Saturday, June 7, 2014

Moving the Fence Gate

It's part two of phase one of Project We Want a Deck! That's right, it's gate moving time.

Here's what we were originally dealing with. There are basically four sections. A small piece to the left of the gate, the gate itself, a small piece to the right of the gate, and then a section of fence that runs parallel with the garage. We wanted to re-use as much of the same materials as we possibly could to keep down costs and to make fitting it all together again that much simpler.

Before we started removing anything, the first thing that needed to be done was digging new holes for the posts. I measured the distance from the wall to the center of the first post in its current location and came up with 15". I measured that distance over from the wall in the new location and started digging with my handy post hole digger that I borrowed from my mom about a year ago (sorry Mom, you can have it back after this project, I promise).

I dug my hole 24" deep because that seemed like a reasonable thing to do and I had that number in my head as being "correct" for some reason.

After digging the first hole, I measured again from the wall to the second post on the other side of the gate and came up with 76". That's where I ran into a slight issue.

76" was right on top of the foundation for the garage. Sad trombone noise. I put on my problem solving hat and decided the easiest thing to do would be to shift everything over 6". I fortunately had enough wiggle room to make it work, but that UNfortunately meant that I had dug my first hole in the wrong place. It didn't take long to widen it, however, and then dig the second hole at 70" from the wall.

After that, it was time to start dismantling the fence. David dug out around the first post, and, as expected, it was held in place by some concrete.

After a few minutes of wiggling the post, hitting the concrete with the spud bar, digging some more, wiggling some more, etc, David was able to lift the whole shebang right out of the ground.

Look at those muscles.

Then we were left with this bad boy. We plopped in right in the new hole and made sure the depth was good, which it was. Way to go, me.

Because we were shifting everything over by 6", we measured, marked and cut that amount off of each board, as well as trimming back the wire fencing with tin snips.

We got everything nice and level and straight, then filled the hole in about half way with packed dirt to hold it in place. We then repeated the same process with the other side of the gate (after detaching the gate from the hinges).

Once we got to this stage, we roughly rehung the gate to make sure everything fit properly before we set the posts in concrete, which it did not. After a few sessions of measuring, and trimming, and digging, and remeasuring, we finally got everything to fit together properly.

We removed the gate again and gave everything one last measure and then followed the instructions on the concrete bag for setting posts. It basically involved dumping the mix down in the hole and then wetting it. Pretty simple stuff.

While that was curing, David removed the last section of fence that ran parallel with the garage.

It's amazing how much more open the backyard feels.

After the allotted curing time, we re-hung the gate.

I am already in love with this change and wish we had done it a long time ago. The best part is that so far on this project, we have spent exactly $2.50, which was for the bag of concrete.

In part three of phase one of Project We Want a Deck, we will be pouring our concrete paver walkway.

We have already started planning out the spacing and will optimistically be pouring the concrete tomorrow. Wish us luck because we have no idea what we are doing and something tells me this is one of those projects that just might go horribly awry!