Home Improvement--General/Large gate?


There is a wide space between my house and the neighbours fence about 70 inches. It used to be bare dirt and unsightly, so I recently cleaned it up and poured asphalt-looks real nice now. Now I want to put a gate here, but it is so wide I am thinking the standard wood fence gate wont work-too heavy and bulky. I thought of getting a steel gate with wheels but that would be too expensive. All I can think of is a piece of thick plywood, which would look too tacky. What do  you suggest?


I am not sure what kind of gate you are looking for but there are three criteria that will determine if any gate will hang properly.  If you can successfully meet these three requirements the gate can be as large as you like.  

The first criteria is a solid mounting surface.  If the gate is mounted to a structure it must be secured well enough that the hinges don't pull away from the structure.  If it is mounted to a post, it must be mounted securely as previously stated. Additionally the post must be rigid enough not to bend or bow under the weight of the gate and set solidly enough into the ground to not rack because of that same weight.

Next is the gate itself.  Regardless of what it is made of the corners must be securely fastened.  On larger gates made of wood it may be necessary to use metal brackets or plates secured with screws to reinforce the joints.  If the corners are not fastened securely the bracing which is the next requirement will not function properly.

The last criteria for a properly functioning gate is diagonal bracing.  Often "X" bracing is used in a gate because it looks symmetrical which is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. What is critical however is just one diagonal brace properly placed and secured. This brace can be secured near either the top or bottom of the hinge side and extend near to the opposite corner on the latch side of the gate.  

If it is attached at the bottom hinge side it must be made of a rigid material that can withstand compression forces as the weight of the gate presses down on, and is supported by the brace.  

If it is attached at the top hinge side it must have enough tensile strength to support the weight of the gate as it pulls down on and is supported by the brace. Tensile bracing can be achieved with rigid material such as wood, steel or aluminum but can also be achieved with non rigid components such as cables, wires or rods. A common form of tension bracing utilizes a cable or rod in conjunction with a turnbuckle which allows for some adjustability.

I hope I have been of some help in this matter.

Best regards,

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Tony Wood


I can answer a wide range of home improvement and maintenance questions. My expertise is in carpentry, painting, framing, siding/boxing, doors, windows, decks and screen and glass enclosures. Wood's Home Maintenance Service


I am a life time resident of North Carolina with over 30 years experience in multiple facets of the industrial, commercial and residential construction industry. For the past 23 years I have owned and operated Wood's Home Maintenance Service , providing services primarily in Johnston, Wake and Sampson Counties of North Carolina.


Several Home improvement articles published on Angie's List and other online forums.

High School graduate ~ proficient in CAD (computer aided design), Open Office program suite.

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