Do it yourself help and information.
Automatic Solutions has a huge range of product directly suited to the DIY customer as well as a comprehensive library of help sheets and tips designed for the layman. So if you feel like giving it a go and saving yourself some dollars in the process then have a browse below and through a sample of our DIY help. Each branch can help with more product specific help sheets and diagrams.
DIY gates and automation is probably best described as needing an average skill level. It's certainly not rocket science, but a basic understanding of building techniques is necessary, and when it comes to the automation side it helps to be somewhat technically minded. A word of warning as far as the automation is concerned. Whilst many of the operators are low voltage the vast majority of them still plug into the mains power before transforming down to 12 or 24 volts. Electricity can kill! Use an electrician for all mains power work.
The question most asked by anybody considering the DIY route is how long does it take. I find the best rule of thumb is to double what it takes a professional installer although I am constantly informed by wives and girlfriends that a multiplication factor of nine or ten is closer to the mark. Seriously though a competent home handyman will take about twice as long as a professional.
Listed below are a couple of general points to follow. For more detailed information on the following subjects click on the links below -
Concreting In Posts
Sounds simple enough I hear you say. Poorly installed posts account for 90% of all gate problems. If the post moves, the gate fails - that simple.
Start with your post. As a good guide one third of your post should be in the ground. In other words if your gate post is 1800 high, half that is 900, your total length is now 2700. The 900 in the ground is one third of the total post. A minimum of 600mm should be in the ground no matter what, so all gates under 1200 high still put 600 in the ground.
Fit a leg or two to your post. A post without any cross braces or legs to anchor the post in the concrete will simply slide out of the concrete when dry or worse still may sink down if no concrete has been put underneath. Put at least on decent cross brace about 300mm up your post and about 150mm wide. Two is even better.
Dig your hole deep, not round. A common mistake is to dig a one metre by one metre hole but only 400mm deep. Do not. 400mm x 400mm x 1000mm deep is much better and takes less than half the concrete.
The simplest way to mix your concrete is to buy the premix concrete packs at your local hardware. They are inexpensive, the mix is accurate and strong and they only take 5 minutes to mix in a bucket. Just add water. Most posts require about four 35kg bags. DO NOT USE QUICKSET, RAPIDSET OR ANY OTHER FAST DRYING CONCRETE. These work fine in static fence posts but will quickly come unstuck when a big hinged gate starts swinging on the post. Where they can be handy is your very first mix in the bottom of the hole. This allows you to set your height and square, the concrete sets and stops any further movement whilst you complete your concreting.