Different Types of Wood Gates

Updated April 17, 2017

From quaint and charming to large and imposing, wooden gates have great appeal. They not only beautify a yard; they also create a sense of security, acting as a barrier between the home and the outside world. Even if safety isn't a primary concern, a wooden gate and fence add a sense of privacy to any yard or property.

Driveway Gate

A large wooden gate can be built to span the driveway, allowing you to fence off the entire yard while letting cars enter. This allows cars to remain securely behind the fence when parked. To give the gate a less imposing feel, it could be built to arch downward or upward in the middle. The gate can be solid or have vertical wooden bars, which would make it feel less imposing as well.

Picket Fence or Trellis Gate

A garden gate, or a gate that enters the front yard from the sidewalk, will naturally be small, allowing easy access into the garden or yard. People should be able to look over it into the garden as well. The gate could have short vertical panels in a picket fence style for a quaint country look, or it might be framed by a wooden trellis. The gate itself could have a trellis design set between two sturdy posts, as Alan Bridgewater shows in "Woodwork for the Garden."

Closeboard Gate

A closeboard gate keeps small animals out of the garden. This type of gate can be small as well, but it has no gaps between the panels. As with a picket fence, horizontal wooden panels and a diagonal brace act as supports.

Secret Doorway

To allow for total privacy or to create a sense of mystery about what lies behind a wall, build a doorway into a stone wall and place a solid wooden gate there. A gate with a rounded or pointed top, like a medieval door, creates the perfect entryway. Likewise, a tall gate with an arched top works well in a privacy fence.

Ranch-Style Gate

A ranch-style gate has long horizontal panels joined at stakes. It complements many rustic or western-style houses well, whether combined with a wooden fence or not. As with other wooden gates, the fence can be composed of another material such as stone or brick to add variety.

Indoor Gate

A wooden indoor gate is very helpful if you have small children or dogs. With a built-in gate, you won't have to bother with continually setting up a childproof gate, and guests will be able to manoeuvre it easily. Additionally, it is more attractive than a childproof gate. This type usually has a lightweight design and matches the style of the house and the colour of any wooden trim. White is often a good colour option as well, giving the gate a brighter feel.


A wooden gate can incorporate many types of ornamental designs, as shown in "How to Build Wooden Gates and Picket Fences: 100 Classic Designs." These designs can include a simple or intricately carved scroll top, shapes carved into the centre of the panels, and tapered posts.

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About the Author

Melanie J. Martin specializes in environmental issues and sustainable living. Her work has appeared in venues such as the Environmental News Network, "Ocean" magazine and "GREEN Retailer." Martin holds a Master of Arts in English.