Saturday, September 12, 2015

DIY - a finished side gate

As with every DIY project, it took us longer than we anticipated, but we've finally finished our side gate. This means we have a fully contained patio, otherwise known as a Little Monkey Catchment Zone.

We still need to clean it up, but that's a relatively easy task that can largely be done with a Little Monkey in attendance, because he is now TRAPPED.

Before and after - at least now you can't see the weeds... 

And finished is a relative term... Well, it is here, anyway. ;-) Sharp eyes will notice that we haven't yet trimmed the gate posts down. We're still debating whether to take them flush with the palings (most likely) or to put caps on them to show the gateway. We will eventually fence off the front boundary of the property with the same style of fencing, and will need to make the entrance obvious when we do that round - so just mulling over our options.
Woohoo, a post!

The build was fairly straightforward, though divided over many naptimes over the past couple of weekends.

First we put two posts into the ground. The boundary fence had a conveniently-placed post we could attach the little bit of fence on that side too, and the fence on the house side is so small that we have just used extra supports on the gate side and left it hanging free on the house side (we could have attached it to the house with brackets but prefer not to drill into the weatherboards).

The gate itself followed the tutorial we found when planning, though our timber was a bit gruntier that what was shown - mainly because we didn't know what to buy and the staff at Placemakers weren't very helpful. Because we're already a bit self-conscious about our skill level (and therefore worried the things we make might break), when we're unsure we tend to go for the most heavy-duty materials, so our gate is probably stronger than is necessary.

We went with costly but durable kid-safe hinges and latch - the hinges are self-closing and hopefully it'll be a few years before the gate stops being childproof (unless our Little Monkey learns from those kids who broke out of their daycare the other week).

We could have done it cheaper but we're pretty pleased with the result and are confident we can do the rest of the fencing in the same style, but faster and cheaper - so a worthwhile project.

Have you been working on any landscaping projects this weekend?

Side gate
Budget: $100 (ha!)
Timeframe: 8-10 hours work (spread across three weekends)
Who did the work: Us
Actual cost: $456 (including a couple of clamps and a new level)
Learnings: The timber for the gate should ideally be the same thickness as the posts; measuring and pre-drilling the palings made attaching them much faster; Bunnings beats Placemakers for helpful service and it's cheaper!

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