Picture this: Your backyard renovation is finally finished! You invested in a beautiful well-built wood gate, you purchased architectural hardware to complement it and your home’s style. Other than mowing and pulling some weeds every week, you are set for the next 10-15 years.
Let’s throw a backyard BBQ to celebrate! Friends and neighbors walk through your open gate admiring your new digs. Burgers are sizzling, beer is icy cold, the kids are laughing and spraying each other with the garden hose. Life is good.
Just then, a rogue group of 6-year-old boys breaks loose from the pack. They run around and end up at your gate. Bobby Johnson stands just outside the gate post making funny faces at the kids in the yard. Little Jimmy McLeish doesn’t like the face and grabs the edge of the gate. You look up from your beer and see the gleam in his eye.
Suddenly, everything’s moving in slow motion: you pivot toward the gate, yelling “Noooooooo” as you toss your beer and fly across the yard in a dive that would make Joe Montana proud. As you belly flop on the grass, the gate SLAMS closed.
Everything is silent; you could hear a pin drop. In fact, you do hear something drop: that’s the arm breaking off your gate latch.
The purpose of a gate stop is to prevent the Little Jimmy McLeishes in your life from damaging your gate and hardware. Gate latches have arms that latch into a strike when the gate is closed. They’re designed to make contact with the front edge of the strike, rise up and fall neatly into the catch. The arm’s purpose is to latch the gate, not stop it.
There are two types of gate stop: a wood stop and a metal stop. The wood stop blends into the installation so that it’s not a visual element. Usually they’re installed at the same time as the gate is built and installed. The finish on the wood is the same as the finish on the gate and posts.
The metal stop, on the other hand, can easily be installed after the fact, and can be an added visual element to the gate. On this project below, the stops were installed to the gate. When the gate closes, the stops hit the post before the latch-arm makes contact with the post. We carry gate stops in three finishes: stainless with black powdercoat, brushed stainless for contemporary and modern designs, and bronze gate stops for traditional or rustic designs.
Want to learn more? Next in our series is Gate STOP in the Name of Love, Part 2 – How To Install A Gate Stop