Building a 14' single swing steel driveway gate


Old 12-01-16, 12:16 PM
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Building a 14' single swing steel driveway gate


I am new to this forum and I am going to be building a 14' single swing driveway gate that completes the fortification of my compound (property).

I have purchased a set of hinges rated for 900#'s. I will be bolting teh hinges to the gate post and gate frame with ample bracing. I plan on building the gate out of 1.5" x 1/8" thick (possibly 3/16) square tube. Additionally I will be welding 3/4" angle iron to the frame to slide 5/8" wood slats into the gate for privacy. I don't plan on using a support wheel but will be using an electric opener. The gate will be protected from the majority of the wind by my house.

Planned Gate dimensions: 14' x 5' Single swing with a single 5' support in the middle of the 14' span and two approx. 8.6' angle supports from left to right at an angle. All in 1.5" square tube, a total of 61' of tube.

Planned Post dimensions: 6"x6"x10' 1/4" square steel post.

Soil type: Silty Clay loam

I will be sinking the 6x6 gate post approximately 4' into the ground and I plan on using concrete and rebar to solidify the foundation. The foundation will be approximately 24"w x 18"d at the surface and a little wider at the bottom (the best "bell" I can manage).

Should I be concerned about the post sagging due to the gate weight? Tensile strength for that size post is stupid high.

Also I was thinking of filling the post to surface level with gravel instead of concrete. Good idea or no?

Based on the metal weight from my gate will weight approximately 150# @ 1/8" or 185.5# @ 3/16". I figure with the wood slats are installed total weight will be about 250#.

Is 1.5"x1/8" think square tube strong enough for a gate this wide? Should I use the 3/16? Should I go with rectangular tube?

I know some of you will be saying "install two swing gates" or "install a sliding gate." A sliding gate isn't an option because the gate post is near the edge of my property and it would be sliding into my neighbors property when opened. And having it open in the other direction will mean the gate opens in front of my house blocking the path to my front porch. Not to mention that would look awful IMO!

Also two swing gates are not an option because I do not want to drill into my asphalt driveway to mount the second post. Nor do I want to attach anything to the side of my house.

A suspension wheel is an option but I'd prefer a hanging gate if possible.

Any advice would be great! Thanks,Name:  Gate.jpg
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Old 12-04-16, 03:03 PM
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I appreciate the timely replies. I'm trying to build to build this gate sooner than later.

Old 12-04-16, 04:51 PM
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While your gate will weigh in at 250#, the amount of force it will exert on the post is going to be through the roof with 14' hanging out there. I would recomend concrete for sure and also using through bolts and nuts for your hinges. I know you have some heavy duty hinges already, but look at cattle gate hinges.
Old 12-04-16, 09:53 PM
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I'm using barrel hinges that I will be welding to 3/16" plates and bolting the 3/16" plates to the gate post. I plan on using grade 8 bolts and running them all the way through to the back side of the post, secured with a nut. I will also bolt the hinge to the gate in the same manner.

I appreciate the advice on the concrete on the inside and out of the post.

I figure the 6x6 post will not sag due to the footprint I plan on setting it on. I am not opposed to a wheel for extra support. The driveway has a slight slop to it and so the wheel would only be providing support when the gate is fully closed or open, not in between.

Is the 1.5" square tube @ 1/8" thick enough for a gate 14' wide?
Old 12-10-16, 02:31 PM
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14 Ft. single Swing gate.... Square frame

I will start off by saying that I do not have a lot of experience with the use of square tubing for gates verses round tubing.. But I believe that the square would be stronger then the round because the corners of the square would be its strong point to resist the bending from sheer weight involved.
The 250 lbs spoke of is a weight of the gate... But the weight of the gate on the hinge side verses the cantilever of weight on the latch side would be much different..
The slats used on the gate: I would suggest a Cedar wood... lighter in weight and longer lasting than most others out there. As well as a nice appearance to the street and home side views.
As for the concrete base of the post.. Yes, digging down 4 feet is great. I am glad you decided to do that. So many people shorten the depth thinking it doesn't matter. The depth of that post definitely matters.... Especially with the 14 foot swing you are applying.
But for me... the depth of concrete.. If you are digging the post down 4 feet with a 24 inch diameter, It would be my opinion to fill that void with concrete. Okay,... backfilling it with a few inches to tamp the post in place and level, but most certainly you should be filling 80% of that hole with cement.
Filling the post with soil and rock, verses cement..
I would suggest to fill that post with Cement.. But that is just my opinion. I see no point in using rock unless it is a solid mass of rock. Treating that post as if it is a column supporting a house...Again, keeping the cantilever weight of the gate in mind.

You mentioned that you did not want to sink a second post for a double swing gate.. If not for the second post, what are you latching your gate to in its closed position?

A wheel... I think they look ugly. But , if you are using wood slats on the face of the gate you could easily hide the use of a wheel behind the wood... Yes, you will see it from the inside, but its not likely you would be seeing it after your initial blast from the new fence wears off. After a while it would all blend in as being a gate.
As for the wheel... Definitely buy one with a shock/spring... this way its contact with the driveway adjusts as the slope of the driveway it rolls over.

One added pitch about the post... I would install the post slightly off level to assume it would definitely bend over ever so slightly with the weight of the gate. How far off level is always a guess... But I would lay that bubble in the level on the one line , leveling the post away from the inside swing of the gate.

Does your driveway slope up into the yard? Take that slope into account when installing your gate. If the pitch increases 5 inches at its open position, then in its closed position you would need a minimum of that 5 inches plus a normal clearance of 2 - 4 inches.

Also... I have not noticed where you live, please keep in mind clearance for snow fall levels... Unless you are one of the luckier ones not needing to shovel snow... In Florida they don't have much snow to speak of...But here in NJ there is more talk about it every other day...

Anyway.. I hope my ideas have helped in some way.

Good luck... and I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season~

Greg's Fence NJ ~
Old 12-12-16, 05:50 PM
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I appreciate the advice given related to the cement inside the post.

I will use a hammer drill to put a small hole in the driveway next to the house so I can install a small pipe as a stopper. I am thinking of engineering something that I can remove if I ever want the open the gate in the other direction.

I agree that a wheel would look terrible and only plan to cross that bridge in the event of too much gate sag.

My driveway also slopes away from the house towards the post location. So when the gate is closed there will be a slight height difference between the post side and the other side. I figure that the height difference is so negligible that it wont look bad.

I'm in the Willamette Valley in Oregon so snow clearance is not really a concern.
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