Can Fence Panels Be Higher Than Posts?


When putting in fence posts, it is important to have the correct measurements between the posts and the panels, but are the panels and the posts supposed to be the same length? What if you do not like the look of the posts?

Fence panels cannot be higher than fence posts. The fence will experience much more wear and tear than normal if the panels are taller than the posts. Posts should be longer than fence panels because the posts will go into and stick up out of the ground to give the fence support.

Fence posts being too short can destroy the fence, causing severe damage. What most people do not recognize is that having fence extenders will also affect the length of the posts they have attached to their fence.

Can Fence Panels Be Higher Than Posts?

Fence panels cannot be higher than posts. Fence panels, when the fence is completely done, should stand at about the same height as the posts. This will give an aesthetically pleasing look to the finished product. This is to say that the posts and panels you buy should not be the same height. There needs to be a difference in height because fence posts will have to be rooted in the ground.

Having fence panels that are taller than fence posts can severely damage the fence in relatively no time at all. Any harsh weather will cause the fence to warp.

Regarding wooden fences, the weight of the fence is largely held up by the posts, so the strength of the wooden posts will prove how long the fence will stand.

Fence Post Height Vs Panel Height

Fence posts will differ in height from panel height. Though all the posts for the fence should be the same height and all the panels for the fence should be the same height, the height of the panels and posts should not ever be the same. The posts must be longer than the fence panels.

Why The Difference In Height Between The Panels And Posts

Fence panels and fence posts are different heights because of how much of each of the fence posts will be required to be in the ground. If the panels and posts are the same height when you begin to assemble the fence and dig holes for the posts, you will quickly recognize that the posts no longer appear as long as the panels do since the panels are not dug into the ground.

The difference in height between the panels and posts of the fence will also create an aesthetically pleasing look. Imagine walking past a fence that has random boards that seem much shorter than the rest. In just a few years, the fence will be severely warped and in need of repair or even replacement.

Having panels and posts that align after the fence is put in is crucial to the fence’s longevity. If the posts are too short, they will be unable to provide the necessary support for the fence.

How Much Longer Should Fence Posts Be?

Fence posts should be taller than fence panels. The difference in how tall they are compared to the panels will differ based on how deep they will be placed into the ground. It is wise to put about 1/3 of the height in the ground, so the posts will seem that much longer than the panels.

A fence that is 6 feet tall will require around 2 feet of the post to be in the ground, so the post will need to be that much longer than the panels. The following chart can help you decide how long the posts for your fence should be concerning the height of the fence panels you have.

Overall Fence HeightHeight of Fence PanelsHeight of Fence PostsAmount of Post-In Ground
3 feet (front yard fence) 3 feet long4 feet long1 foot
6 feet (backyard fence) 6 feet long8 feet long2 feet
8 feet (backyard fence) 8 feet longroughly 10.67 feet long2.67 feet

The previous chart explains that the height of the posts will change with the height of the fence panels. The fence panels should be lightly touching if not touching the ground while the fence posts should be deep enough in the ground to prevent the fence from falling over.

It is also important to note that the chart is referring specifically to wooden fences. While vinyl fences follow the same rule of the posts being longer than the panels, vinyl fencing requires half of the post that is above ground to be underground. In total, 50% of the height of the fence itself needs to be the underground length.

Does This Effect Fence Extenders?

The problem of fence posts needing to be longer than fence panels also affects whether or not you use fence extenders. There may be a multiplicity of reasons as to why you want to add fence extenders to the top of a fence, but in the end, it also will need to be supported by the fence posts.

Depending on the fence posts themselves, if they are a little beaten up, it may be in your best favor to replace the posts, but you can just add to the posts when you add the fence extenders if they are in decent condition.

You can extend the length of the posts by adding on fence post material and securing it to the original posts. The posts will be strong enough if you use sturdy material when you add to the fence posts. The material will need to be more fence post material, but it does not necessarily need to match.

Though having the new addition to the posts match with the original posts may appear more seamless, it is possible to mix and match the fence extender material and the fence type, and hence you can mix and match old and new post materials.

Fence posts must be taller than fence panels. The fence needs to be supported and having longer fence posts does that. When the fence posts can stick into the ground properly, they will give the needed support to the fence. The fence will become stronger overall.

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