You can add wooden gates to your property solely for aesthetic reasons or as a security measure. Low, decorative gates can be designed to be informal and inviting, while high, solid, impermeable wooden gates can keep the world at bay. By designing the gates yourself, you can be assured that you will have gates that have been custom-made to your needs, and you will save the cost of hiring a designer. Self-designed wooden gates also give you the opportunity to add some personal expression into your property.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Digital camera
- Measuring tape
Learn everything you can about wooden gates before designing your own. Read books, keep an eye out for gates that look like what you like and take pictures of them. Talk to friends, neighbours or acquaintances who have gates on their property that they built themselves or that they had built. Your gates will need to be functional and well built as well as attractive to serve their purpose.
Read about gates and doors in woodworking books and magazines. The size of your gates will determine how large and strong your posts and hinges will need to be, and you will need this information before designing them.
Examine the fence on your property and the gates that are currently there, if you are replacing old gates. If they are in poor shape or have broken parts, the problems they have may give you valuable information about how to design your new gates. For example, if the bottoms of the old gates are rotten, you will want to design yours to be somewhat higher off the ground, since they are probably located in a wet area.
Measure the space into which your gates will be installed. Determine both the width and the height you will need to make gates that fit. The thickness of your gates is somewhat more flexible, but you will need to determine this as well before you build them.
Sketch ideas for the shape and style of your gates, all of which fit into the space you will be filling. Experiment with all manner of different gates from mild to wild. Sketches are cheap, quick and easy, so use them to your advantage to help you gain a sense of what the possibilities are. Draw sketches for solid gates, latticework gates, heavy, imposing gates and decorative gates. Try flat tops and arched tops, solid faces and windows. Use your imagination.
Draw a final drawing on a large piece of paper when you have a good idea of what you want, incorporating the aspects of your sketches that appeal to you. Draw the gates to scale and include all the measurements and a list of the materials you will need to build the gates.
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