How To Build A Gate For A Deck

If you are looking for how to build a gate for a deck, you should know that there are only a few simple steps involved. If you have already built the deck, then more than likely you have the necessary tools listed below on hand and are ready to construct your gate. Sizes and exact materials will vary depending on the size of your gate and the style needed to match your existing deck and railings.

To build a gate for a deck, you will need:

  • Miter Saw
  • Screws or nails
  • Hinges
  • Latch
  • Handle
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Screw Driver Bits
  • Hammer
  • Spring (if you want the gate to close on its own)
  • Lumber
  • Level
  1. Frame. The general rule of thumb when building anything is measure twice, cut once. Measure the distance between the posts that the gate will attach to. Then subtract the amount of room needed for the hardware, this is generally about two inches. Cut the boards to the needed width. Then test them in the space to make sure they fit. Lay the boards the desired distance apart on a sturdy surface. The exact distance will depend on the design of the existing structure. Measure the distance between the left corner of the top board and the right corner of the bottom board. This will be your cross member. Cut the board to the needed length. If all boards are the correct sizes, attach the cross member to the top and bottom boards.
  2. Adding Balusters. Attach one baluster to each end. Then measure the distance between to figure out the correct spacing for the remaining balusters. Spacing is a general preference but make sure it falls within the coding requirements of your area. Don’t forget to take into account the width of the baluster. It is helpful if you lay them on the framing before attaching them. Once you get the right layout, attach them with screws or nails.
  3. Hinges. Attach the hinges to the top and bottom frame rails. Have someone hold the gate to the desired height while you attach it. Use an extra piece of lumber as a prop or for spacing if needed. Be sure the hinges you are using are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the gate for a deck. Place a level across the top frame rail to ensure it is level. If the post it is attaching to is not straight or level, you may have to adjust for this. 
  4. Latch. Attach the latch to both the gate and post as a single unit to ensure correct alignment. If you try to attach each piece separately they may not line up correctly.
  5. Handle. Choose where you want the handle to attach. Screw it in place.
  6. Spring. If you choose to have a spring on your gate, you will want to attach it last. Usually, you can adjust the spring by stretching it if it closes too fast or by cutting it if it closes too slowly. 


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