How to Set Up a Gate in Your Garden
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Published by TOP4 Team
Gates can mark the entrance to your property, deter prowlers from entering your back garden, keep children in and keep stray animals out. They come in wide range of styles, materials and sizes, ranging from a low barrier set in a front fence to imposing entrance gates, often hung in pairs, for vehicles. The most popular material is without doubt timber, and the gate is often made to match the style of any adjacent fencing. These are the things that you need to know about setting up a gate in your garden.
Most wooden gates are made of softwood (usually larch) which has been pretreated with preservative to keep rot at bay. More expensive gates in woods like oak and cedar have better resistance to rot and insect attack, but are more expensive. Timber gate posts are also either preservative-treated softwood or oak (the latter is preferable, though it costs more).
Choose 100mm (4in) posts for low single gates, and 125 or 150mm (5 or 6in) posts for high side gates and wide drive gates. As far as post length is concerned, you need to burry about 450mm (18in) of post in the ground for a single gate 1m high and 600mm (2ft) for a gate 2m high. For double gates, increase the buried depth to a minimum depth of 750mm (2ft 6in).
Good foundations are essential to keep gate posts upright and secure, or to support brick piers. It’s best if you set posts for side and narrow entrance gates in a continuous foundation, with the concrete securing the two posts linked by a strip of concrete about 200mm (8in) thick across the opening. This prevents the hinge post from being pulled inward by the gate’s movement. Set each post in a concrete collar about 150mm (6in) deep, in a hole around 300mm (12in) across and deep enough to accept the necessary buried length of the gate post.
Hanging a gate
The most important stage is working out how far apart the posts should be. To do this, lay the gate and the posts flat on the ground (with the gate supported in battens to raise it level with the rear face of the post to which the hinges will be attached). Then lay the hinges and latch in position, and adjust the gap between the gate posts to give adequate clearance. Mark a depth line across each posts about 75mm (3in) below the bottom of the gate to act as a guide when setting them in the ground.
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