How To Build A Fence Gate
Interested in learning how to build a fence gate? With all the traffic it handles, a fence gate often falls apart long before the fence. Luckily it’s easy to build a fence gate and the materials are cheap. You can prolong the life of the finished gate by priming and staining it to avoid warping from water absorption. This will also reduce the risk of jams between the gate and fence post over time. Follow these steps to build a 55 inch wide fence gate for a 6 foot fence, or change the lumber dimensions to fit your fence measurements.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 - 2x4 lumber sections, 54 inches long
- 13 - 2x4 lumber sections, 68 inches long
- 1 - 2x4 lumber section, 71 inches long
- 1 - 1x3 lumber section, 65 inches long
- Gate latch and 2 hinges
- Nail gun and nails
- Miter saw or hand saw
Follow these steps to build a fence gate:
- Assemble the gate body. Begin building the fence gate by resting one 54 inch long section on its 4 inch side to act as the horizontal top support of the fence gate you are building. Spread all thirteen 68 inch sections in vertical order along the horizontal top support to form the body of the gate fence. Make sure the 68 inch sections are resting on their 4 inch side, and that they are spaced evenly and meeting the 54 inch support on the top in a flush line. For added strength, build your fence gate using a nail gun rather than a heavy duty staple gun to connect the lumber together.
- Assemble the gate top. Continue building the fence gate top by adding a second 54 inch vertical section on the opposite side of the first. This will form a sandwich with the horizontal sections hanging between two vertical supports.
- Secure the gate middle. With your miter saw or hand saw cut both ends of the 71 inch long section at a 45 degree angle to form the middle gate support. This piece will ensure that you build a fence gate sturdy enough to absorb the shocks of repeated slamming. Place this section in the middle of the gate body at an angle that allows the mitered top to sit flush against the top horizontal support, in effect connecting them. Use the nail gun at an angle to affix the diagonal middle support to the vertical top support.
- Secure the gate bottom. To build a fence gate that looks symmetrical and decorative make sure the vertical gate body sections are evenly spaced on the bottom where they are not yet connected. Next, rest a 54 inch section on the bottom of the fence gate, flush with the mitered end of the diagonal center support. Once again, build the fence gate sturdily by hammering nails into the lumber or using a nail gun instead of the easier but less reliable staple gun (often used by cheap fence builders).
- Hang the fence gate. Attach the hinges to the horizontal top and bottom supports on the fence gate, then mount the gate on the fence post. Attach the gate latch to the opposite post and the latch tongue to the gate itself. This will provide the fence gate you build with the option of locking.
- Privacy tips. You can build a fence gate to optimize primacy by pushing the vertical sections close together. Add additional wood if needed, and build a fence gate doorjamb to seal the side opening. To build the fence gate doorjamb, confirm which side the fence gate swings to, then attach the 65 inch long section vertically on the other side (the side of the latch). When the fence gate swings shut, the opening between the post and gate will now be covered by the jamb.
- Finish the gate top. Complete the fence gate top by resting the last 54 inch section on top of the gate. Rest the section on its 4 inch side so it sticks out a little on both sides of the fence gate, creating an elegant trim.