There are many types of fence posts available. The type you choose should depend on the purpose of your fence. Will it be purely decorative, or is it intended to contain livestock, keep out deer or enclose your swimming pool? The materials used should be chosen for their safety, durability and overall suitability for the project.
For large livestock enclosures and pastures, steel or aluminum T-posts are the least expensive option. They come in lengths from 5 to 10 feet or longer, in heavy-duty and light-duty weights and unpainted or colored (usually red or green). Nearly all are made for hanging wire, either single strands or field fence.
Wooden posts are the most common type of fence post, ranging from short wooden stakes to "split" rustic styles to machine-finished round posts with pointed ends. Posts intended for livestock enclosures are generally 4 inches in diameter at a minimum and range from 7 feet to 10 feet or longer.
For truly durable, nearly maintenance-free fences, concrete offers strength and uniformity in the look of the posts. Home owners can create their own or buy precast posts in a variety of colors and seals designed to further weatherproof them.
Vinyl is one of the most durable, attractive--and expensive--types of fencing there is. Vinyl posts are made of heavy-duty PVC plastic, usually 4 inches square, hollow and pierced at standard intervals for fence planks. Regular and corner posts accommodate the various fence angles, and many styles come with decorative caps.
Like concrete, fiberglass is durable and strong and requires little maintenance. Fiberglass posts range from pre-drilled rods of various lengths used for electric fences to 4-inch-square fence posts. There are also decorative styles used for enclosing yards and swimming pools.
About this Author
Susan Bolich is a full-time freelancer of both non-fiction and fiction, published in venues as diverse as "Horse Illustrated" and the "Army Times." A graduate of Eastern Washington University, she spent six years in Europe as a military intelligence officer. Her degree in history and widespread travel experience provide a bottomless well of things to write about.