Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair   


Gate From Hell

Repair gate on west side of house leading to backyard
August 26 - 27, 2016


August 26, 2016
- The gate on the west side of the house, that leads to the backyard, has been a problem since we moved in. 

The wrought iron gate is eight feet tall and was only supported by two bolt pivot hinges on the lower half of the gate.  Since there were no hinges supporting the upper half of the door, the door did not hang straight and would drag on the ground.  To open the gate you basically had to lift it off the ground to get it to open.  We slapped a lock on it and rarely went through this gate.

While working on the rock wall in this area this past Spring, I needed to go back and forth through this gate.

Gate into backyard on west side of house.
Spring 2016, before rock wall was worked on. 
Note dragging gate edge far left.

Having to drag the gate open and closed,  pissed me off.  So I tied a rope on it at the top and used a U-bolt a couple feet lower to keep the gate straight.  This got it off the ground and made it easier to open.

Of note....there is an additional metal privacy screen zip-tied to this gate. The gate would drag the ground whether the privacy screen was on the gate or not.

Last week I decided to get this small repair done.  What I needed was someone to come and weld on some hinges higher up on the gate.

Easy huh?  Call someone up and they would come and do the job lickety split.  Easy peasy. 

Not so easy in El Paso, Texas.

1) The print version of the phone book only listed a few iron workers.  Not many pay for this print listing service any longer.

Gate after rock wall completed.  Rope (top) and U-bolt used to straighten out gate so it could be opened.

The companies listed in the print yellow pages basically don't do repairs like what I needed.

2)  Let's try the internet.  A lot more companies listed on the web.  However, you have to sift through these to make sure they do repairs.  For this type of work I needed a welder who works with wrought iron.

3)  Let's try calling them.  This went on for a week. These are the results:

   a) Numbers no longer in service or their mailbox is full so you can't even leave a message.
   b) Half of the companies do not speak any English.
   c) Three were too busy now, maybe in a couple of weeks.
   d) Actually got hold of three that said they would come by and take a look.....AND I did wait
       around for them.  All three no-shows.

Finally....FINALLY...FINALLY.....I found a company where the company; 1) answered the phone with their company name, 2) spoke English as a first language, 3) was busy but would take the time to swing by my house to take a look at what I needed, and 4) Actually showed up!!!!

I was so thrilled. I could not believe it.  After all of the calls and frustration I finally got someone to show up and take a look at my awful gate.

Danny from D.C. Mobile Welding showed up at my house with his mobile unit the same day I called.  Danny and his assistant were friendly, helpful, and efficient.  They got the job done in less than an hour.  For $60 he took off the old hinges, welded on new hinges raising the gate an inch so it would clear all of the concrete, and put a new slide bolt latch on the gate so it would be easier to open and close.

I am now in heaven, released from my former gate from hell. I can now go through this gate easily.

Old hinge on gate. Bolt in hole.

New bat wing hinge

Instead of adding more hinges on, Danny removed the two old hinges and added two bat wing hinges.  One at the top and bottom.  He explained that only two hinges would be needed because the gate was light.  (Hollow wrought iron, not solid)
The old tension style closure was removed.  It worked by pulling back on the handle to remove the iron rod from a groove.  To lock this gate we had two padlocks on it. With one padlock going through a hole we drilled on the wall piece.  Huh?  Yea, complicated sounding and hard to open.

The newer slide bolt latch works a whole lot easier and we now need only one padlock to secure the gate.

New slide bolt latch

Old tension bar latch

Since Danny was the only one that was willing to rescue me from my gate from hell, he gets a shout out on my website:

D. C. Mobile Welding
Danny Campbell

Fabrication & Repair
AWS  Certified


 Danny (left) and assistant working on gate

Danny (left) and assistant working on gate

The repaired gate is pictured on the right.  I still need to paint the new welds, touch-up the paint on the rock wall, and re-attach the metal privacy screen.

The gate now opens either way without scraping the sidewalk.

The gate is old and is bent in several places but Danny got the gate hung straight and working perfectly.


Gate with new hinges and latch.  Before touch-up of paint.

August 27, 2016 - Today was "take care of details day" regarding this gate.  The new welds, some minor scrapes, and a little rust were sanded down on the gate.  The un-painted areas were then given a fresh coat of paint.  Where the cement wall paint was marred from the welding work, it was easily touched up with fresh paint.

Along the brick wall where the new latch bolt hole was drilled, there was a little more detail work to do. 

While the welder placed the latch bolt hole where the gate would be straight.  Kudos for that.  The crooked gate and sidewalk made the gate "appear" as if it was not straight.  I played with the gate for a while and decided that moving the latch bolt hole to the left an inch, would make the gate "appear" more like it was straight when closed.  If I did not do this, it would bother me every time I looked at the gate.

The other thing about this latch bolt hole that I wanted to address, was the fact that a hole in concrete only gets bigger over time.  I wanted to keep it from growing larger.  I had a grommet that fit the latch bolt, but I would of had to make the hole twice as large to set the grommet in flush against the wall.  I went with a large metal washer instead.  I glued the washer over the hole with construction adhesive (only thing I had on-hand at this time).  The first bolt hole was filled with gray caulk.

The other area of this wall that needed touching up was the area where the old latch had been attached.  There were two bolts cut flush against the wall and some rust marks.  I dabbed a little caulk over the screws to hide the edges.

With paint I have that matches my bricks and mortar, I painted over the damaged areas.  The shiny silver washer over the latch bolt hole was camouflaged with paint to match the bricks and mortar.

Brick wall with new latch hole and
 old latch screws below

Brick wall with latch hole moved to the left an inch.  Washer surrounding new hole, stuck on with construction adhesive. Gray caulk used to fill in first hole and dabbed around old screws

Brick wall painted with colors that match bricks and mortar.  Old screws and rust markings painted over.  Washer camouflaged to blend in with wall.

New bolt latch freshly painted and reinforced bolt hole camouflaged with paint to match brick and mortar.

I reattached the metal privacy screen with zip ties to the outside of the gate.  The new bolt latch prevented me from placing it on the inside where it was before. 

There is a hole in the privacy screen that was cut out for the old latch.  It is noticeable close-up but not so much from a distance.  It will stay for now.

The new "Beware of Dogs" signed was placed on.  This sign is more rigid than the floppy aluminum sign that was here previously.  It is bolted through the wrought iron, so no more rattling in the wind.

Gate touch-ups complete

The Projects
Backsplash in Kitchen
Bench - 2 x 4 Basics Flip-Top Bench Table
Brick Replacement and Brick Accent Painting
Casper Mattress
Ceiling Tiles
Closet Built from Scratch
Column Wraps for 4" x 8" Posts
Concrete Slabs
Curb Appealing Street Numbers
Cut Paper Artwork - Kitchen
Door Knobs and Cabinet Pulls
Dry rotted wood beam repair and paint
Doggy door installed on wrought iron screen door - Repair of door
Duct Work
End Table / Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Faux Brick and Tile
- Stucco wall patio and backyard stairs
    using concrete patch

- Painted tile pool deck (Oklahoma)
File Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Fire Place Hearth Shelves
Furniture Assembly
Garage Closet - Oklahoma
Garage Facelift - Closet, etc
Gate From Hell
GoNanas - Failed Order Attempt
Horrible Man Cave (rec room) Total Renovation
House Entrance Renovation
How to fix holes in a wrought iron screen door and replace screen
How to Make Your Own Door
- Crawl Space Door
How to Winterize a Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler
Kitchen Counter Tops - Faux Granite
Kitchen Facelift
Kitchen Light Facelift
Laundry Room Cupboards
Main Bathroom Repair / Remodel
Master Bathroom Shower Area Stripped to the Studs
Mirror Frames
Oklahoma Home Facelift -- Aluminum Siding and Paint
OMG!  The sink was leaking the whole time we were away?
Raising the Roof - Garage Roof Replacement
Rock Wall Repair
Rolling Cabinet - Vintage /  Industrial Look
Shark Apex UpLight Corded Lift-Away Vacuum - Review
Siding - Exterior
Signage for Pine Ridge Estates
Solar Lighting Journey
Stair Door
Stairs to the Lower Level
Stencils - How to Make Your Own Stencils for Paint Projects
Storage Shed / Closet
Storm Shelter (Elgin, OK 2021)
Storm Shelter (Lawton, OK 2014)
Stucco Wall Repair and Paint
Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Maintenance
Treadmill Table - Vintage Style
Tuff Shed
Wrought Iron Facelift Outside
Weather Stripping (doors)
Why is My Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Blowing Hot Air?
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