enter image description hereI've re-installed a new down wood fence between my yard the neighbors with the usual 8' 4x4 PT posts, PT rails, and cedar panels. The fence runs along the side of the house and it starts at the end of a driveway slab. The start of the fence in a 8' 4x4 PT post sunk in 18" of concrete and 6" of packed dirt. Opposite this post is the side of the garage.

Previous owner had installed a PT 4x4 on the side of the garage, lagged into a stud on the garage siding. The gate that was installed was in disrepair, so I am installing a new one and split that gate in half, so there's one 4' wide panel and a 3' wide panel to fill a 7' space.

My concern is that installing a gate that is hinged on end post of the new fence will cause that post to lean in toward the side of the garage and causing the gate to sag and look bad.

Are there any bracing techniques that I can use to help prevent this leaning? I thought I had previously read about nailing a 2x4 to the backside of the 4x4 and then using longer lag bolts to attach the hinges by going all the way through the 4x4 and the 2x4. Maybe including a metal plate on the backside?

I'm not sure that driving a wedge at ground level will do much because the soil is packed in there, it's only hand-packed and only been that way for 2 months or so since installing that new post.

I don't have another post behind it in order to cable off to that to provide pull tension away from the garage.

I hope I'm missing something obvious...Are there some other ideas?

Thanks in advance.

  • please add a picture or a drawing .... it is difficult to visualize what you are describing ..... if you are concerned about a post leaning because of the weight of a gate, then put the post deeper into the ground
    – jsotola
    Oct 7, 2018 at 19:21
  • Ok, will do. Unless absolutely necessary, I'm not willing to remove the rails and planks and then remove the post and concrete to re-install deeper. I am trying to find a solution given what I have. I appreciate the suggestion, though.
    – JMak00
    Oct 7, 2018 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


First off I don't think you're likely to have trouble with a properly set 4x4 post and a 4' wide gate. The 4x4 should be stiff enough, and if the embedment is solid, it shouldn't lean with the weight of the gate.

One thing you can do is to make sure the gate is supported on the latch side when it's closed, so the post is only taking the weight of the gate while it's open. This could be something as simple as a heel on the latch post that catches the bottom of the gate.

If your neighbor's fence is sturdy - not sure if that's the case, there's some rot at the bottom of the boards - and the neighbor will allow, you could bolt through the posts so they bear the weight together.

  • I've added a pic above. I am concerned that the free-standing post, with a 4' wide gate on it, will start to lean toward the garage. I'll mount a 4x4 on the garage and from that will hand a 3' wide gate so that both will span the width between the garage and the fence.
    – JMak00
    Oct 7, 2018 at 20:07
  • Updating answer... Oct 7, 2018 at 21:56
  • Yeah, the neighbor's fence that you see in the pic is already falling down. I've thought about putting in a second post adjacent to the free-standing on and bolting all the way through both. But, maybe I am overthinking this for a 4-foot gate.
    – JMak00
    Oct 8, 2018 at 3:31
  • The fencing company that did my fence in a previous house used 6x6 posts for the gates.
    – SteveSh
    May 1, 2020 at 12:40

A bit late to the party, but this might be useful for others in the future:

Since your gate sections are uneven (3-foot and 4-foot spans), minimize the chance of the free-standing post leaning by hanging the smaller (and therefore lighter) 3-foot section from the free-standing post, and hang the heavier 4-foot section from the more stable garage structure.

Also, if the sections aren't built yet, ensure that all the spacing to make the gates meet at the middle, but without rubbing, happens to the smaller section. Anything you can do to lighten the smaller section will reduce the chances of the post leaning in the first place.

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