I am a first time fence builder, which will be 6ft cedar. I need a gate that is 7 to 8 ft wide. I live in Oregon and the frost line is only a foot deep. I was planning on a 7ft gate with a 6x6 post. Would that hold the gate? How deep should I sink it?

I also thought of 2 4ft gates on 4x4 posts but have the same questions.

The gate won't be opened a lot, just provide access to a barely used trailer and a dog run. I am concerned with the weight and that it might sag.

  • 4
    you could add a wheel for support or just rest it on the ground when opened and supported by a notch on the other side when closed Apr 10, 2012 at 22:19

4 Answers 4


Rule of thumb is that 1/3 of the post should be in the ground. A 6' fence should be sunk into the ground 3', so you'd need 9' posts.

As Shirlock states, even that won't likely support an 8' wide gate. Two 4' gates would definitely be a better option.

Perhaps the easiest solution, however, is to not even make a gate. Instead, build your fence and then make this an 8' panel that is attached with temporary fasteners...such as bolts. On the rare occasions that you need access, unbolt the fence panel and remove it completely--thereby negating the need for the two posts to cary the load of a cantilevered gate.

On the plus side, it's less gate hardware you need to buy and deal with.

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    AsDAO1 says at least 2 feet in the ground.You may not have a deep frost problem but I bet you have your share of wind and a stockade fence catches alot of wind which will topple the fence especially when the ground is wet.As an alternative to an 8ft removeable panel is to cement a pipe 2 feet into the ground.Set it so it is flush with the ground and install a removeable post into the pipe so your panels can be 4ft wide and easier to remove.
    – mikes
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:11

An eight foot wide gate is going to be very heavy and most likely will sag and drag on the ground. I would recommend two four foot gates. As far as the foundation for your posts, to support a swing gate, they should be at least 36 to 40 inches in the ground and in at least a 12 inch diameter concrete sauna tube. Frost is not your enemy here, but rot and lack of ballast is. The gate posts need to be heavy at the bottom and very firmly compacted into place. If the posts move under the weight of the gate, you will be greatly disappointed. Spend the time to make sure they are as secure as possible. The more concrete, the better.


have the same problem,what I did was with a featherboard fence,where I needed occasional access .firstly as stated above make sure supporting posts are substantial secondly made a panel to fit thirdly only attached to said posts with the minimum of screws.If I needed to remove it would be easy and when we had severe gale recently panel popped out and needed little repair to replace

  • So what you're saying is... Instead of building a gate, install one of the panels so that it is easily removable?
    – Tester101
    May 6, 2015 at 11:15

I am doing a fence right now it is a 8’x7’ gate . I am using 4’’x4’’ 1/8’’ steel posts 2’x4’deep holes hand dug or a vac truck filled with concrete .no compacting around hole is the best just keep your hole sides tight and keep the concrete down 5’’ to allow for driveway crush and pavement.and 6’’ deeper for some crush so the posts don’t sink.

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