About Fantastic Wooden Gate Design Ideas
When building a wooden gate, there are several factors to consider. Gates can be merely decorative, as in an arbor framing a walkway into your yard, or more secure, giving entrance through a full fence. The latter can prevent someone from seeing or accessing your private space, thanks to solid wood panel design and strong hardware.
One of the most important things in a gate’s design is a cross-brace in the structure, starting from top corner opposite the hinges (free-swinging side of the gate), pointing downward to the lower hinged side of the gate. It acts like a giant shelf bracket that will hold the gate structure at a 90-degree angle to the post on which it’s mounted.
Posts and Structure
Depending on where you live, the number-one thing to check before installing the posts is your area’s typical depth of frost. You want to ensure that your posts are set into concrete below where the indicated frost level is. This provides a solid anchor into the ground. If frost is not a factor in your region, a depth of 30 inches should be enough to support a gate.
Wood and Materials
In most regions, there are two basic lumber choices: pressure-treated lumber (PT) and non-pressure treated (NPT). Pressure treating is the process of adding chemical preservatives to the wood, to resist rot and bugs. Both PT and NPT are readily available, although the species available can change, depending on your area.
When selecting lumber for your gate construction, look for the straightest possible pieces to start off with. It is ideal to find kiln-dried wood, meaning the moisture content of the wood has been lowered; this reduces the chance of warping or twisting.
When considering hinges, latches and keyhole locks, determine the approximate weight of the gate you have built. If it has been built in a proper, solid manner, it will most likely take two people to lift and hang in place. At that point the gate may weigh anywhere from 50 to 150 pounds, depending on the size. The hinges should be large enough to support the weight. The screws should be set deep enough to grab into the main 2 x 4 structure of the door.
Increasing the strength of a gate happens by proper design. The use of an effective cross brace, framing the posts well, and using quality lumber and parts, will ensure the gate performs well for decades. Having been armed with the basics of gate structure, you are now equipped to build your unique design to match your tastes.
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