How do I Build a Lightweight Walk-Through Gate?

Written by mary lougee
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How do I Build a Lightweight Walk-Through Gate?
Lightweight walk-through gates are easy for senior citizens to operate. (senior image by Alexander Raths from

Walk-through gates provide access to garden areas, backyards and other areas that fences surround. A walk-through gate is large enough for people to enter and exit on foot while carrying items but not wide enough for cars to access. Making a lightweight gate involves using the lightest materials possible and not including heavy wood, nails or wire fencing for a cover. Covering a PVC gate frame with plastic mesh held on by zip ties provides a very lightweight fence that is easy to open for children and older adults.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • PVC pipe
  • Marker
  • Hacksaw
  • 4 PVC 90-degree elbows
  • PVC primer
  • PVC glue
  • Plastic mesh
  • Scissors
  • Zip ties

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  1. 1

    Measure the opening for the walk-through gate with a measuring tape. Subtract 1 inch from the width measurement of the opening to allow room for hinges and closures. For this example, the opening height is 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

  2. 2

    Lay PVC pipe on a steady surface like a workbench or across sawhorses. Measure two sections of pipe at 4 feet each and mark them.

  3. 3

    Cut on the marks with a hacksaw entirely through the pipe for the two gate sides.

  4. 4

    Measure, mark and cut two pieces of PVC at a length of 3 feet and 11 inches for the top and bottom of the gate.

  5. 5

    Lay out the four pieces on the ground, as they will assemble to form the gate.

  6. 6

    Spread PVC primer on the inside of a 90-degree elbow on both ends. Spread PVC primer on the exterior of the gate top and left side where they will join.

  7. 7

    Wipe PVC glue on the same areas of the gate top and left side junction as the primer.

  8. 8

    Slide the elbow onto the left side and top of the gate to form the corner. Repeat this process for each of the additional three corners to form a rectangle-shaped gate.

  9. 9

    Left the PVC glue dry for about 10 minutes to ensure secure joints.

  10. 10

    Place plastic mesh on top of the gate on the ground. Cut the mesh to the gate size with scissors on the exterior perimeter of the PVC.

  11. 11

    Slightly lift the gate at the top left corner. Slide a zip tie through the mesh and around the PVC gate frame. Thread the loose end of the zip tie through the square and pull the loose end though tightly. Repeat this process to secure the plastic mesh to the PVC gate frame on all sides about 6 inches apart.

Tips and warnings

  • Plastic mesh is available at fencing stores and some home improvement centres in a choice of colours.
  • Chain link gate hinges and closures will mount on the PVC gate frame to install the gate.
  • Plan a walk-through gate width to accommodate access with a lawnmower, wheelchair or scooter so all may use the gate.

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