House 9 Remodeling: Constructing Secret Gates – Day 1

In my last post, I described my vision of replacing the current double gates at House 9 with a new set of secret gates disguised as a section fence with the incorporation of a top header wall.  After spending weeks mulling over design ideas and shopping for components, it is finally time to start the DIY construction of these secret gates at House 9.

Both of the old 6×6 wood posts for the old gates have already been removed during the fence reconstruction project. One post was also already in place from the fence installation.  The second post has yet to be installed. Since this was my first time installing the fabricated steel gates I custom ordered, I was not sure how far the two posts for the double gates needs to be spaced apart so I decided to postpone the placement of the second post until I was further along in the project.I began by replacing the fence rail brackets with corner brackets which I ordered online from Signet Fence.  One side of this corner bracket is used to attach to the rails of the 8-foot fence while the other side of the corner bracket will be used to attach rails for the fence wall which will surround the gate.

I then attached two 2-3/8 Chain Link Post Hinges to the fence post and hung up one of the two gate frames. To the gate frame I attached 2×4 wood rails that I cut to length. I then screwed on the first layer of 6-foot tall fence boards. For a better appearance, I opted to use cedar rather than pressure treated pine for this project.

I then attached a second layer of fence boards to complete the board-on-board arrangement.  I also cut some 2×4 wood pieces to length to attach to the front side of the four corner brackets.

With one gate finished out, I was then able to determine the placement of the second post. The location had to be exact. Too wide and double gates will not latch together. Too close and they will run into each other and not be able to close. Since these gates are custom made, they are not returnable so there can be no mistake.

I placed the second post at the proper distance from the first post. I also ensured that the location of the post would place the double gates square to the house. Lastly, I made sure that the top of the second post was level with the top of the first one.

After double checking all measurements, I manually dug the three foot deep post hole and then mixed up several bags of concrete.  I wrapped up the day by setting the 11 foot post in concrete.  The post will sit overnight to harden before I continue with day 2 of this DIY secret gate construction project.

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