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Tonia Thurman 10-30-2011 09:24 PM

How to finish a gate post with stone
We're getting ready to have a gate installed. The installer is going to bury the posts, then wait for us to put rock around the gate posts, then come back to install the gate.

We need some advice on the best way to put the stones around the post. We've told the gate installer we need approximately 18" for the rock. We have some stones that are about 2" deep. We are not going to stack the rock, but "face" the post. We had someone suggest we start with cinder blocks around the post, then fill the interior with cement and then mortar the stones onto the cinder blocks.

Does anyone know of a site that shows step by step how to do this? Or does anyone have a better idea?

user1007 10-31-2011 01:49 AM

Can you describe in better detail how big you want this? How tall a structure are you thinking about around the posts? What kind of continuing loads will the posts be subjected too?. I ask because if this is a large gate for cars or something, the posts will move around on a frequent basis. Not wise to pour concrete around posts in this instance and expect the mortar joints between the stone pieces on the outside to hold up well. You would be better of wood framing a box not attached in any way to the post and attaching stone to it I think. I guess cinderblock could work as long as it does not touch the posts. You do not want to pour concrete inside your structure. You can rebar and fill the blocks themselves I guess.

You really want the posts supporting the gate to flex a bit. If you encase them you could find yourself having to tuckpoint the mortar joints of both the cinderblock and the stone on the front.

I know this is a DIY site but you might want to discuss this project with a mason? Could save you in the long run.

Tonia Thurman 10-31-2011 09:39 AM

Finshing a gate post with stone
Yea, I see what you are saying about the post needing to flex. We hadn't thought of that.

It sounds like we need to build a frame around the post and leave the post free moving. That makes sense. I'm wondering if we should cement the first cinderblock about 6-8" underground and then build up from there? It sounds like we should put some rebar inside to keep the cinderblocks straight and secure.

To answer your question, the gate is a 12' swing gate - pretty heavy. The hinge post will be buried 6' underground for strength. The rock around it will be purely cosmetic. The height of the stone columns will be about 6' probably.

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