Installing Ashford Columns: Detailed Guidelines

Download this page as a printable PDF

Tools and Supplies You'll Need

  1. Saw or Jigsaw
  2. Drill
  3. Wrench
  4. Shovel
  5. Concrete/Gravel
  6. Structural Post
  7. Screws
  8. Screw gun with the appropriate tip for the screws being used.
  9. Bolts/nuts


(For up to six foot high Column)

The stackable Column can be used for many different applications - from horse jump stations, flag pole bases to signage. This installation instruction only covers one way to install the Column for a few applications.

Select Installation:

Column Installation

1.) Choose your structural post that the Column will sleeve over. Your job may require a 4" treated wood post, 5" vinyl post or structural full weight pipe. In addition to the structural post, you can add rebar in the posthole and up into the Column. In some cases re-bar alone may be appropriate
(see figure 1). You determine the structural need for your particular application based upon your local codes and/or conditions.

Figure 1Figure 1

2.) Set structural post according to local codes based upon soil conditions in your area and the style of your fence. Set the structural post to raise at least 8" above the top joint in the Column (if not using a stack section, set at least 24" above the ground). For more stability, extend the structural post higher and fill with gravel/concrete around the structural post. Make sure there is a level foundation of concrete around the base of the structural post for the Column to rest upon. Some applications will require a concrete footing below the frost line. For example, use a footing if you fill the Column with concrete or gravel. If the ground is level you can choose to set the structural post (re-bar) and the Column all at the same time.

3.) Leaving an approximate 1" lip, cut out the inner mating flat surface on both the male and female joining sections. This will leave a wide enough (approx. 9" x 9") hole to fill gravel/concrete and fasten bolts and washers. Do not cut out the 3" rise for mating the sections (see figure 2).

Figure 2Figure 2

4.) Skip this step if not using a stack section. Determine the best aesthetic alignment of the Column joints. A natural look is maintained with a variance in each Column so rotate the Column to get the best joint alignment. Mark the alignment on the inside of the Column joint. Start joining the 15 ½" stacking section(s) to the main/cap section. To start this process, stand the main/cap section upside down (as it gets taller, lay flat) and align the stacking section to your mark. Temporarily hold the sections together with several wood or sheet metal screws. Make sure not to place the screws in a place that will need to be routed later. Drill 3/8" holes in each corner for the bolts. Secure 5/16" bolts, washers and lock washers. Repeat process until all stack sections are assembled for each Column.

5.) Drill at least two 3/8" holes in opposing corners of the bottom section to allow for drainage.

6.) If your job requires routing the Column, lay the Column on a clean flat surface. Make a plywood template for your router (see figure 3) to use as a jig for a perfect routing job.

Figure 3Figure 3

7.) Position the Column over the structural post and/or rebar in the properly aligned position (see figure 4).

Figure 4Figure 4

8.) Pour concrete inside the Column to the bottom section. Make sure the concrete fills in the lower ground cavity of the Column and down around the base of the structural post. Fill the Column with at least 10" of concrete. Vibrate the concrete by tapping the side of the Column with your foot. Make sure the concrete works its way down around the structural post and fills up the lower cavity (see figure 5). Make sure Column is positioned correctly before allowing concrete to set.

Figure 5Figure 5

9.) Wait for concrete to completely set before attaching any wind load rated or privacy panels to the Column.

Fence Gate Column Installation

The gatepost Column is installed in the same manner as the regular fence Column with a few exceptions:

  1. The internal structural gatepost must be full height similar to installing a normal gate. (See regular Column instructions).
  2. Once the Post and Re-bar are set, pre-fit the column over the Post and mark off where the hardware will come through the column to attach to the post. Remove the column, and then attach Mounting Blocks (cut Dimensional Lumber as needed) to the Post with Lag Screws and construction adhesive, in order to bring the blocks as close as required to the desired side of the Column (hardware mounting side/area). In this manner, you can properly install hardware to the mounting blocks in the proper location.
  3. Mount an extension hinge plate to the blocks on the structural post.
  4. Route a hole in the Column for the extension hinge plate to protrude out of. Position the Column over the structural post. Mount the gate hinge to the extension hinge plate. Fill with required amount of concrete.
  5. Wait for concrete to completely set before attaching gate. Set your mounting bolts in the concrete through a pre-drilled hole in the Column. Use a pre-drilled wood stud on the outside to hold bolts in alignment while the concrete sets. You can also do a basic installation of the Column and set the structural gatepost on the outside of the Column.