How to Attach a Trellis Gate to a Picket Fence How to Attach a Trellis Gate to a Picket Fence

What You'll Need
Trellis gate
Fence panels
Metal rail
Bagged cement (Portland mix recommended)
Your choice of paint
Paintspraynozzle (optional)
Carpenter's tape measure
Post hole digger
All-weather screws

Having picket fence with a trellis gate adds both value and architectural harmony to the front of your home. Picket fences have always given an inviting and positive vibe to any house, and a trellis gate completes the picture nicely.

Step 1 - Measure Gate Size

Determine the exact size of the entry way by measuring out and noting its width. This is an important step that will determine the dimensions of the trellis gate you will be selecting. Gates come in different sizes, with the space allowance for opening and closing factored in. More common gate sizes for picket fences are approximately 46-48 inches wide and 42-44 inches tall, on average.   

Step 2 - Dig Post Holes

Your post holes for the trellis gate should be deeper than those you dug for the fence itself, at least three to four feet. Wet the ground with your garden hose if it starts out too hard to easily dig. These gate post holes can also be dug by hand with a spade, but this is much more labor intensive. Renting a post hole digger from your local hardware store will make this an easier process, and most retailers are happy to give you a demonstration if you are not familiar with using a post hole digger.

Step 3 - Mix and Apply Cement

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing your cement; do this is a wheelbarrow or large tub. Using a mix that includes portland cement will yield a more durable result and lessen the chances of the gate posts leaning to one side. Pour cement in each gate post hole and quickly sink each gate post before the cement mixture starts to cure. Let this set for 24 hours before attaching the trellis gate.

Step 4 - Attach Gate Rail

Select a metal gate rail long enough to run the diagonal length of your trellis gate and that can be attached with the all-weather screws. Secure this to the top and bottom corners; this rail will prevent the gate posts from tipping or leaning under the weight of your trellis gate as it swings open and closed. Many DIY-er's attach this rail to the inside of the gate, so as not to detract too much from the trellis design on the outside.

Step 5 - Prepare and Attach Trellis Gate

If you plan to paint your trellis gate to match and/or compliment your picket fence, do this before installing it. For gates with elaborate metal scrolling, it is a good idea to use a rented paint sprayer to ensure complete coverage. Be sure to allow plenty of drying time.  

Screw the trellis gate hinges in place to one of the gate posts, depending on whether you want your gate to swing inward or outward, on the right side or the left. Check with your local building codes to see if there happen to be any regulations for front gate opening directions; these can vary by area.


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