The panels on your fence cannot be taller than the posts, so you may want to extend them. Depending on the type of posts in the fence, there are a variety of ways to do this. Here’s the simplest, regardless of the material of the posts you are using.
1. Find The Right Type Of Extender
You can buy extension pieces that should fit with your original posts. Finding the right type of extender will depend on the type of fence posts in your fence.
If your fence is made with metal poles, you can find metal pole extenders that will slip right into the fence posts, like these extenders at Home Depot.
To extend wooden fence posts, you’ll just need wood planks that match the original posts. You’ll need to use fence brackets to attach the extenders to the posts.
Finding extenders for concrete posts may be a little tougher than other materials. Extenders for concrete posts will be made of metal, wood, or vinyl. They should look like these. They will be slotted on either side, so that fence panels will slide in and fit snugly.
Extending vinyl posts will be like extending metal posts. You can buy vinyl extenders that can slip right into the original vinyl post. They should look something like this.
2. Cut The Extenders To Size
Most extension pieces come in two feet pieces, but this is not always the case. There’s a chance that once you buy the post extenders, you may have to cut them down to the size you want. The material of the extension is going to determine what kind of tool you will need. If the extensions are wood or vinyl, then a regular old saw will do. You may want to use a chop saw as they are much faster and more exact than hand saws. If the extensions are metal you will need a metal cutter, like this Dewalt Metal Cutting saw on Amazon.
3. Purchase Screws
Believe it or not, some screws are better for use on fences than the ordinary screws that you would use inside your home. Deck screws are made to be used outside and have galvanized layers that protect the fastener from moisture. Using its type of screw will increase the longevity of your extensions.
If your original fence posts are concrete then you will have to buy concrete screws. These screws are extremely strong and are the only screws that will go through the concrete.
4. Buy Fence Brackets
Buying fence brackets can be complicated if you are not sure what you need. They come in many different shapes and each shape has a different purpose. Below I’ll list the ones you need depending on the material of your posts. Note: If you are using the slotted post extender for concrete posts, you will not need fence brackets, nor will you most likely need them for vinyl posts.
If your fence posts are metal then you will need a fence bracket that looks like this. There are different sorts of variations of this type. This specific bracket attaches a metal post to wood panels. You can also get them in different sizes.
If you are attaching your posts to a chain link, you’ll need tie wires. You can find those here.
If you are trying to attach a wood extension to an original wood post, you need two strap ties such as these (amazon link). You will screw one onto either side to support the extension piece.
If you do not want to use these ties on your wood post, you could try the half-lap method. This will involve cutting pieces out of the extension post and the original post so that they join up together like a puzzle piece. Below is a video of a person demonstrating three different cuts you could do.
After fitting the pieces together, just screw them into place.
5. Place The Extender On Top Of The Post
Go ahead and place the extension into position. Before you will screw it in use a level to make sure the extension is as level as you can get it. This is a really important step as not making sure the extension is in place will cause problems for your fence later.
6. Screw The Extender Into Place
After you have made sure that the extension is level, you can go ahead and screw it into place. If you did the half-lap method I mentioned earlier then you have already completed this step.
Whatever material the posts are made of, it would be smart to drill holes where you want the screws placed first. Then go ahead and put the screws in place. Doing this will prevent damaging the screw. It will also ensure that screw goes in the right direction. Make sure that the drill bit you use to create the holes is the same size as the screws you’re going to use.
If your original fence posts are concrete, you will need to use that the screws specifically made for concrete that I mentioned before. You’ll also need a carbide-tipped drill bit to be able to drill holes into the concrete.
7. Paint The Extenders
If the original fence posts are painted then you will need to paint the extensions to match. You can do this before you attach them, but I think they are easier to paint after they are already attached. Make sure that you choose a day that is sunny and there is no rain in the upcoming forecast.
You should paint the extensions with the same steps that the original posts were painted, to ensure that they look as exact as possible.
8. Your Fence Is Ready For Panels
Now your fence posts are 6 ft tall and you can go ahead and start installing the fence panels. The fence panels should be able to easily attach to the post extensions no matter what type they are. If you have any questions or doubts there is a good chance that someone at your local home improvement store can help.