Sinking fence post close to house wall

13 Jan 2009
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Hi All,

Slightly odd one... I have recently had my house externally insulated and the gates that were fixed to wooden posts screwed to the walls were removed.

I'm not inclined to fix them back to the now insulated walls - want to keep the number of holes in the new skin as small as possible, so have started digging a hole to sink a post into the ground.

Have come across what I think is just a big lump of flint (see pics), but not being particularly knowledgeable about foundations and etc was slightly nervous about breaking this out in case it caused any issues.
I have dug underneath it and it seems there is nothing there.

Am I ok to smash this up and pull it out?

BTW the water in the hole is just where I tried to clean the muck off the stone to get a better look.

Sponsored Links
2nd pic looks a bit like a pipe with an elbow, I would dig around it a bit more to see what's what. Get the water out if you can as it would make it clearer. Do you have a magnet/metal detector (eg a stud wall scanner)
Yeah, I thought the same (that it looked like a pipe). Digging behind it (close to the wall) is really hard. It's almost like the stone (or whatever it is) is connected to the wall with concrete, which is why I was questioning re. foundations.

I am pretty sure it's flint... in one or two places where I've had a go with a chisel bits have knocked off and you can see the dark flint stone inside (very flinty around here).

It's about a foot down.

Have got one of those detector jobbies, will poke it down there and see if it goes off. It's a 1930s house so I imagine any pipework would be lead.
I have had another look today and also smashed a bit off with a lump hammer. Its concrete.... And it seems to be connected to the wall.

Underneath its just soil.

Anybody have any opinions on whether I can break this out? Don't wanna go disturbing anything to do with the foundations.

Sponsored Links
Unless you are digging under the wall, removing the size of a post and refilling with concrete to hold it is probably unlikely to cause issues but them I'm no expert. There is still the chance that it could be something like a pipe embedded in concrete or similar. Is there anything like a cover in line with when it comes from or anything on the other side of the wall that could use it?
you will not damage the wall by putting a couple of screws in it. What is it made of, and why do you think it will be damaged?
you will not damage the wall by putting a couple of screws in it. What is it made of, and why do you think it will be damaged?

It's digging out that bit of concrete to sink the post into the ground he's worried about not screwing into the wall.
The water main stopcock on the drive is in-line with it.

I think what it could be is overspill from when the foundations were poured. Just the top of the trench if you know what I mean.

I might just play it safe and move the whole gate 20cm further away from the wall and avoid any problems.

That may be wise.
You can bridge the gap with some featheredge. How big are these gates though?
It's just a standard garden gate for a person to walk through. Probably about 80cm wide, something like that. PITA as it means I'm gonna have to move the post on which it was hinged as well :)

Thanks all anyways.
Yeah, I did wonder about the possibility of that. Wasn't sure if the metpost would be up to the job of holding a gate post straight for many years.

Since a gate is only supported at one side and not both like a fence panel, thought the wooden post may rock loose pretty quickly. Anybody have experience of how good the metposts would be for holding up a gate?

But this is not the hinged side, correct? It will be alright if it's cast in properly. What to do with gates is to fix a timber across the top of the posts, forming a 'goal post'. This will keep the posts equidistant and stop the weight of the gate pulling one post over and making the door stick.

The bolt or cast in metposts are fine, but you need to ensure the timber is a tight fit into the socket, tap some slate in down the sides.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links