Saturday, April 30, 2011

Home Improvement....cont:

Much of what has been happening in our world hardly merits blogging about.  We've been busy with mundane things like hanging pictures and art works in the house, completing our income tax, running errands and working a bit on some yard work.  

Our latest project involves some more serious grunt work though.  That's today's story.  Be warned!'s not very exciting.

The width of these gates - when open = 8' 9"
To back the 5th wheel here requires precision driving, patience and a really good guide.  With only 4" of space on each side of the 5th wheel, when backing in, it's  a really tight fit.....and, for some, it could be a hair raising fit.  This is just too tight.  I have now backed into this space on two occasions.  Conclusion?  These gates and posts have to go

Some of the required tools for the job.
The width between the house and the neighbour's fence is 14'.  The width between the eave troughs and the neighbour's fence is 11' 7".  There is plenty of room for the fiver with the wooden gates and 6"X6" posts removed.  That's the objective.

Needed a couple bags of this stuff.
Before removing the existing wood gates/posts, I custom ordered a powder coated metal gate system from a local manufacturer.  The company provided me with one 9' black powder coated post. It needs to be dug into the ground (at a 3' depth) and filled with cement.  Once cured, this post - in concrete -  will hold the longest 10' gate.

So,  I put shovel to dirt and dug deep.
No need for a work out gym?  Just dig holes in really tough ground.  That will break a sweat and toughen arm and leg muscles.
Really tough stuff to dig out....! Perseverance pays off though.
With a fair bit of physical effort, the hole was dug and the post placed and leveled.
At 9' high, once set in cement, the post will rest at the required 6', 1 1/2"above surface height - or grade.
Finding level and bracing the post.
With the post cement mixed, it was quickly dumped in the hole and level checked once again.
That was straight forward work.  The key is making sure that, once cured in concrete, the post is level.   Good so far.
Slightly over two feet of cement poured into this hole.  It will easily hold the mounted 6' X 10' metal gate.
If the level doesn't lie, this post is level and rests 6' 1.5" above grade.  That's what is required here.
After the cement pour was completed, I quickly cleaned out the wheel barrow, shovel and other tools that made contact with cement mix.
Checked on the job, a few hours later, and the cement had morphed into concrete. The post is level and the height is perfect.  Job #1 completed.

The critical reader will have noticed that the new metal post is set a few feet forward from the existing wooden posts and gates.  I did plan to extend the RV parking area.  The current length is 44'.  After the new metal gates are installed, the new length will be 47'.

Current length for RV parking - 44'
2nd metal post to be mounted here.
Custom made post with level magnetically attached.
The next job was to mount the custom made, powder coated gate post to the house.  The bottom part needs to be bolted into the concrete foundation.  The top part is bolted directly through the siding.  I marked the spots for drilling, took a 5/8" concrete drill bit and began drilling away.  It quickly became clear that I would need a serious hammer drill to drill these two holes.  Mine is too small for this task.  That's when the day ended.  It was too late to get to a rental shop.  It was past 5:00 pm.  I have a lot of tools but a serious hammer drill is one I do not have.

This is also where this story ends....till the next time.  Today - Saturday - I offered to help a good friend build his back yard dog kennel.  My home RV gate project will have to wait for another day to complete. Once the second custom post is attached to the house - and new measurements are taken - the manufacturer will custom make one 6' X 10' gate and one 6' X 3.6' gate - powder coated in black.  With the hardware to mount the gates to posts, the overall width will equal 14'.  Once our new RV compound  metal gate is completed, I will remove the existing wooden gates and the two 6" X 6" wooden posts.
Of course, thinking ahead, the metal gate - unlike this wooden structure - will be maintenance free.  Hurray for that!

Thanks for dropping by.....but I did warn you that this blog would be sort of mundane.

Wishing you a really nice weekend.

1 comment:

  1. It wasn't mundane to me Rene, I really enjoyed reading, and seeing the pics, on how you figured all this out. That was quite a hole you dug for the fence post, I know exactly how hard that is as I've dug a few myself.

    Looks like you'll have a much better setup when you're all finished and it will give you a bit more room to back that big 5'er in. It will still take some careful driving from the looks of it though.

    Good luck with the rest of the project.