Jul 12, 2017

New Driveway Gate

It was time to replace our driveway gate. I could have sworn I took a decent picture of the old gate but suddenly I can't find it anywhere.

It was bad though. Broken posts, sagging supports. The whole panel on the left has warped. The weight of it has forced the wheels into divots in the driveway. It’s really hard to open, even for adults. And the panel was so warped that Georgia only needed to hit it with her thick bulldog skull a few times and it would open enough at the bottom for her to squeeze through! The fence pickets were soft and starting to rot. It was overdue for replacement.

The panels barely survived being removed! They were literally falling apart in our hands. Granted we made this gate way back when we were true DIY novices 7 years ago. It wasn't even pressure treated wood!

Things we liked about the old gate: the height (4 foot fencing), the color (blends well with the neighbors fence and matches our deck/pergola), the hinge hardware style.

Things we didn’t like about the old gate: the weight (too heavy), the small wheels that couldn’t handle the weight, and the fact that we had to move a huge fence piece/panel to enter the backyard.

To remedy the weight issue we are using a different kind of fence panel with spacing - fewer planks mean less weight. We realized a privacy fence here wasn’t really important - when we’re home in the backyard the view from the street is blocked by cars and the trash can shed anyway. We looked into vinyl and composite as well, but color and cost weren’t ideal. I’m hoping the pressure treated panels we bought will hold up a little longer.

The new gate is also a new design - three panels with three larger wheels (that can lock!) and three hinges. The latch is on the right side middle with handles on the front and back so we can open the gate in multiple ways (and keep people from using the fence panels as handles, which broke several of our old gate planks off). We can open one segment for people, two pieces for the wheelbarrow, or all 3 panels for a car.

It took a couple of days to build, but Mike was totally back in his element making something again. The pressure treated support pieces were still in great shape so he was able to reuse some of them.

The finished gate before it was stained:

We had to wait a few days to stain it due to rainy weather and thunderstorms. It looked so good though once we got the whole thing dark brown!

And here’s the gate closed:

We can have one panel open for people, two panels for wider loads (like the wheel barrow), or three panels for a car. All we need to do is unlock the wheels and the gate panels roll easily!

It’s pretty great. And it’s SO much easier to open this way. It swings either way and just rolls so smoothly. The latch is tricky enough to stymie Matthew, but Oliver can get in and out with his friends. Georgia loves being able to see through and we love that she can no longer escape.

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