We've got a fence that needs mending. Several panels and even more posts. The current posts are set in concrete. I'm wondering.. do I dig up the concrete and replace it with the same? Or should I pour concrete and embed metal 4x4 receivers ( like this) so it's easier to replace them in the future.

We live in the PNW, so deep frosts aren't a big concern.

  • 1
    Do not use the MTB style post hanger. It is what we call a “pin” connection and it will not resist lateral loads. The first wind storm will cause the fence to tilt over.
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 24, 2021 at 22:11
  • How tall is your fence? And is it "solid", or more like a picket fence? Around here, for picket style fences 4' or shorter, only the corner posts are set in concrete.
    – SteveSh
    Dec 25, 2021 at 3:01
  • I've replaced several rotted broken posts by digging the rotted wood out. Sometimes I could screw in a long lag bolt and pry the post out. Usually it's tedious and difficult using pry bars and my bare hand reaching deep in to the hole. Then I pound a new post into the hole. Dec 25, 2021 at 5:46
  • Living in the PNW I would say if you like rebuilding your fence 2-3 times a year then use the MTB. We use concrete on solid fended to prevent them from being pushed over. In the costal areas there’s even code requirements on the depth of the posts vs height of fence concrete adds strength to resist being pushed over.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 25, 2021 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


The post holders you sited will not hold up to very much lateral force, especially over time. They are meant as post cleats on applications such as low decks where force is vertical as opposed to lateral.
The most durable fence post is encased in concrete. The surface of the concrete pier should be rounded on top to facilitate runoff. If your concerned about post rot you might also consider metal fence posts to support your fencing.

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Due to lack of rotational restrain, the post with an embedded metal receiver will deflect much more than the direct insert method, if not collapse immediately upon lateral loading.

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Just some added information for anyone coming across this. PNW rainfall I would definitely encourage setting galvanized fence posts at a depth of 24” for 6ft tall privacy fence in tamped drainage rock to allow for drainage and prevent rusting and set the corner posts in cement for added stability. The drainage rock will also allow for easier replacement if ever needed.

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