Pros and Cons of Concrete Fence Posts
It’s not the most common option for fence posts, but in many parts of the world, concrete fence posts are used. Sometimes, they’re part of a concrete palisade fence, and sometimes they’re used for concrete panel fences. But they are also used as an alternative to steel posts for mesh fence systems.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of concrete fence posts, so you can decide if they’re the right choice for your fence.
Pros of Concrete Fence Posts
Let’s start with the good things about choosing concrete fence posts for your fence project. They include:
- Concrete has a low intrinsic value, so concrete fence posts are often used in places where metal theft for sale as scrap is common. These posts cannot be resold, so they’re not likely to be removed by vandals or thieves.
- These posts are heavy, which means that they’re a good choice for high security sites, where you need to keep vehicles out. Any vehicle that were to hit a concrete fence post is likely to sustain severe damage.
- Concrete does not rust. So long as the reinforcing inside the post is properly covered with concrete, these posts can be installed in corrosive environments and will last longer than ordinary metal posts.
- Concrete is readily available, so as long as you have the molds or a supplier who has the molds for concrete fence posts, they’re unlikely to be affected by supply chain problems.
- Concrete fence posts can be painted to give them a more appealing appearance.
- Holes for attaching various fence components can be cast right into the concrete, so concrete posts arrive on site ready to install.
Cons of Concrete Fence Posts
Of course, there are pros and cons to anything, and concrete fence posts are no different. Here are some of the negative things to consider when you’re deciding if concrete fence posts are right for you:
- Concrete has very little tensile strength, so they need to be reinforced for use as fence posts. However, they are also still quite brittle, and if they are directly impacted by a vehicle, they can crack.
- Concrete posts might not be ideal for extremely cold climates, where the interior steel reinforcing could contract more than the concrete when the weather is cold. This could compromise the structural integrity of the posts.
- Each concrete post is very heavy, and getting them into position and installed correctly takes a lot of skill and takes longer than planting the same kind of steel post.
- Transport costs for concrete posts are also usually higher, because they are much heavier, which means you can get less posts on a load.
- Unless they are painted, concrete posts do not look very appealing, so they’re not well suited to sites that need aesthetic appeal.
- Concrete fence posts can and often do crack when you try to drill them on site. So it's best to have all your holes pre cast into each post when it's made.
Concrete posts are not as common as many other kinds of fence posts, but they are an option that you should know about.
If you are looking for a utilitarian fence post option that will have no appeal to thieves, and have no resale value, they’re a great choice. They might also be a good option for remote sites, where the ability to manufacture reinforced concrete fence posts on demand could solve some supply chain problems.
Concrete fence posts come in many designs. Some are a simple column that is the same thickness all the way to the top. Some are tapered towards the top. There are concrete fence posts with overhangs made from concrete and from steel.
So if you are considering this as an option for your fence project, be sure to research all your concrete fence post options, and get the right one for the job.