Seeing a flash of blue sky between the clouds this weekend, my wife and I leaped on the opportunity to head to our nearest DIY store and pick up some garden furniture ready for the summer. We were thinking of getting a new set of table and chairs and maybe a barbecue to replace the disposable ones we used all through last summer. We paid up and got it all home, and then opened the gate to get it all set up, and realized our gate spring was broken, meaning our gate didn't shut automatically. Not ideal when you have a garden full of expensive new furniture and forgetful teenagers in the house!
Another trip to the DIY shop later and I was back at home with my new gate spring. I’d never fitted one before, but it turns out it was much easier than I expected, and took no time at all. Obviously we wanted to make sure our garden would stay safe and secure, and even after testing it lots of times over the next few days we haven’t had any trouble.
Ours is a left hand gate, so first I fitted the top bracket to the door, about a third of the way down, and the bottom bracket to the post about a third of the way up, so that the middle third of the gate had the spring stretched over it.
I tested it a couple of times and it seemed to be secure, but the spring tension seemed a little tight, meaning the gate didn’t quite shut properly. I decided to adjust the tension to make sure the gate was able to shut. To do this, I inserted a metal peg that came with the spring into the adjuster on the bottom bracket and placed the tension adjuster bar into the upper adjuster, which I then turned until I reached a better tension.
Using the other metal peg, I secured the upper adjuster and made sure the spring was working. I opened and shut the gate a few times and everything seemed to be in working order. The real test was later that evening when my youngest son decided to hold a camping party with his friends in our back garden. With what seemed to be a constant stream of children arriving through the gate, we wondered if it would stand up to the challenge. However, one camping session later and our gate is still operating immaculately! Now, where are my barbecue tongs...
Jack Fairman is a home improvement enthusiast who always has several DIY projects on the go