My wife loves it!Comments about Product:
Very good value for the money. Of course, a solid welded arbor is better, but that would have to be built locally, at 4-5 times the price. If I could get the exact same shade of brown, I would probably spot weld all the joints as I suspect they will loosen up over time. All of them needed re-tightening after setting up the arch.
Still, a well built and beautiful arch - especially considering the price.
A couple things to consider: The arch comes with fairly short "feet" for setting in the ground, so unless you have very tightly packed soil in which to set them, you will probably want to anchor in concrete like I did. Even if your ground is rock hard, I'm sure over time and use the arch would start to wobble and shift.
Even in concrete you only have maybe five or six inches of square 1/2" metal post to embed in the concrete as you need to leave enough height clearance for the gate to swing.
Since the short feet are smooth and have no "teeth" to grip the concrete, I drilled a hole across each pair of legs a few inches up from the bottom and inserted a small diameter (1/8") threaded bolt (4" length) and nut across the legs to act like an anchor embedded in the concrete. Tighten the bolt just enough to keep the nut "locked", but not enough to bend the legs.
I used 6" concrete pour tubes (actually ribbed plastic pipe as cheaper and more durable than the cardboard sonatubes) to set the gate exactly at the height and position I wanted. We only had ONE place on our narrow rock path where the arch would fit, surrounded by huge granite boulders and oak tree roots, so it was critical it would be a solid setting.
I was a bit concerned about the gate coming out square as in my dry runs it would never line up exact. It was either too tight to close, or had too large a gap, or very unequal space top to bottom, and it always looked crooked from side to side. It always seemed skewed one way or another no matter what I did to the arch, and it was never square.
So after a lot of leveling and twisting of the arch (it is nowhere near straight/square after assembly) I poured my concrete with the arch already in place as best as I could determine. I considered pouring first, then trying to set the arch AFTER, instead of the way I did, pouring the concrete around the arch legs. A little more challenging to get the concrete into the tubes around all the arch hardware (you will have to clean off the metal with a wet rag after) but DEFINITELY better to set the arch first as best as you can, THEN pour the concrete with a small hand shovel. 3 #60 pound bags redi-mix was perfect for the four 6" tubes at approximately 16"-18" high each.
It is actually easier to do the final squaring up of the arch after the legs are set in the still wet concrete (thick is better than too wet) as that helps to keep things where you want them. VERY important to use a rod or tamping device to plunge repeatedly into the wet concrete as you pour to get out all the air. There will be a lot of trapped air.
I used a ample supply of wood blocking to help hold the arch at the height and position I wanted until the concrete could set up completely. Somehow the arch came out perfect and even the gate was almost perfectly square and swung level. I was actually a bit shocked.
An arch without a gate would be way easier to install as perfect squareness wouldn't be nearly so important. If you don't actually plan on using the gate much, you could probably get away with just sticking in the ground and the vines will eventually help hold everything. But we plan on using ours almost daily and want it to be as solid as possible.
Also, make sure your arch cross bars are symmetrical on each side as the arch halves are reversible during installation. I had to switch one half around after I had already set the arch in concrete.