How to Repair a Sagging Fence

Written by cody sorensen
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How to Repair a Sagging Fence
The posts in this fence need to be replaced. (Wobbly Old Fence image by Renata Lauermann from

A sagging fence is not always an easy fix. Understanding why the fence is sagging is the best place to start. If the fence is made of wood and a section of the fence is sagging, it's likely that the fence posts have rotted at their bases and will need replacing. If the fence is steel wire, then the anchor posts at each end of the fence have shifted and the wires will need tightening. Older wire fences can rust and lose their spring over time, but there are tips for getting a few extra years out of them.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Claw hammer
  • Electric screw gun
  • Tape measure
  • Box of fence screws
  • Box of fence nails
  • Treated fence posts
  • String
  • Fencing pliers
  • Fencing wench

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  1. 1

    Inspect each fence post along the entire length of the fence. Wiggle the posts to see which ones are broken at the base. Put on a pair of gloves and dig out each of these rotten posts using a shovel. Detach all fence posts from the fence using a claw hammer to remove nails or an electric screw gun to remove screws.

    How to Repair a Sagging Fence
    Routine inspections can prolong fence life. (Broken Fence image by Towards Ithaca from
  2. 2

    Measure the length of the rotted fence posts using a tape measure to determine the length of posts needed to make the repairs. Buy posts treated for underground applications to ensure a greater fence longevity. Purchase new hardware such as screws or nails to reattach fence rails or boards to the posts.

  3. 3

    Pound a wooden stake into the ground at each end of the fence using a hammer. Tie a string between each of those stakes to use as a guide. This string provides a straight line from end-to-end to ensure a straight fence.

  4. 4

    Place the new posts in the holes where the old posts were removed and pack dirt around them with the handle end of the shovel. Bury the posts at least 2 feet below the ground level surface. Re-attach the fence rails to the new posts using nails or screws with a hammer or electric screw gun.

  1. 1

    Remove all fasteners holding the wire fencing to the posts with a pair of fencing pliers. If the fence has multiple strands of wire, do one wire at a time.

    How to Repair a Sagging Fence
    Replace rotten posts immediately to avoid fence sag. (fence image by TheThirdMan from
  2. 2

    Replace or straighten all end-of-fence anchor posts so that they are solid again. In most cases, removal can be done using a shovel. Once the end posts are reinforced, wrap one end of the fence wire around one of the end fence posts and wire it back onto itself to create a loop around the end anchor fence post.

  3. 3

    Attach a manual or electric wench to the free end of the wire fence, with the end of the wire protruding at least 4 feet beyond the wench. Begin ratcheting the wench until the fence wire is taunt. Wrap the free end of the protruding fence wire around the end anchor fence post and back onto itself. Release the tension on the fence wire by disengaging the wench.

  4. 4

    Inspect all fence posts along the length of the fence by wiggling them. Using a shovel, replace all rusted or rotten posts with new posts. Re-attach all tightened wires back to the fence posts using u-nails for wood posts and wire clamps for steel posts.

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