How to Build a Wood Fence Gate

What You'll Need
2 Posts
Wood for the gate
Post hole digger or shovel
Long string
2 bags of mixed concrete
Hammer and nails
Paint or wood stain and accessories, if needed

If you are planning to build a wooden fence for privacy reasons you can do so in one weekend. All you have to do is grab a friend, follow some instructions and you’ll be on your way to building a great gate for your wooden fence. 

Step 1 – Choose Your Wood

You can buy either treated wood or raw wood. Treated wood will have a green tint to it. You can also use raw wood, but you will need to treat the ends of the posts yourself. They will come with directions on how you can properly treat the wood.

Step 2 – Remove Fence Section

If necessary, remove the section of fence where you would like to build your gate (see step 4 for considerations when measuring for your gate.) Next, stretch a long string from the bottom of one fence post to the bottom of the other. That way you’ll know the new gate is in line with the already standing fence. 

Step 3 – Dig 

Dig your first hole. Make sure it is deep enough to hold the post sturdy. You can get away with 12 inches for a small gate. For a heavier gate or one built in loose soil, 24 inches is more reasonable. Drop some stones in the hole for water drainage and then brace your post with small slat boards. 

Step 4 – Put in your Second Post 

Your second post is put in the same way as the first. However, it has to be situated for both the width of the gate and for the hardware that will be in place. Figure out how much room is needed for the latch and hinges to work properly. Factor in whether the gate will open inwards or outwards, and whether it will come up against the post or be separated by a hinge.

Step 5 – Put in Concrete 

Mix your concrete with water and pour it into the holes around the posts. Make sure they are level and leave them to set for a day. 

If needed, cut any excess off the posts after they are set. Then cut your horizontal rails. Your rails should be 1 by 4 for a smaller gate, and 2 by 4, or 2 by 6 for larger gates. Cut the boards for the gate and screw them to the rails and braces. 

Step 6 – Hardware

Begin with your hinges. Attach them to the gate. Ask a friend for help. Set the gate up against the hinge post, marking where the screws will be placed. Pre-drill the holes so that you can get the gate up quickly, avoiding holding it up for a long time. After you’ve put it in place, make sure the gate opens and closes properly. Then mark off where the latch should go before pre-drilling for and installing the latch on the gate and the post. If desired, stain or paint your new gate.