GATES - The Final Project - a little info please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gardendufus, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. All I have left is the gates. (Well, and a coupla questions).
    1. I think they should open inward, so I could have a better chance of controlling the hens as I go in. Is this even an issue worth talking about?

    2. I'm building a 2 X 4 frame, hardware cloth covered gate...6' by approx 3'. I have looked at several pics of gates to try to figure out the bracing. Some have small braces on all 4 corners, looks like maybe from 6" from each corner. Others have a single brace, from one top corner to the opposing bottom corner. (Does it matter from which top corner to which bottom corner?) Some have a horizontal brace mid level, and SOME add a diagonal l brace from top to the midlevel brace and from bottom to the midlevel brace.

    Are there advantages to the different kinds of bracing? I understand that I don't want the gate to sag, but do they ALL provide adequate bracing? Personally the little small ones at each corner look easier to make, But I'm a do it right, do it once kinda old woman. (Actually I think I only have this one build left in me, after this I'm gonna haveta hire someone.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would build a gate that size out of 1x4 rather than 2x4, as the lighter weight helps discourage sagging. You can buy metal gate braces which have an adjustment in the middle that you can tighten if the gate sags. You use one per gate, diagonally, and they can be added later to a gate that has sagged. It saved a garden gate for me more than once. They are not expensive, and probably available at your local hardware store. This lets you make some adjustment if the gate sags in a year or two. For a 6' tall gate, a good idea is a horizontal piece about halfway up, then do your bracing; makes it more stable.

    I really don't know which kind of bracing is more stable, or if there is much difference. My people coop door has the small corner braces, 8 of them, plus the horizontal brace; it is 1x4's and hardware cloth. It has not sagged at all.

    I made my people coop door open in, for the reason you suggest, to help control the chickens. Considering the one escape artist I have, I'm glad I did.

    Be sure you have at least a 1/4 across the bottom of the doorway to help keep litter in. Yes, you will have to step over it.

    Happy chickening!
  3. 1. Which way the swing doesn't seem to be an issue, at least for us. We have one that swings one way and another the other. As for control, they'll follow you. At least ours do. The gate swinging in does create the problem of getting them out of the way to open it. If I had it to do again they'd both swing out.

    2. I've never had the gate itself sag, but the posts that the gate is on can be a problem, even if they're set in concrete. I solved that problem by extending the posts above head high and putting a brace across. You can kinda see it in the background in this picture on the far left:


    If you'd like a better picture I'll get you one after the sun comes up. [​IMG]

    Is there a reason you're making the gates that large?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  4. wilbilt

    wilbilt Chirping

    Feb 20, 2012
    Nor Cal
    A solid wood diagonal brace has it's greatest strength in compression, so you would install it running from the bottom corner on the hinge side to the top corner opposite the hinges.

    A wire or cable brace only has strength in tension, so it would run from the top on the hinge side to the bottom corner away from the hinges.
    1 person likes this.
  5. 3forfree

    3forfree Songster

    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    If I had a large coop I would have the door open to the outside then on the inside maybe 3ft in I would put up a stud wall of 2x2's covered with chicken wire or hardware cloth with another door to access the birds. In that 3ft area you can store whatever you want away from the birds, and open the outside door for ventilation.
  6. Thanks for your help guys.

    Flockwatcher, as usual you are quick to respond and help. I wish I had thought to buy 1 X 4, but I didn't think that would be sturdy enough. Sigh. But I have 2 X 4 left over from the coop construction. Gonna haveta think about whether I want to spend just a little more money to do the gates in a smaller size wood and use the 2 X 4's for something else. Nice also to know about the gate braces that can be added later in case my original construction doesn't work.

    Oldguy43, you are also always quick to lend a hand and advice. Actually the gates are 6 X 3(ish) because my fence is 6' tall and my wheelbarrow is pretty large and I want to be able to take it into the run (the coop door is actually inside the fenced run).

    Wilbit........perfect. I really needed to know which direction to run the braces.

    3forfree, great idea about the entryway. When I get through with my fence, I may go back into the coop and construct that entryway. A coop is always a work in progress.

    Luckily I won't have to worry about litter spilling out of the coop as it is built with a sub ground level floor and the doorway is about a foot and a half over the coop floor.

    Okay, things to do: Finish the fence/Gates, install the pop door, build the roosts, make an enclosed entryway/storage area. RELAX for a week and watch the chicks.
  7. There is a product called "Easy Gate" it is about 30 bucks at HD. I really like it. It comes with four corner braces with attached hinges. Just cut your 2x material to length and drive a few screws and you are done. No cutting angles or fussing with squaring up or hanging hinges.[​IMG]

  8. smccuen

    smccuen Songster

    Apr 26, 2012
    Western NC
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  9. smccuen

    smccuen Songster

    Apr 26, 2012
    Western NC
    Oh - never mind....I just built a "screen door" out of 1x4s and hardware cloth - hung it with two hinges on a 4x4 cemented into the ground, levelling it all along. It has a diagonal tension rod across the lower half and a spring to pull it shut. works just fine and was actually the EASIEST part of the whole coop and run to build though I'd dreaded it the most.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    We normally get a lot of snow here and drifting is always an issue. I always have the run doors open out. If snow is blocking the door, I can shovel to open it from the outside. I can't shovel snow inside the run, until I can get the door open.

    For only a few inches of snow, you can force a door inward. For a big drift from a bad storm or blizzard, you're talking feet, not inches. So, it really depends on what your winters are like.

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