Nov 24, 2010

Our Fence is Finished! The Driveway Gate Installed

Our backyard is officially fenced in.  We finally installed the driveway gate!  Combined with the deck and sliding glass door access, we can let Georgia out and leave her out for as long as she pleases.  No more chasing her around the yard when it's time to come in!  (Which by the way doesn't work - she is way too fast.)

Deciding on the height of the fence for our driveway gate was tough.  On the other side of the house we have the 6 ft privacy fence which aligns well with the next door neighbor's new 6 ft privacy fence.  It blends together and the height makes sense for maximum privacy.  However on the driveway side we weren't  sure what to do.  Blending with the neighbor's 7 ft arched cedar fence didn't make sense.  6 ft tall gates seemed awfully foreboding - how would anyone ever be able to check and see if we were in the backyard?  And the driveway is more than 12 ft wide - could you imagine giant 6 x6 ft gate panels blowing around on a windy day untethered?!  It would be a lawsuit waiting to happen.  There was also the issue of opening and closing such tall gates - how could we possibly open and close them from the outside to take our cars in and out of the back?

It became glaringly obvious that a shorter fence for the driveway gate was the only option.  But how high?  We considered 5 ft, but still even then I'd have trouble seeing/reaching over to open it from the outside.  We settled on 4 ft, the same height as the chain link - plenty high to keep dogs in but low enough for an adult to easy open and close the gate from both sides.  Our house is on a slight hill so from the street the 4 ft fence provides plenty of privacy, but when a guest/friend/neighbor comes up to the gate they can easily see if we're in the backyard.  It's the ideal balance of functionality, manageability and privacy for us.

The gate opens in the middle and the two halves swing inwards, supported by two wheels.  The wheels not only keep the gate from sagging, they also prevent the panels from swinging around wildly in the wind.

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