View Full Version : Entryway gate questions
08-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I rarely post questions here, but here goes.
I've been tasked by my boss to build an entry gate to her house. Kind of like a security gate that's about 5' away from her door. She lives in a neighborhood that has gone down the toilet & her house is paid for, so she won't move.
Anyway, I wanted to make it rather nice for her so I'm going to be using some material from King Architectural. The plan is to make the gate with an arched top to match the arch at the covered entry, place vertical "posts/newels" between the base of the gate & lower arch. There will be a double arch at the top.
How far apart should the "posts" be on center? I'm planning on using a 5/8" post, some will have twisted baskets, others will be solid. I'm guessing the baskets are approximately 4" in diameter as King doesn't list the diameter. I'm thinking using a 5" on center for the posts.
Will I violate any codes with this spacing? Or should I plan on a 4" spacing between posts? The attached drawing is what I drew up in about 5 minutes, it's not to scale, but just a general representation of the overall design.
The framework, including the arch, will be made out of 1.5" square tubing, probably 16 gauge. As this isn't on the inside, it's not a stairway railing, I'm thinking I can use the 5" spacing. If the "baskets" on the posts are only 2.5" in diameter, I would use the 4" spacing. And the "posts" would be on center at this spacing.
What say the experts at building fencing, gates & such???? I'm all ears/eyes. I've borrowed some photos from the Welding Web to give her examples of what can be built. She want's it simple, nothing too lavish.
08-28-2010, 01:25 PM
Not sure in your neck of the woods bu around here maximum opening (space) is 4". Railing height is 42" under 6' and 48" over.....Mike
08-28-2010, 01:30 PM
Is that spacing for fencing or railing for a raised area, such as a balcony? I'm going over to do some measuring in a bit, I'll snap a couple photos of the covered entry to the house.
08-28-2010, 05:01 PM
Shouldn't have issue with codes on the Fence. Does she want to keep pets in, hence spacing might be dictated by that. Also, the desire for equi-spaced pickets and width of opening will influence spacing.
Before you build-- don't forget to consider direction of swing (are there any interference, concrete level...)
Allow for positioning of hinges and latch if you are fitting between posts. What type latch system.
Good luck. nice sketch
08-28-2010, 05:47 PM
I could be wrong but I think It should be the same as stair or deck railings "are there steps leading down from the gate?", any wider it would become a code violation, as spacing is to protect crawling babies from getting heads stuck. IRC states 4" for that case. But than again I cant find a listing to this fact in relation to Security Gates, you might need the IPC for this.
08-28-2010, 05:53 PM
Ok closest I find in IRC is barrier which mimics code for railings 4".
08-28-2010, 06:19 PM
Here is a picture I took of the entryway. There is no raised area, other than a "toe kick" on the walls. Most houses here in Yuma are built on a slab, so not any problems with elevated deck at this location.
I am leaning toward 4" spacing, just depends on how large the basket is from King. They don't have small children at the house other than relatives dropping by. There is an ankle biter, but it's pretty noisy, not to interested in being in the front yard though. 4" or 5" spacing would discourage the dog from trying to escape. It barked the whole time I was measuring. Total height to peak of arch is 83", width is 57.5" wide where the arch begins & 57" where the toe kick starts. A bit of an angle, but I can allow for that.
The latch system she wants to use is a regular entrance knob with a deadbolt above it, hinges are going to be regular bullet hinges. The gate will be hinged on the right side (facing the entryway) with latch on the left. This way the gate will be able to swing up against the wall.
Once I draw something up a bit more to scale, I'll post that.
08-28-2010, 06:21 PM
Oh yeah, the sketch doesn't fit the entry way arch, I did that sight unseen.
08-28-2010, 08:11 PM
If it were mine to do....
I would make an EXACT pattern of the opening, double checking level and width/hight dimensions. Then, make a framework 4"-5" wide on both sides, continue this frame over the arch, the "door" would then be a bit wider than 4', and you'd have a great mount for the hinges and latch mechanism. This would also make it easy to compensate for any irregularities in the opening with tab mounts to the inside.
This would also leave some decorative ironwork visible when the door was in the full open position.
08-28-2010, 10:43 PM
I would use 4 inches on center for the pickets. The measurement is about the space between pickets, and a 4" o.c. spacing ensures that a 4" diameter sphere will not pass through the gate at any point. (Inspectors and there sphere's. :dizzy:) That is the story I heard for this area. Yes, that is my final answer Regis.
(4" sphere not included.)
08-28-2010, 10:50 PM
4" it is, with the exception of a 4.25" diameter wire basket on the picket. Then it will be 5", but no wider. I may have to make two orders, one with one item, then the second with the remainder of the parts.
Although I may just call them too.................
08-29-2010, 09:13 AM
Just throwing this out there for the sake of aesthetics. Dont use strict 4" spacing between pickets, measure it across and distribute the spacing between them evenly. The math may not come out to exactly 4" but slightly less. Even spacing looks a thousand times better then measuring the pickets on enter and having a different gap on each end. If you want the formula for this just let me know, its fairly simple.
08-29-2010, 09:27 AM
I agree. 4" spacing on center is the maximum distance apart the pickets can be. The plan is to build the framework out of 1.5" square tubing, add the arches, then the first picket dead center & space the others left & right according to the frame & center bar to create equal spacing. Trial fit is what I use. And I usually end up with material left over.
08-29-2010, 11:45 AM
If you do it with the center picket first you will not end up with even spacing. 1) Find out your overall inside dimension of the gate, lets pretend its 40".
2) Find out the total amount the pickets will take up (ex. 10 pickets at a 1/2" each would be a total of 5")
3) Subtract your overall pickets from your inside dimension(40" - 5" = 35")
4)Take that measurement (35") and divide it by the number of spaces (10
so since 3.18" is to small of a space, subtract a picket and do the math over again until you are at or under the 4" mark. Its really simple once you do it enough.
08-29-2010, 12:04 PM
I've used that formula before to make stud walls when I did construction. I wanted to use the center picket & divide the two sides this way to get the spacing close to 4" if I could.
Example, opening is 57.25" at the top, 57" at the bottom. .25" can be allowed for in the space for hinge & latch.
Ok, so using 1.5" square tubing, I need to make the outside of the frame 55.5" wide. This allows for a 1" hinge & .25" for the latch plus the taper. Pickets are 5/8" square or .62" I can figure from there how many pickets I need for either left or right of center picket.
The arch is 11" down to the vertical side, however it has a 57" diameter or 28.75 radius. I can roll the square tubing to that radius & just cut off the extra to make a nice fit-up for the arch. I think I can even use a 5'6" piece to allow for the curve & the part that doesn't roll.
I've never done one of these before, so I'm learning how to build it as I go. It's gonna be fun!!!
08-29-2010, 12:21 PM
Ok I got ya. I misunderstood your reply to my first post. Sounds like you know exactly what your doing. It is fun I used to enjoy doing railings, now i just weld on roller coasters. Enjoy and be sure to post pics of the progress.
08-29-2010, 01:16 PM
Just curious what type lock will be used? Will it need to be key locked on both sides( not safe) or will there be some barrier to keep people from reaching inside and unlocking it.
08-29-2010, 02:30 PM
No problems on my end. I've used the math formulas before on longer distances, something this small I'm going to use the trial fit process, as I can get it to "look" nicer. The MK I visual measuring system has been known to be calibrated within an 1/8" at a distance of about 10'. HA!
She wants a regular knob with keyed inside lock and a deadbolt that's keyed on both sides. I agree it's not safe, but........... the customer is always right.
I do understand the safety issue, i.e. fire inside the house, intruder inside the house & this is only path of egress. I'll explain it to her before we install the latch. I'm going to build with the idea she wants a locking knob & deadbolt, then she can decide if she wants to lock it or not. Maybe she will change her mind too. As she is my boss, I'll do what she wants..................... within reason.
08-29-2010, 02:38 PM
Basically all this gate is going to do is slow down an intruder. A prybar will be able to spring the latch/deadbolt, then the gate just swings in.
But, if it can be made a bit more difficult & we attach a motion detector at the light, it might prevent an intrusion. I live about 8 miles from her & had an intruder in the house when I wasn't home. Took me 12 minutes to get home, PD was already here & girlfriend was armed with the 1911 in condition 1.............
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