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Installing a Gate Kit on an Arbor

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We currently offer gates for our New England Arbors, available in two sizes to fit most of their arbors. However, if your arbor has a different size opening than these arbors, this doesn't necessarily mean one cannot add one. First you will need to choose an arbor that is structurally designed to accept a gate. Arbors with longer posts, designed to be cemented in the ground, are an ideal choice. These arbors are typically stronger and better equipped to accommodate the extra stress of a gate. Arbor posts serving as gate posts may be reinforced with wood instead of concrete (see Figure 1 below). Vinyl arbors which do not have longer posts for in-ground installations may also be used, however you will need to reinforce the post(s) with wood and extend the length for structural support. Choosing a gate to accompany an arbor is easy. We feature all our vinyl fence styles online complete with current pricing, specifications, and helpful how-to information. Simply visit the Vinyl Fence section of our web site and browse the many styles available. Most customers prefer a 'picket' or 'ornamental' style. We have matching gates for all our vinyl fence styles. Gates will look almost identical to the fence sections shown. Most of our styles offer a standard preassembled gate measuring 50" wide.  Preassembled gates can be used on an arbor that has an inside opening between the posts of 51-3/4" ( see our "QF" Series Arbors on our arbor page). We suggest this preassembled gate for most vinyl fence installations for various reasons, cost and ease of installation. However most vinyl arbors will not accommodate this 'standard' size gate width. When using a gate with a vinyl arbor, one will most likely order a gate kit and one section of fence to make the gate with. This will allow one to build the gate nearly any size (see Figure 2 below). arbor-gate.jpg (81878 bytes)
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Figure 1
Installing an arbor when mounting a gate: The gate posts should be supported with a treated lumber 4 x 4 concreted in the ground. Be sure to shim the post to make a tight fit to the 4 x 4. You may need to rout the 4 x 4 to allow the lattice section rails to slip into your posts on the sides of your arbor. Installing your arbor posts in this manner will give the structural support needed when attaching a gate to your arbor. The posts on the back of the arbor (posts without gate attached) doesn't need to have the 4 x 4 running 3' up the post. A length of 1' will be sufficient.

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Figure 2

Gate Kits include all the highlighted parts above. Vinyl gate uprights with aluminum inserts and vinyl caps, aluminum rail inserts, and hardware bag. A fence section will have to be purchased separately. Be sure to make your gate 1-3/4" smaller than the inside dimensions of your arbor to allow room for the hinges and latch. Hinges and latches sold separately. For more information on gate kits see Vinyl Gate Kits. Building a gate from a kit should not be attempted by anyone who is not handy with tools.