Q: My fence gate is sagging and dragging in the dirt. What should I do?
—Cecile Bolduc, Hampton, N.H.

A: Josh Feeney replies: A gate is only as good as the posts it hangs from and latches to. When gateposts are plumb and rock solid, they will stand up to the swing and slam of each opening and closing. But when they're loose in their holes or are weakened by rot or insects, then hinges turn creaky, the latch won't catch, and the gate can’t do its job.

A post that's wobbly but still solid can be fixed quite easily by packing crushed stone around its base with a sledgehammer. But when a post is rotten, as both these gateposts were, it has to be removed and replaced.

I spent 8 hours on this project digging out the old gateposts and putting in new ones, which restored the old gate's youthful firmness and satisfying snap. Follow these steps and you should be able to do the same for your sagging gate.

Josh Feeney is a fence installer with Walpole Woodworkers, which has installed fencing for many TOH TV projects.
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill driver, for drilling holes and driving screws
    • pointed shovel
    • ,
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level (3-foot level optional)
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Measuring Tape

    Shopping List

    1. Fence posts

    2. Two bags of concrete