6 Steps to Repair that Old Fence Gate
Your old house probably has quite a few charming old landscape features. Many older homes have wooden fences and gates around the backyard or the entire property, creating a charming old-fashioned look while providing a bit of privacy and security.
The older the fence, the better the chances of a sagging fence gate. If your fence gate drags the ground each time you open it or feels unstable when you swing it open, it's time to tackle that fence gate repair.
6 Easy Steps to Fence Gate Repair
Repairing the fence gate really is easy, but it takes some serious time. So grab a helping of patience before you get started.
- Remove the gate. Then, tackle the hinge posts. You need to replace these with new, sturdy posts in a firm setting in order to make certain your gate hangs properly. Remove the posts by breaking up the concrete underneath them with a sledge hammer, then working the post out of the ground. If the posts are simply set in the ground with no concrete, your job is much easier.
- Widen and deepen the hole. The hole should be about 3 feet deep. Set the posts in the holes, using a level to measure the height. The gate should be able to clear the ground by at least two inches.
- Attach the original fence to the new post. Use galvanized deck screws and ask a buddy to keep the post steady as you work. Check it with the level between each screw to make sure you have the spacing and measurements correct.
- Level the posts. Using a mason's line, make sure the two posts are plumb, or level with each other. You might have to move the hinge posts a bit to make them line up.
- Fill the holes around the posts. Use quick-set concrete or pack the area tightly with soil. Remember that concrete keeps the posts from shifting and makes for a sturdier gate. Let the concrete cure overnight.
- Reattach the gate. Use new hinges and galvanized deck screws. Take your time to make sure your final measurements are correct. Replace the latch with one that suits your needs, and close the gate several times to make sure it swings properly.
And you're done. This technique works for all kinds of wooden gates and fences, no matter the size. Before you get into the project, however, ask a friend to help you keep things steady and level. That's the trick to making a long job into an easier one.
Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.