I have been fighting with this gate for several years (and three toddlers), and right now I'm losing...
At the top of the stairs where the gate needs to be, there is only about 1.5 inches of overlap between the walls on both sides, as shown in this top-down view (the gate must go inside the circle):
While there is a wooden baseboard at the bottom for the lower hinge, the upper hinge needs to be mounted directly on the wall right at the corner.
Originally, I simply followed the directions that came with the gate and installed the hinges using the drywall anchors that came with the gate. With the strain of swinging open and closed, it fairly quickly worked the anchors loose from the wall, and also chipped off the paint, leading to the discovery that there isn't much drywall around and behind that metal corner for the anchors to bite into. (Ignore the blue anchors at this point.)
I decided to spread the load across a larger portion of the wall and try to get some anchors in more stable wall-board by mounting a piece of wood to the wall and mounting the gate to that:
This has worked well for a year or so, and now it has worked itself loose from the wall again. All four anchor holes are so loose that I can pull the anchors out of them by hand.
I have tried looking for a stud, but there does not seem to be one anywhere near the corner. Shining a flashlight through one of the holes in the metal corner piece reveals a few splinters of wood, enough to guess that there's a thin board in there that the top of the railing is screwed to. However, there isn't very much there and some exploration with a long thin nail into some of the existing holes reveals that I cannot reach that wood.
- Short of opening up the wall and adding some kind of internal bracing, is there anything I can do here?
- If I do end up having to open up the wall, is there anything specific I should try to do?
- I am not very experienced with drywall work. Given that the other side of this wall is inside a closet, should I try to open the wall there and put in something from the back so that my first major drywall job isn't right where every visitor to the house will see it immediately when they walk in?
- If I don't need to open up the outside of the wall, what is the best way to repair this cracked edge where the metal corner piece is visible?