Enjoy reading about this gate built by Greg Ethenoz of Beyond Decks, Inc in Southern California.
This project used our Elise Stainless Steel Ring Latch on an elegant Mangaris contemporary gate.
Greg works primarily in Ventura County and parts of LA County. Lisa Cox of Lisa Cox Landscape Design in Santa Barbara designed the project.
We’ve included both of their contact info below.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your woodworking background, and your business. Where do you mainly work geographically? How long have you been doing this? What led you to building gates?
My name is Greg Ethenoz. I grew up in Switzerland and moved to California at the age of 20. Ever since I could remember, all I could think of as a kid was building forts, water rafts and tree houses… Looking back at that, it came as no surprise to me to wake up one day, 26 year old, owning an outdoor structure design and building company (click to visit Beyond Decks, Inc.). I target my business mostly in Ventura county and parts of LA county. My main focus is on outdoor structure or any type of architectural wood work so gates are an essential part of a home exterior design and functionality.
What wood did you use on these gates?
These particular gates are made of Mangaris wood. Mangaris is a naturally rot and insect resistant hardwood which has become more popular lately in the fence and deck industry because of its similarity in look and performance to Ipe and Teak but at a more affordable price.
What joinery and technique did you use on this project?
These gates use standard building techniques which a homeowner with basic wood working skills should be able to handle with basic power tools like a drill and a circular saw. The important steps to take are selecting good quality wood, gluing every joint with outdoor wood glue, clamping and fastening with screws. On these gates, we used stainless steel screws concealed with a matching Mangaris wood plug.
What inspired the gates’ designs?
This gate design was inspired by Lisa Cox, the designer of this backyard project (click to visit Lisa Cox Landscape Design in Santa Barbara, CA). The theme was modern with clean lines and square angles.
Do you work mainly with architects and landscape architects, or homeowners?
I work with homeowners mainly but also designers, architects and other general contractors.
Is this a coastal location? If so, what impact did that have on the design and construction of the gates?
This particular project was not near the coast but working in Southern California, we often do work in direct or indirect exposure to ocean air or water. The most important requirement in these situations is the use of a high grade stainless steel. Type 316 (or better) stainless steel is a must. It is pricier than the type 304, but 304 will still corrode in a beach environment.
What advice do you have for homeowners planning for a gate project?
Good planning and research will make a project smoother and more efficient. I like to visualize a project from start to finish in my head days before the actual start. This allows you to be more prepared and have all the tools and supplies ready. Also when building a gate, always allow for sag. The hinge side mount or post needs to be extra strong and as for hinges, more or bigger is always better. Go for 4” hinges instead of 3”. Ball bearing hinges are smoother than standard. Use four hinges instead of two or three, and instead of a diagonal brace, install a metal chain with a turnbuckle from inside top hinge side to inside bottom latch side. This allows you to correct the sag after a while by tightening the turnbuckle.
In your experience, how long do you estimate a high quality gate will last as compared to a standard fence gate?
A high end and well thought out quality wood gate with adequate hardware will outperform a standard wood gate tenfold. And with proper maintenance, that gate will last you a lifetime.
When you meet with potential clients and discuss pricing, how do you discuss a higher quality product over a cheaper alternative?
It helps to take potential clients and show them previous jobs in person. Once they can see and touch the quality work it definitely makes it more attractive than a picture can. It helps to sell and plan for gates earlier in the design stage of a remodel too. Usually fences and gates are not given too much thought and come last in the project phases when the budget has already been exceeded.
What role do you think gate hardware plays in the function and appearance of a gate?
Gate hardware is to gates what an engine is to a car. It can be the most beautiful gate but without a good set of hinges and a latch, it is just a piece of wood. As a builder I recommend using quality hardware like 360 Yardware can provide.
Do you use gate stops on all the gates you design and build? What are your thoughts on gate stops?
Gate stops are important and especially on high end gates which are usually heavy. The latch should not be absorbing the weight of the closing door. A door stop, whether metal or wood should stop the door. The latch should only hold it shut.