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Adding an aluminum driveway gate to your fence project is the icing on the cake. In addition to the beauty it brings to your property, a driveway gate adds an extra layer of security. With a bit of planning, you can install your driveway gate with minimum fuss and maximum benefit.

Planning the Installation

Think about the placement of your gate and the layout of your driveway and the street. Try to place your gate in a manner that leaves you a place to wait in your vehicle and out of the traffic flow while you open the gate (or the gate opens itself if you plan to automate it).

You may also desire some space inside the gate where one or two vehicles might be parked. Think about the placement of the gate when it’s fully open. Depending on the layout, there could be objects or obstructions in its path. Obstructions might occur due to an uneven surface or the slope of the driveway, or your car could be the object in its path. The last thing you want is to install a beautiful new gate that you can’t open properly.

Think about the way you plan to have your gate open. The gate can open outward toward the street or inward onto your property. If your driveway slopes upward, an inward-opening gate might not open fully or at all. Meanwhile, an outward-opening gate could conceivably open into traffic on the street. You should also think about situations that might arise, such as piles of snow that can accumulate after a snowstorm. Those piles might keep your gate from opening for several days or even longer.

Installing the Gate

Plan carefully and work methodically when you install your aluminum driveway gate. Remember that the gate should be the first thing you install, even before you install the fence. Take care to center your gate over the driveway. Set the posts first. Measure the distance between the posts, and then do it again. To paraphrase the old carpenters’ expression, “measure twice, dig once.”

Put down two stakes across the driveway and run a line that traces where the gate’s bottom will be when you hang it. Check that it is level, and be sure you have flat ground in the area where the gate will hang. Small obstructions or slopes can cause big problems when the gate swings open.

Make the post holes and fill them with concrete to about 2 inches under the surface. Wait for the concrete to harden before hanging the gate. Make your post holes 6 inches in diameter or larger for 2” x 2” and 2.5” x 2.5” posts, and at least 8 inches for larger posts.

Use a level and plumb line so you’re sure the posts are square to the surface; this will help you ensure that the gates will hang properly. Measure the distance between the posts one more time when you’re filling in the concrete.

If you have pillars, think about using posts instead of attaching the gate to the pillars. Set the posts right behind the pillars, and make sure once again that it will open the way you desire when you place them.