The sight of a vinyl fence gate is becoming common. For those who are adventurous enough to build their own gate, here are 6 steps to get the job done. Before you begin, consult with your county to determine your property lines and the location of any underground utilities. You may also need to obtain a building permit.
Step 1: Plot the Yard
Measure your yard and plot where you want your fence. Be sure to mark where you want all your posts. Place stakes where you want the corner and gate post to be set.
Connect the posts with string. Place stakes where you want the supporting posts, and be sure they're touching the string. This ensures that the posts will be properly aligned.
Step 2: Dig Postholes
Once each stake is in place, begin to dig the postholes at each stake. Each hole should be ten inches in diameter. Be sure that the width is the same at both the top and bottom of the hole. The depth of each hole is dependent on the type of post and your location. If it freezes in your area, the post must be below the frost line.
A main post, one at the corner or used as a gate support, needs to be about six inches further in the ground than the posts used as basic support. Take this into account when you buy posts, because you want them to align with each other when the fence is complete. An extra six inches is also needed for the gravel used to stabilize the cement.
Step 3: Set Posts
Place the end and corner posts first. Fill the holes with six inches of gravel and then with concrete, following the manufacture’s instructions. Tap the posts into the concrete so that it fills the hollow center. Using a level, plumb and level each post. Slope the concrete overflow so that water will not be able to pool. Let the concrete dry.
Step 4: Attach Panels
Attach the brackets and panels according to the manufacture’s instructions. Slide the panels into the brackets and screw the panels onto the posts.
Step 5: Install Gate
The final step is to install the gate. Be sure the gateposts are 11/4 inches wider than the gate to allow for hardware. Insert 2 by 4s into the hollow vinyl. These will provide extra support. Be sure to level the top of the 2 by 4 with the vinyl. Pre-drill the holes for the hinges and latch. Be sure that the bottom of the gate will be aligned with the bottom of the fence. Mount the hinge to the gate, then mount the gate to the post. Finally, attach the latch.
Step 6: Attach Accessories
If you plan on attaching accessories, now is the time to do it. Apply vinyl adhesive to the top of the posts and firmly hold the attachments to the posts for at least ten seconds. Be sure to wipe away any excess adhesive.