Basics of Gate Building

This gate design is simple and adaptable.

Gates are outdoor doorways. They welcome family and friends into your garden -- and provide practical ways of getting from the front to the back yard with tools, the mower, and other equipment.

Adapt this basic gate to fit your opening.


1. Build a frame 1/2-inch narrower than the gap in the fence. Square the frame, secure corners with angle brackets, and install a brace from the bottom of the hinge side to the top of the latch side.

2. Add finish boards to match the fencing. Measure carefully and install hinges, taking care that they are square with the edge. All but very lightweight gates should have three hinges.

3. Install the gate. Prop the gate into position on blocks. Plumb it and have a helper mark each hinge position. Remove the gate, drill holes, and hang the gate. Finally, install latch hardware.


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