Install a Fence and Gate 3 - Building the Gate

Installing Gate Posts

Gates are the doorways in your fence. Since you will need to get things like wheelbarrows through the gate, the gateposts should be positioned at least 36" apart.

Gateposts are installed following the same process as corner posts. However, since they will have to handle the weight of the moving gate, you should give them some additional support. Make the hole for the gate posts a couple of inches wider than for a fence post, and digging an extra 6 inches deeper is also a good idea.

Depending on how wide the gate is, you might want to consider adding some lumber bracing from the gate post to the nearest fence post or bridging the gate posts together at the top of the posts.

Building the Gate

1. Make the frame for your gate 2" narrower than the distance between the gate posts. Measure the width of the gate at the bottom, middle and top to make sure you have the right distance.

2. Cut the horizontal pieces to width first and then cut and install the vertical pieces to fit between the horizontals.

3. Measure from corner to corner on both diagonals to be sure your frame is square. If the measurements aren't exactly the same, adjust the frame until they are. Brace the frame by installing a piece of lumber running diagonally from corner to corner. Alternatively you can install 90-degree steel brackets in the corners of your gate frame to prevent sagging.

4. Attach your gate boards flush to the frame and extending above and below it. Position your gate in the space between the posts, brace it at the proper height to ensure ground clearance, and install your gate hardware.

The secret to an attractive long lasting fence is proper installation. You're going to be looking at it for a long time, so take your time and do it right.

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Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with articles published in both the United States and Canada. He has written on a wide range of topics, but specializes in home maintenance and how to's.