Patio Fallout: Gate Edition

The new patio is amazing. Simply leveling all of the strange pieces of concrete has given us so much more usable space in the same area as before. But now that we have the concrete poured, we have to get everything back to normal.

A huge part of back to normal is Wyatt. Wyatt is in charge. And he has his own door.

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When we tore up the old concrete, we had to tear down the fence that connected the house to the garage. This limited Wyatt’s opportunity wander free in the back yard. It also meant that we had to come home often to let Wyatt out.

After the new concrete patio was poured the guys sunk 4×4 posts in so I could come back later and put in the fence.

IMG_0106The only problem was with the schedule. They finished on Wednesday (the day after the election), and I left on Friday to go to Chicago. Basically, I had to get the done at some point on Thursday or Carrie was going to have to deal with Wyatt all weekend. So Thursday, between events, I put up the first chunk of the fence.

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While it was a great job for 45 minutes, I didn’t have a chance to finish the corner and the gate was a whole other issue. I really wanted the gate up before I left, but there were plenty of issues. The primary of which was I wanted it to swing inwards while still being flush on the outside. Secondly, I wanted the gate to swing all the way around (almost 180°) instead of just 90°.  That adds several levels of complication, for none of which I had time.

Solution? A door. We had a couple old doors in the garage. Before I left, I leaned a door with a window against the gap and screwed it to the 4×4 so it wouldn’t fall over.

Wyatt looking through the window

Wyatt got a great view of the driveway action while trapped in our back mud. I say mud, because there was no yard. A lesson Carrie learned having to give Wyatt at no fewer than six baths in one day.

Once we got back I was still gateless and having to step over a door every time we needed to leave. One more trip to the hardware store and I was ready to go.

I was working alone so I didn’t get a lot of photos. I created a double hinge solution so I could get the gate flush with the front and open 180° while allowing for the opening radius. I actually used the Pythagorean theorem on this one. Thanks Algebra I.

I finished out the fence corner and I started by building the frame mounting the first hinges and then mounting that frame to the post.

Here’s a photo with pickets to show off the double hinge.

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And fully opened.IMG_5234

The pickets were a bit of a problem.  The concrete was sloped to send water away from the structures and towards the drain. This meant that as the door opens, it looses clearance. And it looses quite a bit of clearance.  I could tell the slope was there, but it is so subtle I didn’t think it would have a huge impact. There was a moment (a very frustrating moment) – with the gate frame already hung – when I thought it wasn’t going to work.

My concern was that I was going to have to leave so much space at the bottom of the gate that Wyatt was going to be able to get out. So I clamped a bunch of boards to the frame and tried to lure Wyatt through. Poor barrel-chested beagle was too big to fit! YAY! I measured and cut each picket independently and mounted them to the frame.

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Testing the gap.

Then it was as simple as adding the latch hardware and I was done.

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IMG_5231After a couple weeks with a window, Wyatt wanted to know what was going on outside and kept trying to squeeze under the gate (unsuccessfully). That’s when I convinced Carrie to let me get a Pet Peek. I put it in the corner of the fence so he can see down the driveway to our road and out to the cross street. It’s gone a long way to keeping him from shoving his head under the gate.  Our neighbor calls it the “dog bubble”.
Dog Bubble

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