Wait till you see the picket fence gates and arbor!!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared an update with you on the fence. We had a couple of snow storms, and some very cold weather, so we took a little time off. We have made some great progress lately with the gates and the arbor (pergola). It’s very exciting, and I can honestly say I’ve been doing a little happy dance lately.
Before the snow storms came, Rodney worked hard on cutting and routing a bunch of 1x’s for the post caps.
Over the weekend, I was able to paint the caps, FINALLY! I used my favorite Homeright Finish Max to make the job move quickly.
This is a BEFORE picture when the chain link fence was first taken down last fall. Notice the sidewalk. It’s been this way for years and years. The front part of the sidewalk had dropped, and then there was a patch job done which made a slight “step up”.
How to: Picket Fence Gates
It’s difficult to see the step up from this angle. This was a dry fit of the gates, and it was clearly obvious that the gates would not open inward due to the height of the sidewalk.
Lifting a sidewalk
Now, to deal with the concrete sidewalk that is too tall. Rodney came up with the idea of lifting it out of the way. There was a small crack about 3 feet away from the drop off area. Using a 4x4 as a fulcrum, the sidewalk easily cracked. While we were working on this, I mentioned that we should flip it out of the way, dig out the ground, and flip it back at a lower level, allowing the gates to swing feely. We make a pretty good team!
It was fairly easy to flip out of the way, it was a little more difficult getting it back in place after digging out the dirt.
Designing Picket Fence Gates
We used the jig to install the picket boards on the gates.
There is still a “step up” on the sidewalk, but now it’s about 6 feet from the end of the concrete.
I am having a difficult time finding hardware for the picket fence gates to keep the gates flush without swaying in the wind slightly.
We have a plan for a new pathway, but that will have to wait until the weather warms up.
We used the template/jig for the side picket fence gate as well. To get the right look, we did the right side, readjusting the jig, then the left side.
We did the pickets on the gate the same as we did with the fence pickets. We nailed the pickets in place with my Ryobi AirStrike nail gun, then pre-drilled counter sink holes and used Simpson Strong-Tie screws.
I put plastic bags over the “boxed-in” fence posts because they are hollow. I didn’t want ice, snow, and rain to collect—freezing and thawing over the winter months before we get the post caps on.
Instead of a jigsaw, Rodney notched the boards for the pergola with a miter saw. After notching, Rodney used a handsaw to make the notches straight across. After that, he used a chisel to remove the notches.
After doing all of the notches, we did a dry fit to make sure all the boards were going to fit correctly before doing the decorative cutting with the jigsaw.
Rodney was cutting all the boards while I was painting a project. Don’t they look so pretty? He got the design by using a 1 gallon paint can.
While the paint was drying on my project, we got busy with dueling sanders!
Look at the pretty drop offs. I definitely see the being used for another project down the road.
I got busy painting, painting, and more painting. We were fortunate to have 60 degree weather in January!
The next day we were back at it, installing the pergola. We put the frame together and secured them with Simpson Strong-Tie 4” screws.
We used two ladders to place the frame onto the (cut off) 4x4’s. We made the height about 7 feet 5 inches overall.
Notice the temporary cleats Rodney installed in order to all the frame to rest in place. It really made this (over the head) job much easier to complete.
After securing the frame to the 4x4’s with more 4” screws, we worked on sliding in all of the arbor rafters. Each of them were secured from the top (at the notch) with more 4” screws.
I LOVE it!
We’re getting closer to being finished! Next step—post caps!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.