A well made wooden fence consists of more than just the posts, rails, and pickets. There are small details that can make your fence look more finished and attractive. One overlooked accessory when it comes to a new fence is the post cap. Not only are the caps decorative, but they also prevent moisture from soaking into the exposed cut end of a fence post and causing rot issues. These caps come in a variety of sizes, including the standard 6x6 and 4x4 sizes, as well as in a variety of designs. The following guide can help you find the right cap.
Like most fencing items, you have a variety of choices when it comes to the material. Vinyl and resin caps are popular, durable, and cost-effective. Metal caps are also durable and can look quite stately depending on the design. There are also wood caps available. Although typically very inexpensive, wood does tend to rot and you will need to replace the caps more often.
If you prefer the cap to match your wood or vinyl fence color, then vinyl or resin caps are a good option because they come in a range of colors designed to match natural wood tones. You can also find caps in more playful colors, like green, blue, or even barn red. Whitecaps are also available, but keep in mind that light colors tend to alter quickly due to weathering so they may yellow over time. Metal caps are typically black, which looks great on most fences, although you can paint them any color you like. There are also pretty copper caps that catch the light nicely.
You may think you know the size of your fence posts but all too often wood shrinkage means that a 4x4 post is actually closer to a 3.5x3.5 inch post. Fortunately, fence caps typically come sized to meet this issue. Measure your posts before shopping for caps. If the measurement is less than the expected standard of 4 or 6 inches, then purchase caps that are "nominal-sized" -- this means they are sized down from the standard measurement to account for shrinkage. If your posts measure a true 4x4 or 6x6, then you need to purchase caps that are listed as "actual-sized."
Finally, keep in mind what decorative features you would like the caps to have. Post caps come in a variety of shapes and designs, from flat tops to pyramidal shapes. You can find 4x4 post caps that have integrated solar lights in them, which can be quite attractive along the fence line.
Contact a fencing supply company for more help.