Our Ruby Driveway Gates are expertly handcrafted here at our workshops in the heart of the Devon countryside. Our gate collection includes many different styles and designs so we should have something for everyone! Traditional or contemporary, hardwood or softwood, the choice is yours. If you can't find what you are looking for then please do get in touch - if you have a bespoke requirement, we will always try to help. Driveway gates can greatly enhance the aesthetics of your property outside space and they are also important for providing security and safety. Within this blog, we will cover the installation process of your driveway gates, plus some maintenance tips and pointers to ensure your gates are kept in optimal condition and will last for many years to come.
Before hanging your driveway gates, you will need gate posts to be able to hang the gate leaves from. If your posts are timber, then do check them for rot or damage prior to replacing your gate. Another consideration is to ensure they can take the weight of the gate. Our gates are well made and solid so it's important you allow for a difference in weight to your old gates if you are not replacing the posts. New posts which are of the correct size and structurally sound can certainly be a wise investment. When installing the posts, make sure the post is a 1/3 into the ground making sure it is secured effectively: Using a spade or a post hole borer, create a hole that is three times wider than the post and place the gate post in it. Using props and spacers, secure the post in place and use postcrete before letting it dry for 48 hours.
Now you want to screw the hinges onto the back of the driveway gates to ensure the gate swings inwards and not outwards. The back of the gate will be the side where the bracing is visible and will face your property. The front of the gates will face the road. Our recommendation for hinging your gates is to use adjustable bands and hooks as they are strong, durable and as long as you choose the correct size, able to withstand the weight of the gates. Now you want to check which way the diagonal bracing is running through the gate. Looking at the back of the gate, if the diagonal bracing starts in the top left-hand corner and finishes in the bottom right-hand corner, the gates will need to be hung from the right, and vice versa for Left Hung. The bands and hook hinges will need to be fitted onto the bottom and top horizontal bracing. This can then be done by marking the screw holes on the gates and predrilling them before screwing the hinges into place. TIP: To start with, just screw two in and then make sure the hinges are completely level and centralised before continuing.
Another important step is allowing for the gaps between the gates, posts and ground. When you measured the gap to get the size of the gates you required, you should have allowed 5-10mm on the width for gaps between hinges and gates and the latch or throw-over loop fixing. This is important as allowing for these gaps, aids efficient movement of the gate by taking into account any swelling that may occur. This allowance of 5-10mm for gaps can be created by using packers to begin with and adjusted through the bands and hooks In terms of the gap between the gate and ground, this can also be created using packers and spacers. Ideally you want the gate to hang 25mm above the ground to allow room for leaves and stones to pass underneath. You don't want debris to get stuck under your gate causing build-up and blockages. Once the packers and gate are in place, mark the screw holes of the hinges on the gate post and then take away the gate slightly so that you can predrill the holes. Now you want to fix the hinges and gate onto the gate posts.
The final part of the installation process is fixing the latch in place to keep the gates closed when required. For all our driveway gates, we would recommend a ring latch as it is easy to use, effective and looks great. To start with, and facing the back of the gate, you want to place the ring latch on the middle horizontal brace and to the opposite side of the hinges. Make sure the rectangular bar of the ring latch is overhanging by 50mm. Making sure the latch is level, mark and predrill the holes in which the screws will fix too. You will now have four holes making a square. Using a ruler, find the middle of that square and create a bigger hole going all the way through the gate. This is to allow for the stainless-steel bar to be threaded through and connect the two ring latches together. Make sure the hole is big enough for the bar so that it can turn easily. You can now screw the ring latch in place onto the back of the gate. The holding catch will now need to be screwed either to the gate post or other gate depending on if you have two gates shutting together or not. Move the holding catch along the rectangular bar until you are on the other gate or post and it’s in place. Then fix the holding catch using screws. Lastly, you need to go to the front of the gate and secure the other ring onto the bar to create your ring latch. This can then be predrilled and screwed also.
Maintaining Your Driveway Gates
It’s important to keep your driveway gate clean and clear of any bushes and plants. If required, give it a wash with warm soapy water making sure you don’t soak it completely and affect the moisture levels within the wood. Adding to that, although our materials used for driveway gates are pressure treated, we would always recommend using Osmo UV protection oils or a similar product to add protection against the sun and water. The oil-based preservative has pigments within it which optimally match the woods colours ensuring your gates keep their grain and colours for years to come. Giving your gates two coats of Osmo stain every 12 weeks is advised.
Check all parts of your gate such as the bracing to make sure it hasn’t been damaged or affected in any way. If your gate has been damaged, please try to rectify it immediately otherwise it can weaken the structure. Damage can then occur in other places. Because of the constant climate and weather changes, the gates can develop cracks also known as ‘shakes'. However, these do not affect the performance of the gate. Adding to this, sap and resin can surface to the top of the boards making it difficult to apply preservative oils and stains. To remove the sap and resin content, a stain blocking primer and knotting agent can be used and will help to minimise it occurring again.
If your driveway gate has been installed for many years, it’s important to check the hangings and fixings to ensure they have not corroded or weakened over time and are still in good working order. Make sure to check all the small fixings such as screws which are keeping the hinges and gate in place. If any of the fixings have corroded slightly or damaged, we would definitely recommend replacing these as soon as possible to help with the strength of the structure and also to increase the overall design of the gate. Updating hangings and fixings are a great way of giving an old gate a new lease of life and a simple way of making it look like new! Finally, whilst checking the gate and structure of it, it’s important to brush away any build-up of leaves, stones and other bits of debris that may have accumulated at the bottom over time. If left sitting there, the contents would add to the gate moisture levels dramatically, causing large amounts of rot and algae growth.
Maintenance should be carried out annually to ensure your gates are in the best possible condition. A great time of year to do this is in the Autumn so that you've prepped your gates to survive the harsh winter months ahead with minimal damage. Taking care of them and spending a short amount of time on them will really help to keep them in great condition and survive any weathers. We know that timber can take a little bit of maintenance to keep it in optimal condition but given the natural beauty of wood, we certainly feel it's worth it. We hope you have found this useful and don’t forget to check out all the products on our website that relate to installing your gate too. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01409 231763 and they will be happy to help.