One of my favorite things to do is walk through a neighborhood and see how people finish off their fences. I am amazed more often then not that most people do not bother. Those who do not finish off their fence with at least a post cap are missing a great opportunity to put the finishing touches on something that can make their entire yard stand out from the rest of the yards in their neighborhood. As much fun as this is, the real tragedy is, they are setting themselves up to replace the posts in as little as five years. By not protecting the top of the posts from water and insect infestation damage, they will have to replace them sooner than later. This is the real reason everyone should be using post caps on their fences.
There are plenty of post caps on the market that are inexpensive and do a great job in the overall protection of your fence. You can get the nonslip over kind that can be glued or nailed to the top of the post, or the slip over kind that literally slip over the top of the post. If your fence post has been chopped off you may have to go with the nonslip over kind since there is no post left to slip over a cap.
It is interesting that people seem to prefer the wood post caps and finials over the synthetic kind. They do last a good long time because they are made out of cedar and redwood, which are both good woods for outdoor products. Once the wood cap is sealed with a recommended sealant you should not have any issues with water or insect damage getting to the sore of the post through the top. Amazing Posting
Do not forget to have some fun picking and choosing the style and kind of post cap along with a finial that will further set off the posts. You can go as conservative as you want to or just go crazy with your fence decor. However, many people will have a theme they would like to stay with such as; the beach; nautical; mountains; carved; etc. These themed caps can be carried throughout your fence posts to include gates and decks. They have also been used with arbors and pergolas as well.
You can find copper post caps that, through the natural aging process over time, are simply stunning. There are also solar post caps that have small solar lights that collect the energy of the sun by day and light up your fence and deck by night.
Most finials sit on top of the post cap and many look like works of art. This is why you can also find finials on stairways, flag posts, bed posts and entrances of all kinds. When finials are placed in the right kind of setting they give that area a very regal and luxurious look.
If you do not care about the look or are cutting your costs, do not cut the post caps needed to cover the exposed fence and deck posts. To do so is a short term move that will cost you in the long term. If you currently have a fence that does not have fence post caps, invest sooner then later and get those posts capped. Remember; post caps have a greater purpose other than decorative and finials are all about the decor.