Installing A Sliding Gate—You Can Do It!
Not a Professional? No Problem!
Installing a gate can be done by someone who is not, necessarily, a professional in the field. But when installing any gate, the most important consideration should be safety first! Doing one’s homework and having all the necessary equipment is the only way this type of project will start and end without a hitch. It’s important to note that any specific directions for a certain type of gate may vary, somewhat, when compared to one style of slider gate to another. The following should serve as general overview, realizing that any adjustments may have to be made according the specific style of slider gate one might choose.
It’s also crucial that any electrical installation be performed by a licensed electrician!
Tools and Equipment You Will Need:
Before anything, having the following equipment on hand:
3: Post-hole diggers
4: 4 Stakes
5: 2 String lines
6: A line level
7: Tape measure
8: Electric Hammer Drill
9: Metric Socket Set
This installation will be specific for a bi-parting, rolling slide-gate with a 24-foot gap opening. There are two areas of a rolling slide gate: 1) the gap opening which spans the driveway and 2) the back frame where the slider guide and gate operator will be positioned.
1: Determine the gap opening the gate will span. The gate will require an equal amount of track in both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ positions.
2. Drive stakes 2-times the distance of the gap opening and add 4 feet for each back-frame. Then tie on the first string line. This will locate the center line of the grade-beam which we are assuming is already in place. All measurements for the remainder of this installation will be from the grade that you have pre-determined.
3: Lay-out and set the track. Assuming the grade is already in place, the track will be bolted to the existing grade-beam. Drill holes with a masonry bit and tap in 3/8” anchor bolts and make sure they are properly tightened. Assuming the track comes in 9’10” sections, some cutting may be needed for the last one.
4: Attach the second string line to locate the slider guide. The second string should be 12” behind and precisely parallel to the first string. Obviously, the 12” correlation is a must since it will ensure the gate will track accurately.
5: Locate the position of the slider guide which will be centered within the 4-foot back frame area. The front of the first post will go 9” past the gap opening. Dig two post holes close to 12” in diameter and see to it that there is a 26” span from the middle of one hole to the other. Each hole should be just under 3-feet deep—about 34 inches.
6: See to it that any conduit or wires are properly positioned or make sure they can be positioned in place after the concrete is poured. Bolt the roller arms and the gate-operator mounting platform to the slider guide and leave bolts loose for the time being. It will be easier to adjust the operator platform if one of the U-bolts is left off for now. The platform will go 3 1/2” above grade, and the top of the guide rollers will go about 59” above grade. Since various gate styles vary in height, so be sure to check each style’s specific measurements.
7: Position the slider guide posts in the holes and align with the second string in order that both posts will be precisely 12” from the center line of the track to the face of each post. The face of the first post needs to be 9” back from the gap opening. The topside of the slider guide posts should be 60” above grade.
8: Adjust the height of the slider guide mounting platform to 3 ½” to 4” above grade. It might be a good idea to slide a 4x4 plank underneath. Add the second U bolt and tighten.
9: Pour the concrete around the slider-guide posts and in the process, making sure they are plumb, in every direction, as well as level across the gate operator mounting platform. Be sure to double-check measurements from the string and gap opening.
10: Once the concrete is completely dried, bolt the slider guide rail to the gate; it will bolt onto each end of the gate.
11: Attach the stabilizer bracket in the center. Bolt the two V-groove wheels to the wheel boxes; and then place the gate on the track with slider-guide rollers inserted within the guide rail.
12: For the final adjustment, the guide rail attach bracket will need to be about ¼” above the top of each roller. The gate should now glide seamlessly along the track.
13: The safety screen will be attached to the gate panel. Leave the gate in the ‘open’ position and attach a chain bracket with U-bolts to both ends of the gate, 12” from the bottom of the gate.
14: Set the gate operator onto the slider guide platform so the bolt holes can be marked. The operator frame will be 4 ½” from the gate frame; and the sprocket should align with the chain bracket slot.
15: Remove the operator and drill 4 half-inch holes through the platform. Place the operator back on the platform and bolt down precisely parallel to the V-track.
16: Attach one end of the drive chain to a chain bracket. Thread the other end of the chain under one idler wheel over the drive sprocket and under the second idler wheel. Then attach it to the other chain bracket. The center slot on the chain bracket needs to be level with the bottom of the idler wheel; and the chain should be parallel with the gate and operator frame. The chain cannot be overly tight. When the gate is in the closed position, the chain should sag no more than 2-3”.
17: Bring the power wires in conduit up through the middle of the gate operator and wire to the power terminals. All wiring steps associated with this part of the installation should be performed by a licensed electrician. Once the power is turned on, choose the direction, towards which, the gate will open and set the gate travel restrictions.
18: Install two sets of safety photo eyes—one will be on the outside of the gate and the other inside. Hook up any additional access controls or other components.
Enjoy your new gate that will enhance the beauty and security of your property for many years to come!