Hot Topics: Gate Hanging Dilemma

The ornamental tops of double metal gates across a driveway.

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When you take the time to do a project right, sometimes the hardest step is doing nothing while you wait for something to dry. Concrete is a good example, because as hard as it appears on the outside, it could still be setting up on the inside. So if you pour good, strong footings for your gate posts, but you hang the gates too soon, you just ruined everything. What do you do? Ask the Forum.

Original Post: How long after pouring my concrete till I can hang my driveway gates?

R. Sutter Member

Hello, I'm looking for some knowledgeable advice on concrete curing times and hanging driveway gates.

The Project: Installing a 16-foot Dual Swing Iron Driveway Gate

The gate posts I've received are approximately 4 inches square and will project about 5 1/2 feet above ground when completed. Each post will eventually hold an 8-foot section of the gate.

I've dug the holes for the gate posts already (I made these approximately 13x18 inches x 3 ½-feet deep, and have poured 7-inch concrete caps in the bottom of each).

I've set one of the gate posts up already, and have poured concrete around it (up to about 4 inches below ground level). I'm currently waiting for the concrete to cure. (As of 5/12 it will have been 7 days since pouring.) My understanding is the concrete should have gained 2/3 of its strength by now, but I don't consider my sources to be the most reliable.

My question is: how long should I wait for the concrete to cure before hanging the first half of the gate?


Highlights from the Thread

Pulpo Member

Will the gates roll on the driveway? Full cure can be 28 days.

R. Sutter Member

The gates won't be rolling on the driveway (no tires). The gate posts support their full weight.

Gunguy45 Super Moderator

Assuming steel posts as well? I hope they aren't wood... Does the gate company offer any sort of wheel option? If the gates have any weight to them at all, they are probably going to sag over time. Might be worth getting the wheels now in case of issues.

As to your concrete question, I can't imagine you will gain anything by waiting much longer. You could always go ahead and install the gates, and after completion, leave them open with the unsupported end blocked up.

R. Sutter Member

Well, the posts are the same iron as the gate...I don't see a wheel option in the company's catalog. =[

If it's of any use in visualizing what I have, it's the 16 footer at the following url:

The gates are certainly heavy, I've lifted them by myself in the process of moving them around and such but hanging them is really a 2 or 3 person job.

Gunguy45 Super Moderator

Well, looks like the posts are certainly strong enough. I'm sure you could find or adapt some wheels if needed. I'd say go for it and block the unsupported end if you feel like it.

R. Sutter Member

When you say there could be sag-related issues, is that an inherent feature with this type of gate in your experience, or is it because I made the concrete feet too small? Just curious. Glad to know that wheels can be added later if problems do arise.

Thanks a lot for your input, please continue to advise!

If anybody else has knowledge from having done this type of project before, please feel free to chime in!

Gunguy45 Super Moderator

It's just very rare (in my experience) that the gates don't eventually sag somewhat. Not right away - and maybe not in 5yrs - but eventually. I mean, if there is a 4x4x4-foot monolithic block of concrete with the post in it... maybe not.

Here's a sort of example. I decided to convert a 2 ½-inch metal gate post into a flag pole (since it was anchored into the footing for the block fence)... slid 2 lengths of IMC conduit into it (for a total height of about 12-15 feet above ground level) and made a bushing so it wouldn't rattle around, cross through bolted so no lifting.

3x5 flag at the top. Worked great for 2 years or so, no issues, then after an especially strong wind storm, it leans over at about a 10 degree angle. Who'd a thunk it? Heavy wall conduit fully supported and sunk into concrete 2 ½-feet in the ground?

R. Sutter Member

So far, so good! =]

On your advice, I hung the gate yesterday - no apparent problems with the concrete - and the post appears to be staying pretty much plumb.

Read more about adding wheels or permanent supports to the gates: //