Do I Need Gravel Under An Aluminum Fence Post?

Aluminum Fence Gravel

Installing a fence is a typical home improvement project that can enhance your property's curb appeal, security, and privacy. However, before digging holes and setting posts, you may wonder if you must put gravel under the fence posts to prevent them from sinking or shifting over time. This article will show the pros and cons of using gravel under an aluminum fence post. Even if you avoid using gravel, other alternatives may benefit your aluminum post more.

What is The Purpose of Gravel Under a Fence Post?

Gravel is a coarse material comprising small rocks, sand, and clay. It is often used as a base or drainage layer under various structures, such as driveways, patios, and foundations. The primary purpose of gravel under a fence post is to create a stable and level surface for the post to rest on and to allow water to drain away from the post, preventing rot and corrosion. Gravel also helps to reduce the amount of soil that encounters the post, which can cause swelling and shrinking due to moisture and temperature changes.

What are The Benefits of Using Gravel under an Aluminum Fence Post?

Using gravel under an aluminum fence post can have several benefits, such as:

  • Improving the durability and longevity of the post, as it protects it from moisture and soil damage
  • Preventing the post from sinking or heaving due to frost or soil movement, as it creates a firm and even base for the post
  • Making the installation process easier and faster, as it reduces the amount of digging and tamping required
  • Providing a neat and clean appearance for the fence, as it covers the exposed dirt around the post

What are Some Issues With Using Gravel Under an Aluminum Fence Post?

Using gravel under an aluminum fence post can also have some drawbacks, such as:

  • Increasing the cost and labor of the project, as it requires more materials and tools to transport and place the gravel
  • Creating a potential hazard for pets and children, as they may injure themselves on the sharp edges of the gravel
  • Attracting weeds and pests, as they may find shelter and food in the gaps between the gravel
  • Interfering with the drainage of the surrounding soil, as it may block or divert the water flow

What are Some Alternatives to Using Gravel Under an Aluminum Fence Post?

If you are not convinced that gravel is the best option for your aluminum fence post, you may consider some alternatives, such as:


Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that hardens into a solid and durable material. It can provide a strong and stable base for the fence post and a barrier against moisture and soil. However, concrete can also be expensive, heavy, and challenging to work with, and it may crack or crumble over time due to weathering or pressure.

Wood Chips

Wood chips are small pieces of wood often used as mulch or plant bedding. They can create a soft and natural-looking surface for the fence post and a source of organic matter and nutrients for the soil. However, wood chips can decompose and rot over time, weakening the fence post and attracting termites and fungi.


Sand is a delicate material with tiny rock and mineral particles. It can create a smooth and level surface for the fence post and a drainage layer that prevents water from pooling around the post. However, sand can also be loose and unstable, which can cause the fence post to shift or tilt over time, and it may wash away or erode due to rain or wind.

Using Gravel or Other Alternatives For Your Aluminum Fence

Whether you need gravel under an aluminum fence post depends on several factors, such as the type and condition of the soil, the climate and weather, the size and weight of the fence, and your personal preference and budget. Gravel can offer some advantages, such as stability, durability, and ease of installation, but it can also pose some challenges, such as cost, safety, and maintenance. Therefore, you should weigh the pros and cons of using gravel and compare it with other alternatives before you decide on the best option for your fence project. If you are looking for a durable aluminum fence that will last many years, view our selection below. We carry many styles, sizes, and colors of aluminum fences.

Aluminum Fencing