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muck
Fence gate width

Hey TOHers,
Im takeing some measurements for a fence that I'll gonna put up in my back yard. Its a privacy fence 6' tall with a gate on both sides of my house. I dont need it wide for a car or anything big like that, just for people and ride on toys for the kids (and my motorcycle). A 3' wide gate doesnt seen right. What do you all recomend for a width?

Marjorie
Re: Fence gate width

Will you be taking a mower of any kind through the gate(s)? If so, you'll definitely need to measure the mower at the widest point and add another 8-10 inches or so to you can get it through the gate. I had 3 gates in my fence when i had it installed - one is a people gate, almost 4 feet wide, one is a double gate vehicle gate for trucks, etc, and one is the mower gate at the back (goes to the rest of my yard) and it's wider than the people gate.

You're right, three feet really isn't wide enough for a gate.

A. Spruce
Re: Fence gate width

General utility gates are 3', any wider and weight becomes a problem, both for the hinges to carry, the post to hold, and the gate to structurally resist sagging (more on that in a minute ). You can custom size the gates to your needs, you just have to make sure that the structure of the post and adjoining fence can withstand the weight of the gate in it's closed position as well as in it's full range of motion.

When you build the gate, run a diagonal brace from the bottom hinge to the top rail at the latch. This will transfer the compressive weight of the gate directly to the lower hinge point, providing all the structural support necessary for the gate. A diagonal brace in the other direction won't do anything to stop the gate from sagging as the fasteners loosen over time.

Gate posts are important because as the weight of the gate is placed upon the post, the post will bend. When the weight of the gate is in line with the fence, there's no problem, but when the weight is perpendicular to the fence it will pull the fence post over. To counteract this problem, use a 4x6 pressure treated post or a substantial steel post (i.e. not a chain link post).

As to the actual width of the gate, I'd take a measurement of your widest implement that you'll regularly pass through it, then add at least 8", preferably 12", so that you have ample clearance.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Fence gate width

I would make one gate a double, wide enough for a vehicle. You never know when you may need something like roofing done and need to get a truck or trailer in. That one double gate would also be access for your mower, etc. The other gate could then be a 36" people gate.
Jack

Marjorie
Re: Fence gate width

I knew someone who really knows what they're talking about would come along. :)
I didn't know the physics of gate hanging, now I understand why some gates get all wobbly and saggy. Now i can see that my fence guys knew what they were doing because they all have the diagonal braces you talked about, and the heavier posts.

canuk
Re: Fence gate width
Marjorie wrote:

I knew someone who really knows what they're talking about would come along. :)

Geez .... careful or he won't get his head through the gate.:D:p:D

muck
Re: Fence gate width

great thanks for the replys, that gives me some things to think about.

Marjorie
Re: Fence gate width

LOL Canuk! :D

That's ok - if he gets too big-headed we can use that gadget oscar621's asking about to deflate it and bring him back to normal... ;)

Good luck with your fence and gate project, muck!

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