Arched Gateway

A traditional gateway with ornamental detail.
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This handsome gateway is traditional in inspiration but has clean, elegant lines suitable for any contemporary setting. The ornamental detail of the posts is simpler than it looks -- layers of dimensional lumber do the trick. However, making the arch is a carpentry task best tackled by experienced do-it-yourselfers. Set the height and width of your gateway to suit your site, but be sure the gate opening is at least 3 feet wide and the posts are at least 5 feet high for adequate headroom under the arch.

Getting Ready:

Lay out the fence line and gate location with stakes and mason's line. Determine the gate dimensions and order materials accordingly. (The materials list assumes a gate 3 feet wide, with posts 5 feet high.) Cutting the mitered edges of the cornice trim is easier with a table saw, chop saw, or radial saw. Plan to build the picket gate first. It will be used as a guide for locating the gate posts. Complete the gateway before adding the picket fence. Check with your local building department for requirements regarding setback (the distance from public sidewalks, street curbs, and neighbors' lot lines), picket spacing, and fence height. Check for the location of underground utility lines before digging the postholes. Ask that stake markers be set.

What You Need:

  • 2 4-inch x 4-inch x 8-foot posts
  • 1 2-inch x 4-inch x 8-foot for furring out the posts
  • 4 1-inch x 8-inch x 10-foot for boxing the posts
  • 1 1-inch x 12-inch x 8-foot for boxing the post cornices
  • 1 1-inch x 8-inch x 10-foot cornice trim
  • 2 1-inch x 4-inch x12-foot cornice trim
  • 1 1-inch x 2-inch x 12-foot cornice trim
  • 1 2-inch x 8-inch x 6-foot post cap
  • 2 2-inch x 2-inch x 8-inch post cap trim
  • 1 2-inch x 8-inch x 4-inch arch base
  • 2 1-inch x 12-inch x 12-foot for laminated arch
  • 2 1-inch x 4-inch x 14-inch for gate pickets (1-1/2-inch spacing)
  • 1 1-inch x 4-inch x 12-foot for gate framing
  • 1 1-inch x 2-inch x 4-foot for gate stop
  • 1 pound each, 6d, 10d galvanized casing nails
  • 1 pound each, 1-1/4-inch and 3-1/2-inch galvanized deck screws
  • 2 tubes each, construction adhesive, caulk
  • Hinges, latch for gate

Continued on page 2:  Initial Steps


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