easy fence questions


Old 07-13-06, 11:27 AM
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easy fence questions

Need help with some fencing basics.

Got a board privacy fence. Span is approx 50'. Got one personnel gate toward one end, and one double equipment access gate off center.

The big gate is sagging downward and out. To open and close, I have to lift up on the ends.

The ground under the fence is swayed downward.

My gate posts are leaning into the sag, a bit.

The only way I can brace the leaning posts it by putting a knee brace on an adjacent post, and then a turnbuckle arrangement to the gatepost. I can't use the typical deadman support, because the deadman would be out in a mowed yard, and unsightly.

I guess the first thing I need to know is what devices are available to serve as an adjustable knee brace to help counter gate post "lean".

A second thing is how do I deal with ground sway under the fenceline? i.e., if I follow the ground with the boards, the top of the fence will be very uneven. If I make the tops even, I'll probably need to cut each board, lengthwise, to fit. Is this the way it's done?

Thirdly, my gates are kind of shaky and flimsy. What solutions are there for stronger, stiffer gates?
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Old 07-15-06, 06:25 PM
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First, how wide are the gate panels? What size posts are they hinged on?

Given my dislike for putting wood posts in the ground (search back through some of my other posts in this forum for proof of that!), I'm going to suggest that you replace the wood hinge posts with steel posts. I would use either 3" or 4", depending on the width of the gates.

For the gate frames themselves, I would use steel frames. There are a couple of options for that. Check one of the big box stores or a local lumber yard. There are adjustable steel gate frames that are made with 1" square tube stock. Another would be to buy chain link gate panels and strip the fabric off of them. (If you replace the posts, buy the panels first and set your posts to the proper width!)

If you replace the posts, the leaning issue is solved. However, you may want to install cables and turnbuckels from the top of the gate posts to the bottom of the next line post to keep the weight of the gates from leaning the gate posts, and to give yourself a way to compensate for it when it occurs.

Attach a top and bottom wood rail to each gate frame and screw your fence boards to that. Set the tops of the fence boards even, using a string from one side of the opening to the other. Adjust the bottom of the boards as needed. That's in the closed position. Once that's done, open each gate. If the boards drag in the dirt at any point, adjust the dirt so that they don't.
Old 07-15-06, 09:05 PM
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Good info. Thanks.

I'll switch to steel posts. Current posts are 4x4s.

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