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How to Build Wood Fence Gates?

Whether you’re replacing an old gate or building a new one, it is important to consider the height and width of the opening. This will ensure that your gate is level and does not sag. 

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Fencing in Missouri

If you’re building a fence gate that is more than three feet wide, you’ll need to add diagonal bracing. The brace will prevent your gate from sagging and will give it extra support. You may also need a second diagonal support if the gate is heavy. To make the diagonal brace, you’ll need two two-by-four pieces. Each of the two-by-fours should be cut square. These pieces should be glued in place with carpenter’s glue and weighed down with a heavy object. Once they’re glued, you’ll need to allow a minimum of two hours to cure. 

Once the diagonal brace has been glued and weighed down, you’ll need to position the latch and hinges. The hinges should be placed outside of the gate. The latch should be installed in a spot that is about a third of the way up the fence. 

After laying out the two-by-fours, you’ll need to mark the location for the hinges. Position the hinges so the center of the pivot point is about an inch below the ground. Be sure to use screws included with the hinges, and don’t forget to predrill. 

Next, install the pickets. Start by positioning the first picket in line with the edge of the frame. Use a 3/16” drill bit to drill pilot holes to prevent splitting wood. It’s helpful to use a speed square to measure the center of the picket. For the top, attach the board with two-inch deck screws. Make sure to set the center of the pickets one-half to one-quarter inch past the frame. 

Once the gate is hung, you’ll need to attach the hinges to the gatepost. Use a cordless drill or a hand saw to do this. In some cases, lag screws will be required to keep the hinges in place. 

You can also add pulleys to your fence gate project. They’ll add visual distractions, and can complicate the installation process. However, they can help to stabilize the gate while you’re installing it. 

Depending on your fence, you may need to anchor the posts in place. Be sure to check your fence to see if it is level before you hang the gate. Also, be sure to seal the posts before hanging the gate. When hanging the gate, it’s best to position it at least a week before you hang the gate. 

Finally, install the flat planks. These should be laid out evenly over the gate frame. Be sure to leave an inch of space between each plank for weather allowances. Finish the basic wooden gate with a few lengths of timber. 

A properly built fence gate can last for decades with little maintenance. However, if you build a poorly designed gate, you’ll end up with a crooked gate or have to pull the gate apart to adjust it.