The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License, Flickr.com

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Fix a Sagging Garden Gate, on the Cheap

By Vicki McClure Davidson

The house we live in was built in the 1950s, and we bought this house in 1986. One thing about Arizona that is always predictable are our multitude of hot, sunny days. The desert summer sun can wreak havoc on wooden fences and gates. The intense heat, year after year, dries out, splinters, and weakens the wood and eventually, wooden gates start to sag and drag on the ground, making it so hard to open and close the gate that you need the Incredible Hulk to lift it up.

Iif you don't have a sagging gate nor have ever confronted a sagging gate, believe me when I say that opening and closing a sagging gate is an absolute bear because it is REALLY HEAVY and it must be lifted each time you come or go. And at my age, that kind of lifting, over and over again when you're doing yardwork, is no easy feat.

In areas where there is frost and snow, it can be even worse. Fence and gate posts that aren't set in concrete (and even some that are, but aren't set deeply enough) are much less stable because the expansion and contraction of the earth over time erodes the posts and starts to push them up out of the ground. It's important for posts to be set in concrete. If they aren't, the ground won’t hold a post securely over time, especially for a heavy gate. Replacing a sagging gate can cost hundreds of dollars, and for many folks right now, this just isn't in the budget.

So, what can you do? Is there a quick fix to take care of it temporarily, until you can budget it in the family budget for replacement?

Yes, there is. We found this brilliant and cheap idea on how to resolve sagging gates from the folks at HobbyFarms.com. Kudos on coming up with such a practical, easy-to-implement idea:

These problems can be solved by putting a small wheel underneath the moving end of a panel or sagging gate. The wheel takes all the weight and supports a gate or panel to prevent further sagging and enables easy opening and closing. Just about any type of small wheel will work for this purpose. On our gates we have used old wheelbarrow tires and small metal wheels—the kind you sometimes find in old junk piles or salvage from a piece of ancient farm equipment. A wheelbarrow tire can be easily adapted by bolting the uprights (or even just one of them—the piece of metal that comes down either side of the tire to hold its small axle) to a wooden or pole gate.
An old wheel or tire with any kind of long axle attached to it can also be securely wired to a metal gate by fastening the axle to the bottom rail or pipe. If you use stiff, strong wire and secure each end of the axle (close to the wheel and at the opposite end), the wheel will stay solidly in place and the weight of the gate will not alter the angle of the wheel much, if at all. You want it securely attached so the wheel or tire will stay upright, with no wobble. Then it will roll freely and easily on the ground, taking the weight of the gate without binding or catching.

 

I'm so glad this isn't MY sagging gate. What a nightmare that would be to use. But HobbyFarms.com's idea about using a wheel to temporarily fix the problem is brilliant. | Photo credit: MS Clips
I'm so glad this isn't MY sagging gate. What a nightmare that would be to use. But HobbyFarms.com's idea about using a wheel to temporarily fix the problem is brilliant. | Photo credit: MS Clips