Monday, November 27, 2017

Our New Homemade Wooden Entry Gate

My youngest, Rose, posing in front of our new entry gate. Silly girl.

We live in a building complex with 8 other apartments in one building. There are 4 townhouse like apartments, and then 4 more apartments on top of them. If you can imagine, there isn't much privacy there. Though all we bottom floor dwellers have yards, front and back, these yards are just separated by a thin metal fence. Everyone can easily look into each others' yards and lives, and while I enjoy the feeling of community, there's something nice about having privacy as well. What especially bothered my husband was having no front gate, because our small front yard, to him, felt like it was more public property and part of the "outside world" than part of our own house. Many of the people in our neighborhood got professionals to build them gates from aluminum or other metals.

Mike decided to build this wooden fence to close our entrance. It was entirely built from scratch.... no, not using pallet wood, but using wood he bought from the hardware store. He spent 60 dollars on this wood and had more left over to use for other projects. The other hardware was a dollar or two, and hence negligible.

Now that he built the fence, I see what a difference it makes to my life. It means that if my front door is open, everyone walking past my house doesn't get a good view of everything going on inside my house (since the entrance all the way to my living room/dining room is a straight line) as long as the gate is closed. I actually feel more comfortable in my own house. And my yard- well, it stops wild dogs from just prancing in like they've done in the past. Unfortunately cats don't take the clue and still climb into my yard, oh well...

Since I'm by far not an expert on building, and can't detail to you how my husband built this, I took pictures from many angles to show exactly what it looks like so that you can build something similar if you want. 

He did it entirely on his own, without any help from anyone, for any part of it. It took him a few hours.

This is what it looks like when you arrive and its closed. The hinges are on this side and it opens outward. 

My husband put a padlock on it with a combination, so that we can lock it when we go away, but so far we haven't used that part.

Here's the view from the other side, where it shows how the wooden beams are connected.

At the top of the door my husband added a metal latch to keep it locked from the inside. We're tall enough that we can open and lock it from the other side, but many people who aren't as tall wouldn't be able to do so.

Mike added another one onto the bottom to hold one of the doors in place when necessary. He drilled into the sidewalk a little bit to make a hole for that.

I wanted to show these cute resourceful handles Mike made on the inside of the door. He used short scraps of wood....

He used a wooden dowel that he had lying around (it was a broken dowel that he replaced for someone else, so had the broken parts left, and cut them to size) and cut grooves into the side of the wooden blocks to hold the dowel. View from above so you can see what he did.

That's all for now.

Welcome to our home!

I love that Mike is able to take an idea he has, and in less than a day, make it become a reality, without expending a lot of time or energy.
I quite like this gate.

Now all it needs is a name for the front gate.

If you have a front yard, do you have a fence around it or is it open to the public? If you have a fence, do you have a gate? Do you find putting a gate at your front door changes how people perceive you? (I'm worried people will see it and think we're standoffish and don't want visitors.) Does your gate make you feel more comfortable in your own yard?


  1. We're in the country, and the tradition is no fence, no gate. There've never been problems, just deer, wild turkeys and the odd bear wandering through all the yards. (Wild dogs? Oh my.) Here, people would think you were unfriendly if you put up a fence, but it's just separated houses, not apartments. Your situation is different and I think the gate is brilliant.

  2. looks really nice! love wood furniture and the privacy is great. enjoy! rochel.

  3. I live in the country but have a fenced yard to keep the dog safe from the road.

  4. love the inside handles! I wouldn't use the pad lock when you are away. Thats just making it obvious to intruders that no one is home.

  5. Wow! I'm impressed!
    You probably know this already, but figured its worth mentioning just in case- to protect it from the elements, it would be a good idea to stain the wood. They have special wood 'paints' that you can just rub on with a cheap sponge (I've done it myself) and its worthwhile spending a money on it (if you don't already have some), to protect the wood. (It also makes it look really nice too!)


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