How to Add a Wooden Deck Gate

Written by jericho mccune
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How to Add a Wooden Deck Gate
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Whether it is because of pets, children or general welfare, adding a gate to a wooden deck provides safety and security. Decks are often built quite high above the ground and stairs without a gate are a hazard. Wooden deck gates are easy and quick to build. It is a fairly small project that can often be accomplished with scrap wood, especially if the deck is new and there's leftover lumber.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 4 pieces of 2-by-4 pressure-treated lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Pickets
  • 1 1/2-inch galvanised deck screws
  • Power drill
  • Phillips head drill bit
  • 2 hinges
  • Gate latch

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  1. 1

    Measure the space for the gate with a tape measure, measuring both the height and width of the space. Subtract an inch from both of the measurements and make note of them.

  2. 2

    Cut two pieces of two-by-foour pressure-treated lumber to each measurement with a circular saw.

  3. 3

    Set the two-by-fours on a flat surface and make a gate frame out of them. Place the two-by-fours that are the gate's height on the very ends of the other board so they can adequately hold the hinges and gate latch. Adjust them with a carpenter's square, then secure them in place with 1 1/2-inch galvanised deck screws.

  4. 4

    Measure the width of the gate between the two end boards, in inches. Divide the total by six, then subtract one to find the total number of pickets required.

  5. 5

    Cut the pickets to the gate's height with a circular saw. Cut the excess length from the bottom of the pickets so they will all look uniform.

  6. 6

    Make a mark every 6 inches along the top and bottom of the gate frame with a pencil. Place a picket on the first pair of marks and use a carpenter's square to keep it perpendicular. Secure the picket in place with 1 1/2-inch galvanised deck screws and a drill. Repeat until all the pickets are in place.

  7. 7

    Measure 6 inches from the top and bottom on one edge of the gate. Secure the hinges to the gate with deck screws. Hold the gate against the post on one side of the opening so it is an inch off the ground, then secure the hinges to the post with deck screws. This may require two people.

  8. 8

    Close the gate and attach the gate latch to the side of the gate opposite the hinges. Choose the height of the gate latch based on where it will be a comfortable reach. Secure the latch in place with deck screws, then hook and unhook the latch a few times to ensure it works smoothly.

Tips and warnings

  • If the gate is for general safety, a basic hook-and-eye latch can be used, but if the gate is to keep children from getting hurt select a latch designed to be difficult for children to open.

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