Residential Flagpole

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Old 03-22-18, 07:38 AM
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Residential Flagpole

I would very much like to install a flagpole on my Florida property but need some advice selecting one to purchase. Can anyone tell me what is preferred regarding material, finish, telescoping vs. non-telescoping, residential vs. commercial, etc. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated,,,,,, thanks, buzcar
 
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Old 03-22-18, 08:00 AM
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How tall do you want? What is your budget?
 
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Old 03-22-18, 08:19 AM
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Probably around 15 - 20 ft. and $250 - $300
 
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Old 03-23-18, 07:01 AM
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Pilot Dane....Why did you ask????
 
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Old 03-23-18, 08:39 AM
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Because just saying you want a flagpole is sort of like saying you want a house... how much will it cost? Unfortunately the only flagpoles I've had are not in your budget.

Unless you can find something at your local home center and have a way to transport it I would look at a sectional or telescoping pole which are much less expensive to ship. Telescoping poles have a slight tapered shape which I find appealing where without a taper a flagpole just looks like a piece of pipe. The taper also tricks the eye with forced perspective making it appear taller than it actually is.
 
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Old 03-23-18, 01:12 PM
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A few years ago my mother wanted me to put up a purple martin birdhouse for her. I found there was a considerable difference between the steel yard price of a steel pole and the same pole in a hardware store with a label on it that read "flag pole" or "birdhouse pole" (well less than half the price). So I searched the Internet for all the local steel yards, then filtered for which ones would sell just one piece of steel, then filtered those for the ones with a ready-cut pole in dimensions I was interested in.

I brought home a 20' steel pole lashed to the top of my station wagon, which probably was a foolish thing to do (because it was so much longer than my car), but shipping charges would have been prohibitive. It's been some years but I think I gave maybe $100 for a 20-foot 3"-square steel pole. You won't need something so substantial (or so expensive) for a flag pole.

What you don't get when you buy from a steel yard is all the ancillary hardware, the cap, finial, truck, pulley, halyard and cleat.

You'll also need digging tools, cement, and some assistance (human or mechanical) erecting the pole.

The finial is the ornament for the top of the pole, usually a ball or an eagle with spread wings. Appearance aside, there's nothing says you absolutely have to have a finial.

The truck is the device that holds the pulley to give it some stand-off from the pole. You can D-I-Y a truck with an eye bolt and a pulley but you might find that unsightly. There also are companies that sell flagpole parts that offer a cap for the top of the pole with a truck built into it, but that naturally requires that you buy a pole of a diameter that matches their cap.


A commercial flagpole cap with integral truck

You also heed a halyard, just a rope with two snap hooks to fasten to the flag's grommets, and a cleat at the bottom of the pole to tie off the halyard. Most hardware stores will sell cleats, and all boating supply stores.

If you buy from a steel yard the pole will come unpainted, so first I cleaned the one I bought with denatured alcohol, then primed and painted it. I figured at some point the pole might need relocating so I sleeved the base with aluminum flashing sold at builder's supply stores for HVAC duct work. The theory was that the concrete would bond to the sleeving instead of the pole, and a coat of heavy grease on the part of the pole that would interface with the sleeving would prevent the (painted) pole bonding to the aluminum. I did take the pole out of the ground a couple of years after I first put it up, so that worked pretty well. The flashing is very thin and the edges can be sharp so I folded it over at the top (only an inch or so above the the concrete), making a lip bent to the inside so no sharp edge was exposed.

I erected the pole by myself. I dug the hole with post hole diggers and put a large flat rock in the bottom to sit the pole on top of figuring otherwise the pole would be too prone to digging itself into the ground. After dropping the pole in the hole (with its flashing sleeve in place and secured with zip ties), I attached it to three guy ropes I'd scavenged from some old camping gear, each rope attached to a stake I'd driven in the ground positioned at 120 intervals around the hole. Then I incrementally adjusted tension on the ropes until the pole looked pretty vertical, was centered in the hole and still sittng on top of the rock lying at the bottom. I used a carpenter's level to "fine tune" the "vertical-ness," then poured quick-setting cement in the hole. I made one last check to confirm I hadn't knocked the pole out of true when pouring the cement, then left the guy ropes in place until the concrete was set.

Don't forget to attach all the hardware at the top and the halyard before you pour the cement.
 
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