So I own a Spanish Revival style home with stucco walls, red clay tile roof....and a courtyard cordoned off in my front yard walking up to the house. Nice feature for hanging outside but a bit of a nightmare at night because it provides great opportunities for an intruder to hide, sight unseen from the street. I would like to secure this at night and have a gate lock question.

There are two entrances into the courtyard, as I live on a corner, a small gate coming into the front (which I can lock fairly easily) and larger gate on the side that comes in off the circle drive that's to the side of the home. The issue is the little slide bolt isn't long enough. I can put a combination lock holding it in place but that doesn't do a damn thing when simply pushing the gate forward allows it to open. I've attached pictures....for the life of me I can't think of a simple solution although I know there has to be one. Excuse the un-maintained yard....it's been a rough winter for Houston standards.

Front Gate

Gate Locked


  • Will locking this violate any fire codes for easy egress from the property? Mar 3 '18 at 20:06
  • I have a back door, a garage door and a second gate I already mentioned in the original post. Both locks are directional combination locks that can be removed in less than 5 seconds need be. Also, no one lives here or rents here but me. Now does that completely comply with code? Not sure, but I'll potentially break code for 8 hours a night to ensure my own safety at my own property.
    – jaxwithanx
    Mar 3 '18 at 20:33

I think the neatest and most secure lock would be a large barrel bolt. You would need to weld or bolt two iron pipes to the middle horizontal gate bars, and pass a steel bar through both pipes, like this:

long barrel bolt closed

Bend one end of the bar into a short L-shaped stop, and drill the other end for your padlock.

long barrel bolt opened

Remove the old latch, but leave the plate as a place to hang the padlock when the gate is unlocked.

  • Good plan. Thanks for the illustration. Looks feasible.
    – jaxwithanx
    Mar 3 '18 at 20:36

Easy peasy. The rod that holds down the second door. Imagine if that rod didn't stop at the 90 degree angle, but in fact kept going straight up. It would collide with the sleeve which is the receptacle for the door pin, yes?

Have the rod do just that. "But wait. If the rod is going through that sleeve, how will I be able to slide in the door pin?" Exactly.

Make it so the vertical rod interferes with the horizontal one. They both can't be "in" at once. If the vertical rod is lifted, the horizontal one can't enter, and if the horizontal one is in, the vertical rod can't lift.

Now, locking the gate prevents the other rod from being lifted, and thus the doors from being swung in.

You might need to put a slight tilt or dog-leg onto it, so it lands in the right place in the sleeve.

  • I think I've got a handle on what you're saying but I'd need to drill out a few more inches in the ground for the vertical post hole (it's currently very shallow) and I'm worried it would be hard getting the correct bend in the new vertical post exact enough to make work well.
    – jaxwithanx
    Mar 3 '18 at 20:41

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