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Install a clothesline post

The wonderful fresh smell of line-dried clothes! Detergent and fabric softener manufacturers do their best to imitate it, but there is absolutely no substitute for drying your clothes outside. And, it’s a fantastic way to cut way down on electricity bills. Install a clothesline post so you can bring the fresh air inside, and wear it all day!

Before you start, check your local municipal bylaws and make sure your neighbors are aware of your plans.
Difficulty level: Easy
Duration: 1 day
Codes and rules
Check if there are any municipal regulations you need to be aware of.

Check with public services (hydro or telephone) if you can install your clothesline using a utility pole. Generally speaking, this is allowed.

Install a clothesline

  • 1.1 - Determine the location of the clothesline, from the house to the edge of your property. Ideally, this is an open area with maximum exposure to wind and sun.
  • 1.2 - Measure the distance and double for the length of clothesline required.
  • 1.3 - Choose the type of post and foundation you want.
    • Treated wood: 6" × 6" and 16' long in a concrete foundation
    • Galvanized steel: 3 ½" or 4" in diameter and 16' long in a concrete foundation
    • 16-ft steel clothesline post with an auger system to install directly in the ground.

Screw in the post with the auger assembly

  • 2.1 - Screw on the disk to the bottom part to assemble the auger.
  • 2.2 - Screw the triangle-shaped piece into the top part and insert the metal rod to form the arm
  • 2.3 - Use the auger to make a 6" hole then remove the soil. Repeat until the section is 8" above ground level, removing the soil after every 6" section.
  • 2.4 - Remove the triangle-shaped piece and metal rod and replace with the next post section.
  • 2.5 - Re-install the triangle-shaped piece and metal rod at the end of the second section.
  • 2.6 - Screw into the ground and remove the soil every 6" and repeat until the section is 42" above ground level. Do not remove any more soil.
  • 2.7 - Screw in the final 6" to undisturbed ground until the section is 36" above ground.
  • 2.8 - Remove the triangle-shaped piece and metal rod.
  • 2.9 - On the ground, assemble the 2 other post sections, the hook and the pulley.
  • 2.10 - Install the top of the post into the section in the ground.
  • 2.11 - Check the post for level. It should in fact be tilted in the opposite direction of the clothesline.
  • 2.12 - Fill in the hole at the base of the post and compact.
  • 2.13 - Insert the reinforcement plate at the base of the post on the side where the line will be installed, and screw in.

Install the clothesline elevator on the house

  • 3.1 - Determine the location for the elevator, which needs to be attached to a solid structure other than vinyl siding. You can insert a screw anywhere along a 2" border of a window or door perimeter but not within the ½" between the perimeter and frame.
  • 3.2 - Depending on who will be using the clothesline, determine the height of the elevator.
  • 3.3 - Place the elevator vertically on the wall, with the pulley on top and use a pencil to mark the locations of the holes in the plate.
  • 3.4 - Drill the marked locations using ¼" drill bit. Use a hammer drill and concrete drill bit for brick walls and cement. Drill into the mortar and not the bricks.
  • 3.5 - Place the elevator back on the wall, align the holes at the bottom, place a 2" washer and screw in the 5/16" lag bolts.
  • 3.6 - Maintain the elevator in place on the wall and check for level. Predrill, place a washer and screw in.
  • 3.7 - Seal around the anchor plates with silicone.

Pro Tip

Use a clothesline spacer so the top line can help support the weight of the laundry on the line below. You may want to use more than one spacer.

Install the clothesline

  • 4.1 - Thread the clothesline through the two pulleys.
  • 4.2 - Overlap both extremities in the line tightener.
  • 4.3 - Turn the tightener key to stretch the clothesline.
  • 4.4 - Ensure that the clothesline is mounted properly around both pulleys, then clamp the tightener.
  • 4.5 - Cut off excess clothesline.