How to Build an Arbor Gate

What You'll Need
4 - 4x4x10 fence posts
Quick-setting concrete enough for 4 holes
4 2x8x4ft. beams
4 2x6x5ft. slats
2 2x4x8
9 1x6x5ft. gate boards
Few pounds - 2 1/2 inch nails
12 3/8 inch x 3 1/2 inch wood lag bolts
Thumb Latch

The entrance to your backyard will be grand and impressive with an arbor gate installed.  This decorative feature draws the eye and is simple to design and install.  Dress it up with a gate insert and decorative scrolls on the arbor slats or keep it simple.  You can also add personality with decorative hinges and latches, but always make sure the products are rated for outdoor use.

Treated lumber is the most common type found in backyards, although cedar wood can also be used to make this beautiful entrance arbor gate.

Step 1 – Install Posts

Dig holes at least 42 inches deep and set the 4x4 posts in each hole.  The two gate posts should be approximately 48 inches apart and the two additional arbor posts are set approximately 36 inches from them, forming a rectangle that is 36 inch by 48 inch.

Step 2 – Pour Concrete

Making sure the posts are perfectly straight and level, fill the post holes with concrete and let set. 

Step 3 – Beams

Attach one 2x8 beam on either side of each post, running between the gate post and the arbor post.  Keep the top flush with the top of each 4x4.  Use two lag bolts for each side of the 4x4.

Step 4 – Slats

Run the 2x6 slats between the beams, toe nailing them to the top of the 2x8’s.  Space them evenly about 10 to 12 inches apart and be sure they are set on the 2 inch side for an open, airy feel.  (Alternatively, you can nail pre-made lattice to the beams, although it doesn't offer the substantial look of 2x6 slats.) To give your arbor gate a more decorative look, cut the ends on a 45 degree angle or scroll them with a band saw or jigsaw.

Step 5 – Build the Gate Frame

Cut one 2x4 into two pieces approximately 40 – 42 inches long each.  These are the top and bottom brace on your gate and are generally set around 24 inches apart.  Trim the second 2x4 and set between these braces to create a “Z” pattern.  Nail together.

Step 6 – Gate Boards

Nail the 1x6 boards onto the arbor gate frame, butted tight together.  Trim the top to create a gentle arch.  You can also add a gate insert using trimmed 1x6 for a frame or add in a lattice window.  The design of the gate is entirely up to you.

Step 7 – Hinges

Mark and attach the hinges using the instructions and hardware included in the hinge set.  Make adjustments to the hinges until the gate is sitting level. 

Step 8 – Latch

Mark the latch and catch placement on the post.  When setting your latch and hinges up, always be sure that your gate will swing open clearly, without catching on the ground.  Using the supplied hardware and following the specific instructions for your set, attach the latch to the gate and the catch to the post.  You may have to make adjustments each spring as the posts settle, moving the catch, latch or even the hinges slightly and setting the gate level again.

Your grand arbor gate is now ready to welcome visitors.  Create a path through the gate with patio stones, gravel or wood chips, directing traffic through this beautiful entranceway.