A couple of months ago, I said to Mark that I’d always wanted to have an automatic gate – so nice to just click a remote control… No fiddling around in the rain, and no obvious sign on whether you’re about or not – no chain and padlock, or gates left open. OK, it’s lazy, and I wasn’t really being serious – just a reaction to getting soaked while opening it again.
To my surprise, Mark thought it was a good idea, but countered that he would like a new gate – our 20+ year old existing farm gate had seen better days, although it’s perfectly functional.
So after research on solar powered automation systems – they’re surprisingly low cost – and looking at different gate options, Mark decided to build a double leaf wooden gate to add to our existing treated pine “wings” around the existing entrance.
The most expensive part was the two square posts (300mm x 300mm) – at over $300 each – to hang the gate from. High quality hinges and kiln dried treated pine completed the purchase, and for just over $1000, and a bit of sweat, we had new gates, ready to be installed.
The guys who came to concrete the shed used their Dingo to dig the holes for the new posts while they were waiting for the concrete truck. Not sure how we would have dug them otherwise – even they struggled a bit, because of the soil type.
The new gates stood out from the 20+ year old wings, with the hardwood posts a different colour again – more pronounced difference than the photo shows. So we used a grey tinted external protective oil to paint the gate, posts and wing extension. Only the posts really needed the treatment, but it made the wood colours blend a little more, and we preferred the aged, more rustic look than a painted finish would have given us.
And what started it? My automation system?
Well, the builder prefers that we don’t install it until after they finish. So now it takes more than twice as long to open the gates, since there’s two of them, and they’re harder to peg back because they’re higher off the ground (to allow for the gravel we’ll use to surface the road when the build is finished). So in the mean time, I’ll just get even wetter opening them in the rain….
Oh well, at least they look good.