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First Timer, Installing Automatic Gate from Scratch

First Timer, Installing Automatic Gate from Scratch

Old 08-11-19, 03:37 PM
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First Timer, Installing Automatic Gate from Scratch

We just moved into a new house in the last few months. Got some quotes for installing a single-panel automatic gate (12' long X 6' high) and JEEEEZ are they pricey. The 2-3 quotes we got were all over $5k, which is above our budget at this time.

So I am starting a project of my own from scratch. See my initial plans in the attached MS Paint masterpiece image. Here's the step-by-step as I imagine it:

  1. Calculate gate post position & gate length
  2. Build gate frame to proper measurements, set aside
    * Not sure what to use for a frame
    * Not sure if using wood or some other veneer for the gate facade
  3. Rent a core drill & post auger to bore hole in driveway for 4x4 steel post
  4. Level & set post in concrete, sloping concrete down & away from post
  5. Ok this is as far as I've gotten

Obviously I am in initial stages here. I guess I am posting to get any feedback & help I can get from experts or people who have been in the same boat before. Let me know what I should keep in mind & be aware of while doing this project.

So far I have the below questions. Will turn to YouTube for these & further inspiration:
  1. How to go about building the gate 'frame' & best material
  2. Best material to use for gate pickets (privacy type)
  3. How much space is needed between the existing fencing & the gate+post I will be installing (such that the gate motor arm can operate unobstructed)
    * Existing fencing is shown in image; The gate will be perpendicular to existing fence when gate is closed, and parallel when open (gate will open toward existing fencing)

For the gate opener, I will probably just grab the proper rated Mighty Mule from the nearest H.D., unless there are any dire warnings against it.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
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Old 08-11-19, 03:45 PM
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I realize now that the forum images are tiny. Please see here for larger versions: https://imgur.com/a/9yIqH9w
Old 08-11-19, 07:31 PM
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If I had to do this project, I would use a chain link fence gate. Big plus is they can be built to any size, are relatively light weight, have all the available hardware to attach to a round post with hinges and can provide privacy by installing webbing into the chain link.

A wooden gate will be heavy and warp, as your gate is now.

I would rent a concrete saw if needed to cut a trench big enough to run the electric inside a conduit to the other side.

If you still want wood, you could have a metal frame welded together and add wood slats.
Old 08-12-19, 05:36 AM
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I think the first thing to address is the post for mounting a 12' long gate. I think you will need a bigger hole than just a core drilling. I'd plan on at least a 9" diameter auger an go down 36" but deeper would be better. If your soil is soft you may need to have an even larger hole so there is a larger mass and bearing surface for the concrete. Then at the minimum I'd use a 4" x 4" x 1/4" wall steel tube for the post.

Next, I would make the gate frame of tubular steel, probably 3" x 2" or 4" x 2" steel tubing 16 or 14 ga with the long edge vertical forming a box for the main box frame of the gate. Then weld in daigonals from inside corner to inside corner which can be steel rod or tubing. Then bolt the decorative wood slats on the front. The steel frame will be about 100-120 pounds depending on the steel you choose then figure as much as 250 for the wood when it's wet. So, you'll need a gate actuator that can easily handle a 350 pound gate.

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