An arch is described as a vertical curved structure that spans an elevated space and may or may not support the weight above it.
You do not need to have expansive amount of land or money to have an arch over your gate. Bosco Ddamulira, the managing director of Passions Services, gives a few tips on how to get value for money when it comes to gate arches.
Setting up the arch
Ddamulira says that arches add beauty to both to the compound and house and that a small addition of décor in form of design and colour makes it even better.
The arch-like shape enables vehicle to manoeuvre through the gate that stands on two columns according to Ddamulira.
He advises that while erecting the arch, constructors should always have it at the back of their minds that it is a standalone. This means they have to use proper woodwork and iron bars before casting the arch.
Moses Atugonza of Fit Houses says an arch may collapse if the wrong material is used.
“It depends on the type of gravel you are using but all in all preparation is key. Remember the arch is not attached to the fence; it stands alone and should be firm.” Ddamulira reiterates.
He says neat finishing is paramount especially when striving to bring out the intended design.
According to Ddamulira, the normal width of an arch is seven metres (for a single gate) and 14 metres for double gates (especially hotels).
Atugonza says the size of the land doesn’t matter when constructing arches because usually even 50 by 100 plots can have gate arches.
There is no set standard time for building an arch but experts recommend two weeks because by that time, the concrete would have set.
“After the first week, we recommend removing of the ply wood but the finishing should be done in two weeks,” Atugonza advises.
The process of putting up an arch varies. The basic one includes digging up three holes for a double gate, arraigning iron bars into columns and adding mixed concrete withadequate cement.
After that, the plywood should be clad for at least two weeks to allow the columns to set. After two weeks, with the gate design now formed, builders are allowed to apply the finishing touch.
Materials used include gravel, cement (high ratio), eucalyptus, wood, lake sand and plaster sand.
There a number of options one can choose from depending on the look they want to have.
If you are a believer in simplicity, try the gentle wave. It has a gentle slope and shallow arch.
This type is more elaborate. You might not even have a rail top at all.
Most arched tops are shallow, especially those on single gates. When you look at the top of such gates, there is a line across the top curves from one post to the other.
If you want a more welcoming rather than imposing look, consider looking for a style that features a single, shallow arch at the top.
This type is more elaborate when you choose metal posts over stone which creates the atmosphere of airiness with the gate.
The first asking price of an average arch is Shs7m according to Ddamulira but the price varies according the design.
Components such as gravel, cement (high ratio), eucalyptus, wood, lake sand and plaster sand are used.
For Shs1.5m, one can buy an arch design but the rate will rise depending on how complex the arch design is.