How to Build a Freestanding Pet Gate

Updated February 21, 2017

Many pet owners have a desire to keep their pet contained to certain areas of the house, either while they are away from the house or at certain times of the day, such as meal times. Using a pet gate is often the best method, but not all openings can accommodate a standard gate. For these types of openings, a freestanding pet gate is a great solution, and building your own is a cost-effective alternative to expensive products.

Measure the opening where you wish to place the gate with the measuring tape. Also measure the height based on the size of your pet. A good rule of thumb is to make the gate two or three times your pet's height.

Cut the plywood to the proper height and width, according to your measurements in Step 1. Cut two-by-four boards to the height of the plywood. Also cut two-by-fours to the width of the plywood, minus 4 inches to allow room for the width of the side boards.

Lay the four boards on their edges on the floor to make a frame, and then place the plywood over the boards. Use the screwdriver to drive screws through the plywood and into the boards. Use four screws for each side.

Cut two two-by-fours to the height of the plywood. These will be the support legs, or braces, for the gate.

Place the support legs flat on the floor, and place the gate upright at the centre of the two boards. Space the boards so that they line up with the edges of the gate for maximum support. The support legs provide stability for the gate, extending to the front and back to keep it upright.

Place two L brackets on either side of the gate, and drill one screw through the bracket into the support leg and the other side into the gate. Repeat for all four brackets.


If you would like your pet to be able to see through the gate, use wood slats instead of plywood.


If your pet is very large, a freestanding gate may not be strong enough to contain it.

Things You'll Need

  • 2x4-inch wood boards
  • Sheet of plywood
  • 4 large L brackets
  • Wood screws (1 1/2-inch)
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood saw
  • Power drill with screwdriver attachment
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