Building a Gate – Part 1

Now that you’ve seen the designs, I thought I should show you the progress we made the first weekend. We tried squeezing in as much stuff as we could before the afternoon rain set in so we attacked it in two parts; Greg took installing the posts while I spent the time in the basement building the actual gate.

As you may remember this was our intended design:

But in order to install it, we had to first decide on how to support the gate.  We knew we would need 3 main supports as seen in our sketch, however two of the supports would need to be on the concrete pad (one for each side of the drain pipe) and a 3rd would be in what is now dirt (we hope to have concrete poured there eventually to extend the side-walk but that’s just a dream)…  So as we marked where the supports needed to be anchored we did some research for ways to attach 4×4 posts to the already hardened concrete.

With my google-ing I happened to stumble upon Simpson/Strong Tie E-Z Spike and E-Z Base. (You had us sold on E-Z) However both were available for purchase at our local Home Depot, and seemed perfect for our application. (They didn’t even require digging… which is good because we don’t own a shovel.)

The E-Z Spike was the easiest to install. As seen below the 28″inch spike is driven into the ground using a sledge hammer or mallet.

Greg checked for level-ness and plumb along the way down.

And while he thought this would be really easy, it actually took a lot more brute force then we expected. However this also helped re-assure us that it would be a good anchor for a 53″ wide swinging fence gate.

When it was finally installed, Greg was so proud! ( a little tired but proud!)

One suggestion would be to use as shown in directions a 4×4 that is 3+” taller than the base before hammering it into the ground. As you can see from the above photo, the 4×4 ended up being level after all the hammering which then required some finagling to get the 4×4 piece out of the base, but eventually it did come out.

The next step was the E-Z Base. These were more expensive than we were hoping (at $20/piece, not including screws and anchors), they definitely stretched our budget. However they were one of the only systems available that wasn’t directions on how to break up concrete and pour a new footing. (Yuck!)

Concrete 4x4 Base Anchor System

After marking on the ground where the 4 post anchors needed to go, I borrowed a handy hammer drill from work, and Greg set-off on drilling the hole. If you’ve never used a hammer drill, you will be surprised at how easy it ripped right through concrete. I love our Bosch Hammer Drill!

These also seemed to go in with ease. After they were installed Greg used the sledge hammer and put in the 4×4’s we had cut at Home Depot.  As it started sprinkling it looked like a Day 1 job well done. Even Guinness the creeper was excited and anxious to see what we were doing out there all day.

However just as Greg was having  his Ta-Da, look at me mom, look what I can do moment,  I snapped this photo and was the bearer of bad news that the gate I was building in the basement all day was 65″ tall, not including the ground clearance… Dun.. Dun.. Dun..  until next time..

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4 Comments on “Building a Gate – Part 1”

  1. […] Building a Gate – Part 1 → […]

  2. […] you can check out our reason for a gate,  design ideas, the post installation, and the building of the gate. Any questions feel free to let me […]

  3. […] Building a Gate – Wrap-Up Building a Gate – Part 1 […]

  4. MamaBee says:

    If you use the gate often, how are the anchors holding up? Do you feel they have begun to wobble? I’m trying to design so,ethics similar that would need to have two pieces spanning a concrete driveway …


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