Fence Gate Construction

As you saw from the previous post, we took down our fence in April of 2014. We were comfortable with this because our back neighbor has a large field which they keep mowed. Plus they have several nice pine trees which we enjoy looking at.

However, our property owners association does require a front fence to be in place. We certainly want to play by the rules by installing a small section of fence.

We had a few requirements for the fence though

  1. Large enough to drive a vehicle into the back yard
  2. Shadowbox style pickets to be consistent with the neighborhood
  3. Very strong posts since the gate would be so wide
  4. We don’t want to drag the fence across the ground to open it every time

We chose a steel re-enforced, prefab, double gate frame from Adjust a Gate. Our total width is 122″ (just over 10′ wide). This frame ensures the gate will stay square over the years. It even has a steel cable with turn buckled to square the corners.

I knew in order to support such a heavy weight across a fairly wide span we would need strong posts. We chose 6x6x12 pressure treated posts. Furthermore we used post shields and aggregate (rocks) rather than concrete directly touching the posts. This was done because concrete holds water against a typical posts and will speed up the rotting process. By using aggregate and a post protector, the water drains quickly away from the post. The protector isĀ 42″ tall. 4-6″ goes above grade (that is, above the surface of the ground). This meant 36″ needed to be below grade. 36″ is a pretty deep hole. Fortunately I only had to dig two of them!

You will see in the pictures below a much larger hole and a plumbing company. Upon digging my second hole it began to fill with water. I immediately thought I had hit my main water line coming into the house from the street. I called a plumbing company to find the damage and fix it. I dug a much larger hole so they wouldn’t have to. After all, time is money.

However, they were not able to locate the water main and thus no way I could have struck the pipe. But, water was still filling the hole. This didn’t sit well with Amy and I so we chose to bring in a specialist to pump the water main full of nitrogen and use an above ground ‘sniffer’ to determine where the hole might be. After 2 hours of searching the specialist could not detect any leak in the water main. Their best guess on where the water was coming from was underneath our driveway. We had a particularly rainy spring so this seemed reasonable. In the month since then our water bill has not increased, so I am comfortable with this conclusion.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here


Posted in Adventure.

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