Posted by: andy idsinga | October 22, 2009

Gate project

Last summer we needed a gate between our driveway and backyard to keep our dog in.
I decided to build it myself because I thought I could build a nicer gate with my own tools than what I could get from a contractor or a store for a similar amount of $.
Of course, I didn’t keep detailed records of my materials and labor, but my gut feeling is that I did better. WAY BETTER. Okay, probably just a bit better, or just as good …well you can tell me what you think.

Since I like to plan all of my projects to the Nth degree – I designed the gate using Google Sketchup. Sketchup is a free and very easy to use CAD tool. Only when I was satisfied with the design in sketchup did I proceed to start cutting wood ;).
Speaking about wood – I used cedar because of its weather resistant properties. Cedar is very soft and easy to work!

The project was fun and I think it turned out well.
Designing the whole thing in an easy to use 3d tool was a huge help in terms of understanding how all the pieces fit together. When you use a tool like this to can rotate the model around, zoom in and literally drag the pieces of virtual wood around and fit them together! When you build your little pieces of wood in the tool you actually measure them and make them the correct size (i.e. creating a scale model).
Using sketchup also made it really easy to get comments / review from friends and family – shout out to Don G :)

Note about planning: planning too much can really piss off family members. I’m slowly learning to strike a balance between up front planning and getting things DONE.

Here’s a screen shot of the gate in google sketchup:

Here’s are a couple pictures of each side of the nearly finished product:

view from the driveway

view from the driveway

view from the back yard

view from the back yard

Now that I’m blogging these projects I’ll practice taking more and better pictures along the way.

(Update)Here are sketchup format plans for the gate. Come back and post a comment about your modifications:)



  1. That looks great! Bravo!

    • thanks Stephanie!

      andy idsinga (sent from phone)

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