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Novice contemplating garden gate. Help!

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by tonyfleeds, 10 Apr 2012.

  1. tonyfleeds

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    Hi from a forum newbie.

    I'm contemplating adding a garden gate just close off my rear garden.

    I currently have a "gateway" - pic enclosed, and I'd like to some advice on how to tackle it.


    The flag width is 90cm which I believe is a standard width - but the gravel bit to left is 29cm, and there is a gap of about 10cm from the edge of the flag to the post.

    My thought is it put a post in against the house wall (no idea how to), and hang a custom width gate across the whole opening, to latch at the fence post. Hoping not to spend too much by doing it myself too.

    Any advice would be greatfully received - particularly with regard to putting the post in against the house.


    T
     
  2. imamartian

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    tony,

    i'm a DIYer, but in the time before they turn up i can tell you you don't need a post "in the ground" next to your house. You'd fix a piece of timber to the wall using frame fixers

    http://www.wickes.co.uk/frame-fixers/invt/515502/?source=123_74

    It won't need to go to the floor either... start the timber off just above the DPC (or damp proof membrane - the black line of tar/plastic you see running just off the floor around houses). Or if you can't tell where it is, make sure the timber starts around 7" off the floor and runs up to the top of the gate.

    On the other side i'd drop in a standard wooden post 3x3? or 4x4. And as you say, hang the gate on the house side timber. You could even run a rail across the top to strengthen things up.

    Hope that gets you started...
     
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  3. tonyfleeds

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    Cheers Iamamartian, that's helpful.

    Can I ask is there a specific reason why I would want the post to not run below the Damp Proof? This would leave a noticeable post size gap at the bottom.

    T
     
  4. mikej2005

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    I wouldn't leave such a large gap, personally. Bridging the DPC in this way shouldn't cause any problems and, like you say, it'll just look odd if the gate is 6" longer than the post.

    A gap of an inch or two at the bottom should be fine - use good quality, pressure-treated timber designed for external use and make sure you soak the bottom of the post thoroughly in a decent external wood preserver.

    I actually treat pressure-treated timber additionally with a couple of coats of waterproof, organic-based wood treatment for extra protection.
     
  5. tonyfleeds

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    Thanks for your advice Mike.

    The "post" bit is what scares me most! Never done it before. I'm concerned with damaging the house!

    Can I ask, do I need special bits for doing this? I have a regular corded drill - never done anything external before.

    And, do I drill in to the brick or the mortar?

    Sorry so many questions. I am a true novice!
     
  6. mikej2005

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    A regular corded drill will be fine - hammer action will help with drilling into masonry, but often not needed for drilling into mortar as it's softer.

    Depending on the thickness of your post, you'll either need some heavy duty raw plugs and long (size 12) screws, or heavy duty wall anchor bolts. You can get long, heavy duty screws complete with long rawl-plugs in multi-packs - these are known as hammer or frame fixings.

    You'll need a masonry drill bit to suit the size of the hole - drilling into mortar is easier than drilling into brick, so I prefer to do this where appropriate. Just be sure not to enlarge the hole when drilling, as you'll need a good fit.

    I've just checked the gate I installed last year - I used 4x2" pressure-treated timber to form the gate post and fixed it to the wall 1" off the ground with 6 heavy duty frame fixings, with all holes drilled into mortar.
     
  7. imamartian

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    I'd hold the timber up against the wall and mark 5 or 6 places where the mortar crosses the post. It's quite nice to use the corners where the vertical and horizontal mortar joints meet.

    Now remove the timber and using a wood drill bit, drill through the timber. If you're using frame fixers, then drill the diameter of the rawl plug. It'll tell you on the packet. If you're just using long screws then drill holes slightly bigger than the screws diameter.

    Now put the timber back up and using a small masonary bit, pre drill the holes in the mortar - try to go in the middle of your hole, and straight.

    Now remove the timber again, and with the correct sized masonary bit, enlarge the holes in the wall. Be careful at this point as some mortar joints can be narrow, and a masonary bit with a larger diameter can jam.
    You might try to clean out the holes of dust at this point... a long screw pushed in and out, blo in the hole, hoover it... etc. (it'll help prevent the plug jamming before it's in)

    With frame fixers, put up the timber again, and tap in the frame fixers until the plug is flush with the timber (gentle tap with a hammer). Then finish with a screwdriver - probably better not to use a powered driver, as you want to 'feel' it tighten.

    With a long screw, put the plug in the hole first, then put up the timber... etc.

    You will of course have used a spirit level at the drilling stage !!!! ;) So put in the top screw, then the bottom one, making sure you're plumb... if not, you could remove the bottom screw and try a different one.... once you have two in place, i reckon you can 'force' any dodgy ones....

    If the mortar is poor and crumbly, go into the brick.... it's just that if you remove the gate in future, it's tidier patching mortar than it is bricks.
    Good luck.
     
  8. mikej2005

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    ^ great advice - that's how I'd do it.

    The only thing I'd add is that once you've drilled the holes in the timber for the frame fixings, it's a good idea to use a countersink drill bit to ensure that your screw-heads don't stick out.
     
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  9. tonyfleeds

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    Thanks guys. Very helpful advice. I'll digest it, panic a bit, then make a start!

    Thanks again.
     

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