Wooden driveway gates can be both practical and decorative. While often employed in rural areas, the concept of driveway gates is beginning to make an impact in some suburban areas as well. While it is possible to purchase the gates in ready to hang form, it is a lot more fun to build your own.
Take your measurements. Determine the position along the driveway where the gate will be placed. If there is already a fence on either side of the driveway, measure from one post across the space to the opposite post. Also measure the height for the gate, based on the height of the two side posts. This will provide you with the basic measurements required for the gate.
Design your gate. Making the determination of how you want it to appear will impact the final look and exact function of the device.
Mark and cut your pieces. Using the measurements obtained in step 1 and the general design determine in step 2, begin cutting the sections of lumber to create the design. By cutting out all the pieces in advance and laying them out on the grass or the driveway as you go, it is possible to make sure all the cuts are flush. The sections will line up properly if placed correctly.
Begin the assembly of the pieces. Start with the outer frame, securing the pieces together with the use of the drill to create holes for the screws. Employ the screws along with bolts to provide strength to the framing.
Once the outer frame is complete, install the crosspieces and bolt into position. Finally, fill in the body of the frame if the design calls for it, once again employing screws, finishing nails and bolts as needed.
Add in the brace piece. The brace is placed at the end of the gate that will hold the hinges. Many designs also call for a brace piece to be placed at the opposite end, where the latch is added. Braces will add a little more strength to the overall structure.
Install the hinges, and the latch the assembly onto the gate. Measure and mark the spots for the installation. Use the drill to begin the holds for the screws, then use the screwdriver to drive the screws into position. Make sure the hinges and the latch assembly are firmly in place.
Hang the completed gate. Test to make sure the latch assembly on both the gate and the side post line up properly, and that the gate swings with ease.
Paint or varnish the gate. While this can be done before the gate is hung, the task is usually much easier once the gate is actually in place.
If you are having trouble designing the gate, visit your local hardware or home supply store. You should be able to find blueprints that will give you some easy ideas to adapt to your needs. Alternatively, check online for basic gate designs.
Take your time, and use quality materials to avoid a gate that looks like you made it at home!