Expertly Handcrafted here in the heart of the Devon countryside, our Ruby Driveway Gates. We have many different styles and designs within our collection so do make sure you check them out and get in touch if you require more information. Driveway gates will really enhance the overall design of your property, whilst also creating a security measurement and a protective structure to your home. Within this blog, we will cover the installation process of your driveway gates and some upkeeping tips and pointers you can take to maintain a quality, immaculate structure that looks fantastic.
Installing your Driveway Gates
Before hanging your driveway gates, you will need gate posts to be able to hang the gate from. If replacing a gate, make sure the posts are not rotted or damaged as this could affect the strength and durability of it. Therefore, you may require a new gate post to use. 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. We would recommend using adjustable bands and hooks as hinges as they are strong, durable and 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. 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 in place. To start with, just screw two in and then make sure the hinges are completely level and centralised before continuing.
Measuring the gaps between the gates, posts and floor is an important step and aids efficient movement of the gate by considering any swelling that may occur. Therefore, we would advise to create a gap of 5-10mm, and this can be adjusted through the bands and hooks as well as using packers to create the gap to begin with. In terms of the gap between the gate and floor, this can also be created using packers and spacers. Ideally you want the gate to hang 25mm above the ground to give space for leaf’s and stones to pass through instead of creating a blockage. 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, and using a ruler, find the middle of that square and create a bigger hole going all the way through the gate so that the stainless-steel bar can go 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
To begin with, 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 highly recommend Osmo UV protection oils 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 and damages can then occur in other places. Because of the constant climate and weather changes, the gates can develop cracks also known as ‘shakes'. These do not affect the performance of the gate however. 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 other 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. Hangings and fixings are a great way of turning an old driveway into a freshly new one without even having to replace any gates. Adding to this, whilst checking around the gate and structure of it, it’s important to brush away build-up of leaf’s, stones and other bits of debris that may have accumulated at the bottom overtime. If left sitting there, the contents would add to the gates moisture levels dramatically causing large amounts of rot and algae growth.
These tips should be carried out annually, ensuring your gates are in best possible condition to survive the harsh winter months ahead. 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 hope you have found this useful and that you take some tips on board to help preserve your driveway gates. Don’t forget to check out all the products relating to installing your gate too. If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team on 01409231763 and they will be happy to help.