FREE Consumer Guide to Gates
So you are ready to buy a backyard fence! How do you lay it out? How many gates do you need? Easy, it’s all right here for you.
Backyard Fence Layout
Most homeowners (70%-80% of our customers) are installing a backyard fence for children or pets. The key point to remember is that you want a clear line of sight from the common area that you will be watching them. That could be a deck or patio, or from a screen porch or kitchen window. The point is being able to see them easily.
HOA (homeowners associations) common fence restrictions
HOA restrictions are ideally designed to maintain property values in the subdivision. That being said there are all kinds of restrictions and they will vary, so to be safe always check in with your HOA for approval before construction.
The most common restrictions we encounter is fence materials, fence height, and fence locations. For locations it is commonly required for fencing not to go past the back corners of the house.
Backyard Gates – how many & where
This is pretty easy to figure considering your yard and what you will do in it. We recommend 2 gates and an access panel. First a frequent usage point of entry gate (about 3′ wide) located on the driveway side of your house.
Then a landscape gate (5′ wide gate) on the opposite side of the house. This is for larger items like wheelbarrows, riding lawnmowers. On the opposite side of the house now you have access on both sides.
Last you will need a way to access the backyard for large vehicles. OK let’s say you don’t need in the backyard for anything. But what if in 5 years you need to take down a large tree, put in a pool…
Access Panel vs Double Gates
Any time you need to get a vehicle or a large piece of equipment in the backyard you will need to cross the fence. We offer no charge access panels on most of our fences. This is a removable section of fence for infrequent use, say like once every couple of years. It has removable bolts to take it apart and set to the side.
Double gates (drive gates) on the other hand are for frequent use items like cars, boats, things that you frequently need in your backyard.
Estate gates are the cadillac of the gates. These luxury gates are primarily made of either welded aluminum or wrought iron and are the main entry gate to a property. Usually paired with gate access control hardware (remote control) they are on the high end costing from $5,000 to $15,000 installed.
Best Gate Hardware
The best gate hardware for aluminum and vinyl fences have 2 faces for attaching to the the post. Aluminum fence posts and vinyl fence posts are hollow so they need 2 faces to secure the hardware to the post. For the cost/features I prefer the self closing hinges and the self latching gate latches.
Wood fences don’t need special gate hardware as their bolts will sink into the wood posts. Because of the weight of the gate I recommend adding a middle hinge to support the weight of large wood privacy gates.
Summary Guide to Backyard Gates
Your main focus us to secure the backyard with open view from one vantage point. Then you will need a point of entry gate, a landscape gate, and either an access panel (infrequent use) or a double gate for frequent use.