Attaching a gate of any sort to a concrete post is as simple as attaching a gate to a wooden post. You will need a few different tools, but the idea remains generally the same.
You can attach a gate to a concrete fence post. The easiest way to attach a gate to a concrete post is by using a hinge known as the gate screw hook. Attaching a gate to a concrete post requires proper drilling and anchoring. This ensures long-term stability between the gate and post.
Forming A Solid Attachment
If you want a structure to last a long time, then one of the most important things to minimize is unnecessary wear. With concrete, this means you have to make sure nothing is grinding the concrete back into powder. This is a big problem when inserting metal objects into a cured concrete object. So before we talk about attaching your gate, let’s first see if you have the kind of concrete that will allow you to drill and insert objects.
There are two types of concrete: precast and site-cast. Precast concrete is a concrete object you bought that is already cured. Site cast is the kind you mix, pour, and cure yourself. Precast concrete fence posts often have holes already created that you can use for inserting screws and anchors. If you are using site-cast concrete then you will have to use drills to create your holes.
Proper concrete attachment requires anchors and fasteners. Anchors are objects you insert into a hole that allows you to then use threaded screws. The kind of anchor and fastener you use will depend on the weight of your gate and the type of hinge you use.
There are three types of fasteners you should consider for attaching your gate. These include the concrete screw, the hammer-set anchor, and the lag screw shield.
The hammer-set is an option typically used for fastening light objects to concrete, and are most often used for securing an object and not supporting. That being said, if you are installing a light gate this would be a great option. Their easy-to-use ability and inexpensive quality make them great options for something small.
These little beasts are pretty permanent though so make sure they are exactly what you want. All you need to do is drill a hole in the concrete, put your hinge over the hole, put an anchor in, and start hammering.
The concrete screw is great because it is a very simple process. You treat them just like you would a normal screw. There is no pre-drilling and no planning holes out beforehand. They carry about the same weight as the hammer-set anchors but make more sense. They are also removable.
A less permanent option is the concrete plug. These are the most common option. They are used as a sort of combination between the hammer-set and the concrete screw. Here is a picture of them for reference. They can be a little frustrating, but they are most common for a reason. They do their job and they do it well. For this option, you drill a hole, hammer the shield in, place the hinge, and insert the screw.
The lag screw and shield are what you want if you are using a gate that weighs more than your average fence gate. These monsters aren’t going anywhere, ever. They’re large and solid which makes them a bit more expensive. At The Home Depot, lag screws cost between 30 cents and 2 dollars. Lag bolts (even bigger) cost more. Shields cost about a dollar each and these are basically a bigger version of plugs.
The Best Hinges
There are really only two types of hinges for a gate. The gate screw hook and the fence hinge.
The gate screw hook ranges from light-duty to heavy-duty. It is a two-piece set. The screw, which goes into the concrete fence via a shield, and the hook, which attaches to the gate itself. This option has the ability to swing both ways.
The fence hinge is like a door hinge. It has two sides. One side will screw into the gate while the other screws into the post. This option will allow your gate to only swing one way.
Tools For Concrete
When dealing with concrete you almost always have to pre-drill your holes. So unless you are using concrete screws, this is important information to know. You will have to get a masonry drill bit for your drill. A simple drill and masonry bit will be plenty if you are only drilling small holes.
If you opt for the big heavy fence that requires the big heavy hardware you will have the easiest time with an SDS hammer drill.
This type of drill has the option to function as a hammer and chisel too. This means that if the rotating bit simply isn’t enough to get through your post, the drill will take more extensive measures without causing undue harm to your concrete. The SDS also has a number of special bits designed to make drilling through the concrete easy.
Lowes and The Home Depot price their drills from $200 to $530, making it hard to justify buying one for only one project. Their bits are priced from $25 to $50. For those who may be wondering, you can use an SDS bit in a normal drill. Source Source
Methods Of Attachment
Depending on the thickness of the concrete as well as the weight of the gate, there are a few ideas to consider when it comes to attaching.
If the gate is supposed to swing both ways, you will need to use a gate screw hook. If the concrete is thin, it might be best to drill all the way through and put a nut on the screw hook coming out the other side. If the gate is thick, you’ll have to use anchors.
If you want the gate to only swing one way, you’ll have to use a fence hinge that requires only the use of screws or hammer-set anchors. If the gate is heavy, you’ll have to use more industrious hinges and a larger number of fasteners.
We do have another option. It is possible to attach a wood plank to your concrete post. This would allow for gate attachment to regular wood instead of concrete. This can be a bit more complicated and may not be as strong as attaching the gate directly to the concrete post, so it is not recommended.