Building a quality gate has proven to be a challenge to learn. The most common call I get is for leaning or sagging gates, many of which are not that old. The force working against gates is the same force that drives geology; pressure and time. No mater how well built the gate, it will eventually start to sag and yield to the laws of nature.
The key to building a gate to last more than a few years is to design it as small as reasonable, construct it as light as possible and secure it a strong and solid structure. When building gates, we use lightweight cedar for the framework and pickets, cedar is significantly lighter than pressure treated pine and is naturally rot resistant. We then secure our gate hinges with 4 inch lag bolts into either a 4x6 or 6x6 post set with 160-200 pounds of concrete per post.
Gates require crossmember support to prevent sagging and dragging, gates are often built with this support member nailed to the outside of the framework. While this is better than not having any support, it is better to fit the support member as tightly as possible into the framework to help prevent sagging.
Building a gate to last as long as the surrounding fence takes time and patience and does not happen by chance. While there is additional cost in building a strong and light gate, we believe its a worthwhile investment. If you are having gate problems or would like a free estimate on replacing a problematic gate, feel free to give us a call!