How to build a double wood gate

Written by aryeh raphael
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How to build a double wood gate
Building wooden gates can be a weekend project for a homeowner. (wooden gate image by Kathy Burns from

A gate is the first thing any visitor sees before entering a house and is therefore an important element that defines the entire look and feel of one's property. Double gates are commonly made for car access, but other than their function, they also offer somewhat symbolic open arms at the moment of entrance. If you have a wooden fence around your property and you wish to enclose it and finish it in a practical yet visually appealing way, you may want to learn how to make a double wood gate.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) and 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) posts
  • Power saw
  • Screws and nails
  • Nail gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Gate hardware (i.e. doorknobs or hinges)
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood primer
  • Wood paint
  • Paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Measure the length you want to cover with your wooden gate. Usually, when there is a distance of 1.8 m (6 feet) or more, the gate needs to be a double one. Take into account the widths of our vehicles, if that is also a function of the gate, and size, height and style of the existing wooden fence. After you take down the dimensions, make a precise plan for your wooden gate and buy the material according to the plan. It is always a good idea to order precut wooden boards and avoid unnecessary work. Remember that the type of the wood is also an important factor, so either choose the same material as the fence or a stronger and tougher kind of wood. Keep in mind that double gates need to be resilient and strong, with powerful bracing that holds both doors.

  2. 2

    Assemble the frame for your wooden gate, using precut boards or cutting them yourself with a power saw. Knowing that typical width of a double gate ranges from 2.1 to 3 m (7 to 10 feet), you will need a frame that is 105 to 150 cm (42 to 60 inches) wide and anywhere from 100 cm (40 inches) high. First attach the outer frame by drilling holes in the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) or 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) boards and screwing them together. Then add a diagonal 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) brace that you cut from a wooden board. Screw the diagonal board inside the frame as well. Repeat the same procedure for the other door. The brace needs to form an A, not a V in the final design, since its function is to prevent gate sagging.

  3. 3

    Cover the frame with 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards or even thinner ones. Make sure that the look compliments the rest of the fence and that the boards look harmonious when arranged vertically and attached to the frame. Cut the boards to the required length, meaning the same height as the frame itself, with a power saw. Then attach them to the frame with nails or screws, using a nail gun or a power drill and a screwdriver. Note that the side of the frame you covered will be the street side of the double wood gate.

  4. 4

    Attach gate hardware such as doorknobs and hinges to both doors, starting with marking the exact place for their installation. Hold the gate to the side post of your existing fence to see where the hinges need to be attached. Make sure that the gate doesn't reach the ground because it will likely get dirty, moist and, therefore, rot more quickly; the gate might not close properly either. Mark the place for the hinges on the side of the gate, then mark the exact place for the screws and drill the holes. Screw the hinges to the gate door with a power drill and a screwdriver and tighten them well.

  5. 5

    Finish your double wood doors by adding final touches such as treating the whole surface with sandpaper. Then, after brushing off the excess saw dust, apply a coat of quality wood primer and then finally a few coats of wood paint. Use a thick, natural fibre brush and always allow coats to dry completely in between.

  6. 6

    Hang your new double wooden gate to the side posts of the existing fence, using the hinges you just installed. Check if the two doors are even and compatible and if not, make the necessary adjustments.

Tips and warnings

  • Think about adding a system for automatic opening and closing of the double gate. There are a number of different systems on the market, from remote controlled ones to the ones with optical sensors.
  • Working with power tools and heavy-duty tools is extremely dangerous, so make sure to be careful and follow all safety precautions when dealing with carpentry projects.

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