Gate part two!

Remember the gate? I was unhappy with it, but also just happy it was up?

Gate looking shiny on its first day… before it started sloping downward into the mud.

Well, over the following weeks/months it just kept slowly (not that slowly) sinking down to the point where it was pretty much unusable. I thought it was the gate itself (it kind of was), but mostly it was the fence to which it was attached: it could not support the weight!

I bought a steel gate kit to shore up the door’s structural integrity, but we realized pretty quickly that it wouldn’t be enough.

The corner post on the fence was rotted completely, and we were unable to dig up the concrete base in order to replace it. That in of itself is a problem…but, honestly, it is future Aly’s problem. Current Aly bypassed the whole mess and decided to try the other side of the fence. Best surprise of the week? The cedar post in that corner was actually still in great condition; no digging necessary!*

It may look old, but it’s surprisingly solid!

So we took the gate down, gave it a nice exoskeleton made of steel, and reattached it to the other side of the fence. Sounds easy right?

Honestly, it wasn’t that hard.** The biggest issue is that I am not always the best at following (or glancing at) instructions. I tend to assume I can just figure it out, but after 3 or 4 false starts where my instincts were 100% wrong, I gave in and looked at the instructions that came with the kit.*** From there on it was simple job. A two-person job, to be sure, but a simple one.

Biggest takeaways from this experience:****

  1. Gates are heavy,***** make sure your fence can support one.
  2. Instructions are lame, but sometimes worth it.
  3. Measure once, cut twice.******
  4. Make sure your gate has an exoskeleton.
  5. If you hit concrete (or, really, any obstacle of any kind), best to just give up and try something else. Works every time.
  6. Gates (like people) are better when they swing both ways.
  7. Apparently my sarcasm and absurdity peak about 5am and diminish throughout the day.

At the end of the day we had a solid gate attached to a solid fence. Next step is painting/staining the thing to try and reduce the speed at which the whole mess rots into nothing.

*Not true – I dug down a little ways before discovering this. But significantly less digging!
***I bet you expected me to say it was crazy difficult. How’s that for subverting expectations?
***I knew I would figure it out eventually, the instructions were just a short cut – like cheating! Made me feel much better about the whole thing. 😉
****Please do not take this list seriously. It’s almost completely absurd and/or straight up wrong.
*****Especially giant ones.
******Common sense, eh?

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