sure she could get through.

Quick specs that might help: - My siding is vinyl. - The fence posts are 4x4 pressure-treated wood. - The posts will extend 3 feet into the ground, with 6-8 inches of gravel beneath (the Rhode Island frost line is 40 inches). - The fence is 6 feet tall.

Is the best thing to do still to dig the standard hole and set the fence post in there, or should end posts at the house actually be attached via lag bolt or something along those lines?

If they are attached to the siding, should I still dig a hole or should the entire post be attached to the house?

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5 Answers

I actually had some fencing completed this week. There is one point where the (vinyl) fence meets the corner of my house. The contractor was able to place the 4x4 post within 2" of the house. It took him quite a while to dig the hole for it since there was poured concrete around the foundation. It is do-able! My house has vinyl siding, but the post does not attach to it in any way.

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Another thing that is not mentioned is that fence posts can frequently be an avenue for vermin (termites, ants, mice, etc.) to get up into a house if they are directly attached.

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Don't attach them to the house. My parents' fence had a few gaps our 10 pound dog could get through along the bottom and one along the house. My dad bought some cheap wire mesh and stapled it between the slats of the privacy fence in those areas. It worked great and you can't even see it unless you are up close to it.

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Don't attach the fence to the house. Aside from putting holes in your siding (not a good thing), your fence and your house will most likely move differentially. The attachment could result in a tear of the siding, which would be a bad thing.

Place the fence post close to the house, then run the fencing top and bottom supports up to within an inch or so of the siding (do leave a little gap, for that differential movement). Place the slats on the supports, allowing the slats to get just a bit closer to the siding.

You could even install a flexible membrane, similar to a product used to seal the bottom of a garage door at the floor, between the fencing and siding.

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additionally, you could cut the last slat to match the contour of the house, yielding a tighter fit. –  longneck Feb 24 '11 at 13:26
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Common advice is to not attach them to the house. For no other reason, the less holes you punch in your siding, the better.

I'd dig the hole a foot way from the house, then extend the fence panel past the house that extra 1 foot.

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