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How to Fix a Sagging Fence Gate | Ask This Old House

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner solve an all-too-common issue: A sagging fence gate.

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General contractor Tom Silva heads out on a house call to help a homeowner solve an issue with a sagging gate. After excavating, Tom reinforces the gate’s post with some expanding foam. Then, he takes the gate and racks it back into shape before attaching custom-made brackets. Finally, Tom and the homeowner hang the gate and call it a day.

Skill level: ⅖
Cost: Between $50 and $150
Time: 4 hours

Where to find it?
Tom repaired the fence using some basic tools, including a post hole digger [https://amzn.to/38jZaee], a staple gun [https://amzn.to/3NRWLrJ], and a drill driver [https://amzn.to/3DGarBr], which can all be found at home centers.

To straighten the fence posts, Tom used Sika [https://usa.sika.com/] Fence Post Mix [https://amzn.to/3KfbN8H].

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Expanding foam for footings [https://amzn.to/3KfbN8H] Boards for supporting post [https://thd.co/38qW0FA] Wood corner supports [https://thd.co/38qW0FA] Exterior wood screws [https://thd.co/38vj5qF]

Impact driver or screw gun [https://amzn.to/3DGarBr] Shovel [https://amzn.to/3v16u6l] Post hole digger [https://amzn.to/38jZaee] Level [https://amzn.to/3LOb2DH] Tape measure [https://amzn.to/3v3Wqtd] Long pipe clamp or ratchet strap [https://amzn.to/3unOwM0] Framing square [https://amzn.to/3xahNM3] Staple gun [https://amzn.to/3NRWLrJ]

About Ask This Old House TV:
From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. ASK This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.

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How to Fix a Sagging Fence Gate | Ask This Old House



  1. Thanks so much. Just the info I needed out here in Nebraska. Tommy is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.

  2. Can metal shelf brackets be used up in the corners?

  3. Ngl i think the gate might be outa square.

  4. Silly question but his bolt through the left post into the bracket he cut….did it also go into the wall? What is keeping it tight when the gate is open and not leaning in?

  5. Looks like the old man knows what he is doing 🤞 and the best part I liked apparently he fixed for free 😜 cuz he only shake hand and said was glad to fix it . Didn’t said here is you bill or you owe me this amount 👌😜🤣

  6. I’d suggest not topping the post hole with dirt. It will speed up the post rot. I’d put in enough foam to come above ground level, and then use a knife or something to trim and taper the top foam away from the wood so water drains away toward surrounding earth.

  7. Tom, you know best. I really like that expandable foam material. I haven’t seen it around my area, We have clay soil and moisture problems on fence post bottoms. My approach has been to coat the in-ground portion of wooden posts using asphalt and then wrap them in aluminum flashing to protect against moisture and rot – especially at the soil line. The coated and protected portaron is then cemented into the ground, leaving about 4-inches of the coated portion above grade. That seems to give long life to fence posts in our type of soil.

    In you application, I think it might have been good to have made a wrap from flashing – all the way to ground level – and then pour in the foam stuff – and top with some cement and TLC sloping of the cement to avoid standing water around that post. Enjoyed your demonstration. BTW many years ago I think you and the TOH crew were at the beach bar at the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach?

  8. I'm always amazed, Tom and my brother could be mistaken as twin brothers! Looks and body stature. In fact, my brother is also a contractor too.

  9. A pro to aid us week end father's. Trying to find 4.75"X4.75" vinyl post for my three rail horse fence.

  10. It's actually a nicely designed gate. The original carpentry was not very good though.

  11. Why Festool tool fool . Out of reach of many DIYers .
    Try Miluakee. .just as durable and willing to sponsor !

  12. didn't realize tommy was a midget

  13. I am curious as to why Tommy didn't incorporate the use of some adhesive in holding the gate square. And the foam, very short term solution. To last 8-10 more years concrete would have been a better choice.

  14. Thank you for this, helps in my problem fix

  15. Tom came out of the womb with a speed square and chisel.

  16. I'm not sure if this is in any way correct and probably not the best way to set posts but years ago I set some posts by shoveling dry Quick-Crete and gravel in the post hole around the posts for a chicken wire fence and then I just added water and left it. The posts lasted 20 years before rotting at ground level so I guess it was an ok way to set them, huh? 😄

  17. What a nice job! ❤️ Those corner brackets match the gate style perfectly. I never knew about the foam stuff. I need to remember that for when I reset my mailbox post. I've been a fan for many, many years. I'm happy to know you guys are still out there helping people learn how to do home improvements. Thanks for sharing and for teaching me something new! 👍 😊

  18. I'd just buy a thick recycled plastic gate that is prettier and easier to put on.

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