A garden gate can add a lovely finish to your outdoor space and help restrict pet access when necessary. Believe it or not, building a simple garden gate isn’t hard. If you want to save a quid while having some DIY fun, the guide below will teach you how to do it.
How To Make A Garden Gate
Making a gate is an easy DIY project. Follow the steps below to build a simple wooden gate or a garden gate with wire.
Note: This guide will show you how to make a standard-size garden gate (about 2m high by 1m wide). You can follow the same steps to build a gate of any size – just cut the timber to the desired dimensions.
What You’ll Need
- (2) 6×6 (150mm x 150mm) structural oak beams – 270 cm long (optional)
- (2) 6×2 (150mm x 47mm) boards – 200 cm long
- (3) 6×2 (150mm x 47mm) boards – 86 cm long
- (7) 6×1 (150mm x 22mm) boards – 110 cm long (optional)
- (4) 6×1 (150mm x 22mm) boards – 50 cm long (optional)
- Chicken wire (optional)
- Aluminium tape (optional)
- Concrete mix (optional)
- Bucket (optional)
- Water (optional)
- Mitre saw
- Table saw
- Orbital sander
- Carpenter’s square
- Rubber mallet
- Gate hinges
- Gate latch kit
- Two pipe clamps
- Exterior-grade wood glue
- Exterior wood stain or paint
- Tape measure
1. Set The Posts
Setting posts may or may not be necessary, depending on your circumstances.
If you want to install a gate in a fence opening, you may be able to fix the gate’s frame onto the fence. However, if this is not possible or if you don’t have a fence at all, you have to set gate posts.
Decide the gate width and measure the distance on the ground. Mark the point on each side with a stake.
Dig holes deep enough to sink about one-third of a post. The hole must be about three times bigger in diameter than the post width.
To prevent rot, wrap the sections of a post to be buried with adhesive aluminium tape (or another type of sealant tape). Prepare the concrete by mixing the powder with the quantity of water specified on the label.
Place one post in the middle of the hole and ask a helper to hold it in place. Pour the concrete all around – you must use sufficient concrete to fill the hole.
Set the second post in its hole and use a wooden board and level to make sure the posts are the same height – don’t forget to check the distance as well. Adjust if needed. Pour the concrete around the post.
Leave the posts undisturbed overnight.
2. Cut The Joints
To build a solid wooden gate that withstands the test of time, you must cut tongue-and-groove joints into the frame boards.
Each 2-metre board must feature a groove joint on one side. Each one of the three 86-centimetre boards must feature tongue joints on the sides.
These boards must also have grooves at is follows:
- One board must have grooves along the bottom
- A board must have grooves along both the top and bottom
- One board must have grooves along the top
If you want to build a solid panel gate, you must also cut tongue-and-groove joints in the other wooden boards – seven of these boards will make up the gate slab, while the other four will create a decorative feature at the top.
The seven longer boards must have tongues on the two short sides and one long side and a groove on the other long side.
The four short boards must have tongues on each short side.
Use your table saw and chisel to cut out the grooves and tongues. The video below shows you how to do it:
3. Assemble The Gate
Once you have all pieces cut and ready, grab the glue and start assembling the gate.
Place one long 6×2 board on the ground. Glue the bottom of the frame in place by applying adhesive on the tongue and sliding it into the groove.
Assemble the slab by glueing each of the seven 6×1 boards in place. Continue with the second horizontal board.
Measure the position of each of the four top boards (an equal distance between one board and another) and join them with the top side of the second horizontal board.
Assemble the top of the frame by sliding its groove onto all tongues and glueing it in place.
Lastly, slide the other side of the gate frame in place and glue everything together.
Leave it for at least 24 hours.
If you don’t feel like making a wooden gate, you can assemble the frame alone and nail chicken wire in the place of the slab once the glue has dried.
4. Sand And Paint The Gate
Whether you opt for a wooden gate or a chicken wire gate with a wooden frame, you must treat the wood to protect it from the elements.
Sand the entire surface with an orbital sander – you can do this manually, too, but the task would require quite some elbow grease.
Use a face mask whilst sanding to prevent inhaling wood dust.
Remove the dust with a damp rag and let the material dry.
Use a waterproof wood stain specifically formulated for outdoor use or a primer and paint combo to seal the surface.
5. Install The Gate
Attach the hinges and gate latch following the instructions provided in your hinge and gate latch kits. Mount the gate onto the posts.
How to make a garden gate plan?
To make a garden gate plan, decide the type of gate you want to build and its dimensions.
Draw the gate on a piece of paper, decide where and how to make the joints (tongue-and-groove, nailed or screwed together, welded if it’s a metal gate, etc.).
Make a list of materials and follow your drawing to build the gate.
How much does it cost to make a garden gate?
It depends on the gate you want to make and the materials you want to use.
For instance, making a garden gate out of pallets or leftover timber from decking can be free if you have all the tools and materials.
A gate made of chicken wire or plain timber will be cheaper compared to one made of feather edge boards.
Generally, a small gate can cost you anywhere between £25 and £200 in materials alone.
How long does it take to make a garden gate?
Making a garden gate can take two to three days, depending on whether or not you have to install posts.
Building a simple garden gate is a rewarding project for beginner and experienced DIYers alike. We hope this guide can help you complete the project successfully.