Gate has distorted, help!

Joined
9 Aug 2007
Messages
39
Reaction score
0
Location
Cambridgeshire
Country
United Kingdom
I'm installng a replacement fence around my back garden and decided to include a gate. I bought tanalised fencing supplies from my local sawmill (posts, rails and the vertical bits (pickets?) to construct my own fence and gate. The gate I made by building a frame from the 3x1½", screwed together using a pocket jig, with diagonals for bracing. The pickets (vertical planks) are each nailed on with 15 pinhead nails each, at least (5 in a X fashion at each rail, plus more where they meet the brace). The gate was solid, as far as I could tell. Yet, about two weeks after installing it there is a most definite droop on the cantilevered side. The bolt no longer lines up, and the top left edge (as seen in the photo) catches the aligning fence picket (whereas it was quite clear of it when I installed it).

I've post-creted concrete posts into the ground as spurs and secured wooden fence posts to these with coach bolts. My aim here is to make sure that no wood is in the ground (only the concrete spur post) and thus reduced wood rot. These posts are solid, I'm fairly happy with them, but still I wonder if the wooden post has warped or the concrete spur shifted, and allowed the gate to slump slightly. Also, I wonder if the gate itself has changed shape/distorted out of square. I don't know how to tell, but I need it to stop so that I can realign the bolt mating hole without worrying it's going to be out of alignment again in another two weeks. It needs repair.

I'd like to know what I did wrong (I'm an amateur here, not a pro, so I fully accept I made errors somewhere), and understand how I can stop the gate from drooping further please.

I wonder if the wood was wet when I built the gate, and in drying out it's changed shape? Or perhaps the other way (dry then wet)? Or are pocket hole screws just not up to the job? Should I remove the gate, try to square it again, then brace it another way with other fixings?

gate1.jpg
gate2.jpg
gate3.jpg
 
Last edited:
Sponsored Links
Joined
15 Nov 2005
Messages
78,492
Reaction score
5,025
Location
Genova
Country
Cook Islands
Measure the diagonals, you'll find it is sagging trapezoid.

They all do that.

In a couple of years you can turn it upside down and it will sag back the other way. For a brief period it will be square.

BTW, hook and band hinges are better than your T hinges
 
Joined
11 Nov 2020
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
208
Location
Mercia
Country
United Kingdom
^what he said^
...and a metal socket for the bolt to slide into would stop the wood fraying and loosening the fit over time.
 
Joined
15 Nov 2005
Messages
78,492
Reaction score
5,025
Location
Genova
Country
Cook Islands
Btw I have a garden gate, I hung it upside down a year ago (easy on hook and band) and am thinking about adding a stainless diagonal rod or cable, tensioned with screw adjustment, to try to hold it in shape.

I might use boat shrouds.
 
Sponsored Links
Joined
11 Nov 2020
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
208
Location
Mercia
Country
United Kingdom
Btw I have a garden gate, I hung it upside down a year ago (easy on hook and band) and am thinking about adding a stainless diagonal rod or cable, tensioned with screw adjustment, to try to hold it in shape.

I might use boat shrouds.
Do folk still use a strong spring to save swinging the gate shut behind you?
Haven't seen one for a long time.
Vicious things they were.
 
Joined
27 Apr 2008
Messages
8,873
Reaction score
751
Country
United Kingdom
How about put some washers under the screws on the bottom hinge to push it out a bit?

The gate springs are total crap, they come with little plugs to allow you to keep the tension when you wind them up but the damn things just fall out because now days they are made of crap.
 
Joined
1 Apr 2008
Messages
800
Reaction score
111
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
If it were mine, I'd move the bolt keeper down, and assume it's done the sagging it wanted to do.
 
Joined
9 Jan 2020
Messages
610
Reaction score
19
Country
United Kingdom
Moving the bolt/handle latch seems easiest if it does still close OK. If it sags even further, maybe you could re-fit the hinges.

On the face if it, it all looks to be quite nicely done so I'm a bit surprised to see it move so soon but maybe the weather hasn't helped.
 

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.


Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

 
Sponsored Links
Top