Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a concrete driveway that continues to the side of my house, with a double gate (a person gate, and a large vehicle gate).

The gates are very old and made only with 2x4 frames and standard hinges. Needless to say, they are falling apart. The person gate ripped off the 2x6 which is lagged into the house in the last wind storm.

I would like to replace both of these gates with lighter gate-frames. My problem is that the vehicle gate is too wide for a standard gate-frame. The vehicle gate is on the left in the mockup below. It hinges on the corner post of the fence.

enter image description here

I keep struggling with how to rebuild this. I would like to put a post 2 feet from the corner of the fence. The existing dirt is too close and is on top of several sprinkler and drain lines.

What is the best way to end up with a sturdy post? I hesitate to go to all of the trouble of cutting out a section of concrete and putting in a 5x5/6x6 post. I had another pole rot in between the two gates (which was put in before the side slab).

So my questions are:

  • Am I worrying too much about rotting? Is there a better option, such as a metal post?
  • Should I have two gates with no pole between? Can I rely on the vehicle gate to be sturdy with a ground pin holding it's swinging end?
share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I recently saw someone set a length of galvanized pipe in a concrete footer, and then bolt a pressure-treated fence post to the metal pipe. The galvanized pipe and footer should last essentially forever, and provide plenty of strength to support the fence/gate. The fence and gate can be replaced as needed. I thought it was a fairly clever approach. You might consider it for your application.

It's perfectly normal to have two gates without a center post, using a ground pin (often called a cane bolt) to hold the less-often used side of the gate stationary. The only downside here is that the gate will twist a bit more if side loads are applied near the top of the gate (e.g. wind, someone pushing on the gate), since the only fixed point is at the ground.

The longer the cane bolt, and the further up the gate it extends, the more support it can provide to the gate. Taking this to the extreme, if you were really concerned about the rigidity of the swinging end of the gate, you could make your own "cane bolt" out of a long section of pipe (perhaps 4 feet), and have it drop into a larger pipe set a foot or so into the concrete. That gate wouldn't go anywhere!

share|improve this answer
    
I had considered hiring someone to create a custom post from steel rectangular stock, with the gate pins welded directly on the side, and holes for bolting on a 2x5 to hide the steel from the front. The problem is steel has a rust issue, so I would need to have it coated and I don't know if it would stand up to being buried. I hadn't considered just using a piece of galvanized pipe. I could u-bolt the 2x5 to the front, but I'm not sure how I would attach the gate frame. Are you suggesting just attaching the post to the pipe, and the gate to the post? –  Jeff B Dec 20 '13 at 19:53
    
@JeffB That was my thought. You'd want to be sure that the wood hinge post wouldn't be allowed spin on the metal pipe, however. A suitable number of good-and-tight U-bolts would probably get the job done, or you could through-drill the metal pipe and use lag bolts or carriage bolts, though the holes create more opportunity for corrosion problems. I'd probably go with U-bolts. –  mac Dec 20 '13 at 19:56
    
I think you are on to something. I don't think rotation will be a problem if the post is attached to a small fence section going to the corner post. I will probably just offset the pipe such that the post sits where it normally would in the fence run. Probably need to set the post up a inch or so to keep it from sucking up water. –  Jeff B Dec 20 '13 at 20:00
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.