Fence Gate

Building Wood Fence Gates


Now that you know how to build your wood fence, you will more than likely need to have a gate.  Most often, you will need a small gate to get a lawn mower or rider tractor through to mow the backyard, or in some cases, if your community is one of those rare communities that allows you have your privacy fence surround your entire yard, you will need to have a gate large enough to allow for a car to come through.   Gates can be tricky to build, but you can find all the gate hardware you need at your local hardware or home improvement store such as Lowes, Home Depot or Menards.

Tools Needed:

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. Spirit Level – 24″ or longer
  3. Heavy duty Drill 
  4. Circular saw
  5. Triangle
  6. MarkersRatchet w/socket for bolts

Materials Needed:

  • Wood Panels for sections and Frames
  • Metal hardware
  • Nails,
  • Bolts
  • Fence Hinges and Bolts

 Walk-Through Gates

Walk through gates are the easiest to build, because they are smaller.   For those of you who have a rider mower, you may want to have a walk-through gate that is at least four feet wide to give enough space for the rider mower to pass through.   Building the walk-through gate itself is a matter of making your own panel and attach one end of the gate to the fence post with hinges.   Steps to build a walk-through gate are listed below.

  1.  When installing the fence posts, before the sections or panels are installed, make sure that you plan where you will place your gates. Space the posts accordingly and give some extra room for a 2X4 or 2X6 board on each side as extra support for the gate.
  2. Build a frame for the gate, using 2X4s to form the initial square. Besides making the square, you will want to have one 2X4 go diagonally, forming a “Z” pattern on the gate. This gives extra support. On the back end, you can anchor the boards together with wither toe nailing or for extra strength, use truss plates and hammer them to each board.
  3. On the front side of the gate (stockade and dog-ear fence only), nail the pickets together next to each other as if you were making a special section for the fence.
  4. Get special hinges for the gate. There is a large selection of hinges for stockade fence gates available at your local hardware or home improvement store. You will notice that the hinges will have a shorter end and a longer end. The shorter end of the hinge should be screwed to the fence post and the longer end of the hinge to the gate itself. The longer end of the hinge also acts as additional support for the gate and lessens the likelihood of the gate of sagging over time.
  5. Constructing a lattice panel gate is just making a smaller version of the lattice fence panel. One thing you need to keep in mind when building a lattice panel fence with a gate is that the gates will be very heavy and will need additional support to prevent it from sagging. Before placing the slats, you might want to think about getting a metal screw bar which can be placed diagonally inside the gate. The screw bar is a thin metal bar which has threads on two ends and is connected with a twistable jack that you can twist to tighten or loosen the screw bar. This will make the gate stronger. Because lattice panel gates are so heavy, you may not want to have a car gate for this type of fence.
  6. Use a special latch found at your local hardware store to make a latch to hold the gate closed and locked. These latches are very easy to install. The part of the latch that is bolted to the gate has a handle with a lever on top. When the lever is depressed, it will lift a bar that will hook onto the latch hook on the fence post. In most cases, these latches do have matching holes in both parts to allow you to place a padlock to lock the gate.

Building a drive-through gate is much the same process as building a walk-through gate, but on a larger scale.  The only difference is that one gate has the latch and the other gate has a lock bar.   The lock bar is a vertical bar that is bolted to the second gate and it goes down into a hole in the driveway to hold the second gate in place when closed.

Video Showing How to Attach Wood Fence Gate to the Fence

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