The journey to building our home on our new homestead will require many projects. One project I recently completed was building a driveway gate. I researched designs on the web and other various other places, and I came up with a plan for a double main gate across the driveway, each side having wings that angle away from the main posts towards the woods. I did a rough sketch of the concept in advance, but mostly winged it onsite.
From the basic design, I knew I wanted strong posts at the edge of the driveway to hold the gates, because, at approximately 6.5-feet each, they would be relatively heavy. So I dug in 6x6 treated posts at each side of the driveway and concreted them in. The wings on each side would be about 14 feet long, so I divided them into two, 7-foot sections. This required digging in and concreting two 4x4 posts on each side at the appropriated space and angle. I used my rough sketch to place things and measured the spacing. I used a framing square to make sure I was consistent on both sides. Here’s how they looked just after being concreted in:
For the gates themselves, I found a hardware product called “Easy Gate” that promised it wouldn’t sag, and I got the heavy-duty versions because I knew these gates would be large and heavy. I built the gates per the directions, and they have worked out fine! Here is a pic of the gates after they were installed, but before the pickets were installed:
The rails linking the posts are just 2x4x8's that I cut to fit. Now the structure was ready for the pickets. I never have built a gate before, so I really didn’t know what kinds of 1x6 lumber would be available to use for the pickets. I first priced using normal 1x6’s, but they were awfully expensive. One day while I was poking around on the net, an ad came up showing fence pickets at a big box store for less than 2 dollars apiece. So I went and looked at them, and they worked out great. They may warp a little over time, and if they do, I’ll deal with it.
Then I was able to calculate the spacing between the pickets to make them work out with the spacing I had between the posts, and I figured out how many to buy. It took about 80 of these pickets, and painting them was quite a chore. I did them in two batches, and here’s what the gate looked like after Batch 1.
During all this time, I looked for things to dress it up once it was finished, and I found some copper caps for the posts that look really nice. The caps for the 6x6’s are actually solar lights that come on at night. Also, I found a rugged latch for the lock on the front. We are going to landscape around the gates next spring to make them look nicer. We would have done that work this fall had it not been for the drought conditions in our area.
So, after much planning and work, we finished up our gate project, and we think it looks wonderful.
After seeing the completed project, I feel like it looks a little too commercial in style, so maybe there are some things we can do to tone it down. Perhaps painting it a nice forest green? Adding other decoration of some kind? I suppose the sky is the limit, right? I would love to hear your ideas!
Please read our other Capper's Farmer blogs, and visit our web page at parmerhomestead.com. It’s still under construction, but it has more details about our plans! Also, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!