How to build a swinging wood gate

Written by cadence johansen
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Wood fencing attractively frames your yard, keeps out unwanted guests and is fairly easy to construct and install. On the other hand, building a wood swinging gate requires a little more know how. Follow these simple steps to build a gate as a finishing touch for your wood fence.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cement
  • Level
  • Four 2x4 boards
  • Wooden slats
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Three hinges
  • Shims
  • Latch

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  1. 1

    Decide how tall and wide your gate needs to be. In most cases, the gate will be the same height as the fence for a uniform look.

  2. 2

    Install post holes. If the fence is already installed, this may be finished for you. When installing posts, dig a two-foot by one-foot hole. Be sure to dig the hole deep enough to reach below the frost line. Add cement and set the posts, use a level to make sure they are plumb.

  3. 3

    Measure the distance between the two posts. The finished gate should be about one inch shorter than this distance. This will allow the gate to swing freely.

  4. 4

    Measure the distance from the top of the post to the ground. You will probably want your gate to be at least two inches from the ground to account for uneven dirt or grass. If your posts are six feet tall, the gate will need to be three inches shorter than that (remember, your gate is one inch shorter than the top of the post).

  5. 5

    Build a gate frame with two sides, two uprights and a diagonal piece. You will need have two cross pieces where your wooden slats will be attached. Attach the uprights to the sides. Adding a diagonal piece between those two wooden cross pieces to strengthen the frame. Attach the wooden slats by spacing them approximately a half inch apart to make the gate more wind resistant.

  6. 6

    Attach the gate with hinges. The gate should have a hinge at the top, middle and bottom of the side of the door to prevent sagging. Use shims to help keep the door in place while hanging it.

  7. 7

    Attach latching hardware. Line up the latching hardware with one half on the post and the other on the swinging side of the door so your gate will close smoothly. Screw into place.

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