How to Install a Driveway Gate
Last modified: 2019/05/06 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
A driveway gate is another excellent way for homeowners to personalize their property and add some curb appeal to the scene. There are various types of gates on the market, so the style you choose will likely depend on the size of your driveway and property. Between swinging, sliding and automatic gates, there is really something for everyone. So, if you’ve decided you would like a gate at the entrance of your driveway, all that’s left is to install it.
The installation process for your driveway gate is straightforward, as most local hardware stores have developed “gate kits” which include all the necessary pieces. This ensures that all posts and hardware will be correctly sized for the gate you choose. Regardless of how you chose to go about it, we’ve compiled the basic steps for the installation process!
Here is how to install a gate at your home’s entrance!
Step 1: Gather Gate Materials
As we’ve stated, there are several types of gate kits on the market which come equipped with all the necessary parts. If you have chosen to go without a gate kit, make sure that you collect all parts including posts and hardware. Aside from the gate materials themselves, you will require a level, a screwdriver, a digger to create holes for the gate-posts, concrete and screws.
A plumb-bob is also recommended, which is a string with a weight at the end, and this can be purchased or homemade. Make sure to read your gate manufacturer's warranty before beginning, as some warranties will be void if the gate is installed incorrectly. We’re certain this is a risk most homeowners would rather not take, so do some research before diving head first into this project!
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Step 2: Level and Measure
source: Pixabay, genniebee512
The second step in the gate installation process is to prepare the surface where the gate is going to go. The ground where your gate will live must be level or set up specifically to accommodate the gate. If the ground beneath your gate is uneven or rises in one direction, then it is possible that this will prevent your gate from opening correctly. For sliding gates, this will not be as much of an issue, but take extra caution with swinging gates. For either style, make sure that the ground doesn’t go up in elevation on either side of the driveway, and if you find that it does, take the time to level it out.
Next, measure the area where your gate is going to be placed. Each gate will be different, therefore measuring and setting up the posts correctly will depend on the type of gate that you choose. If you’ve chosen to work with a gate kit, the posts will be marked to show where the bottom of the gate will go when the installation process is complete.
These will likely need to face a specific direction and need the correct amount of space between the markings and the ground. Follow instructions carefully, as we have already suggested that the proper measurements will vary depending on size, style and the latching of your gate.
Step 3: Dig Post Holes
Once all measurements have been determined and marked, you can begin digging the spots where your gate posts will be placed. Grab your post hole digger or a spade to dig holes of the correct depth to accommodate the poles. It is recommended that you dig holes up to six inches deeper than required, as this extra space should be filled with concrete to prevent posts from eventual settling. If your posts settle, it will cause the gate to sink and create much greater problems later.
Step 4: Mount Gate Posts
Now, mount the gate posts in the holes you’ve dug and filled with concrete. Place a post into one of the holes, and use your plumb-bob as well as a level to make sure it is perfectly straight both vertically and horizontally. Following this, place the other post in its hole. You may require a laser level to make sure that both posts are the same height as well as completely level.
Triple check that posts are the proper distance apart. The most important part of the gate's installation is the placement and levelling of the posts. Therefore, it is important to spend time on this step so you don’t risk re-doing the entire installation process. Once you have determined that the posts are installed at the proper height, width and placement, you can go ahead and mount posts using concrete. Allow this concrete to dry for two days before you install the actual gate.
Step 5: Install Your Driveway Gate
If posts were mounted correctly, the gate installation process should go forward swimmingly. Most gates will need to be installed per the manufacturer's instructions, so read these over carefully. If you are installing a swing gate, make sure it is installed to swing away from incoming traffic. Slide gates are straightforward to install, so if all measurements have been calculated correctly, you should now have a beautiful gate lining and protecting your property!
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