How to Adjust an Expandable Gate Frame Kit

Written by joe mcelroy
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How to Adjust an Expandable Gate Frame Kit
An adjustable gate frame can provide support to custom-sized wooden gates. (Timber Framed Thatched Normandy House and Picket Gate image by Chris Lofty from

An expandable gate frame kit is designed to support custom sized wooden gates. The kit uses adjustable rails and an adjustable cross-cable to fit to the gate size you need. The kit is designed to fit new wooden gate pickets to it after you have properly sized it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adjustable gate frame kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Wooden fence pickets
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • 2-by-4 board measuring at least twice the width of the gate

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  1. 1

    Measure the gate opening between the gate hinges and latch posts. Subtract space allowance for the gate hinges and latch. This is your finished gate width.

  2. 2

    Lay out your gate uprights. The uprights connect to each other via sliprails that fit into the gate uprights. Fit the sliprails and adjust to the finished gate width.

  3. 3

    Measure the 2-by-4 board and cut so that you have two pieces, each exactly the length of the finished gate width. Fit the cut boards into the preformed brackets in the steel gate frame. Secure them to the frame with a wood-screw through the hole in each bracket.

  4. 4

    Secure the braided cable diagonally across the back of the frame. Secure it to the mounts at opposite corners of the frame. Pull the cable tight and secure it with cable ties. Use wire cutters to remove any excess cable from the ends. This prevents the gate from sagging.

  5. 5

    Attach fence pickets to the frame using nails or screws. The pickets are secured to the wood 2-by-1 cross rails you installed in Step 3.

  6. 6

    Install hinge assemblies and latches according to the instructions with your kit. These assemblies vary depending on the manufacturer of the kit you use.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have an ornate, old, wood gate you want to fit the kit to, you have to remove any support or cross beams from the back of the existing gate before you can attach the adjustable frame to it.
  • Adjustable gate frames are designed to adjust to the size gate you are building. When construction is complete, the actual gate does not adjust.
  • When choosing an adjustable gate kit, make sure to check the range of widths it will accommodate. Different kits come with different ranges. You should make sure that the kit you buy will expand to the gate width you want.

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