Making a garden gate is a great beginner DIY project as it is relatively simple, but will look fantastic if done right. Learning a basic design like the one we will teach you today is only the beginning, and is an excellent foundation for you to build your own ideas upon, adding decorative touches and more advanced woodwork techniques as you gain confidence and skills.
Building a garden gate will almost certainly save you money when compared to buying a ready-made one from the garden centre, and of course there is the satisfaction of knowing you made it all yourself from scratch, which itself is worth its weight in gold.
The materials and tools needed for this build are fairly minimal, and you can find the list directly below, so let’s get cracking and learn how to make a garden gate.
To make a garden gate you will need:
- Nail gun or just a regular hammer and nails will do
- Mitre saw (handsaw is fine too but will take more effort and time)
- Jigsaw (optional. again, a handsaw will suffice)
- Tape measure
- 45cm tee hinges
- Timber 45x45mm (you will cut these to size later)
How to make a garden gate- fence posts
If you are just making a gate to put on an existing fence then all you need to do is make sure that they are strong enough to support the gate you’ll be building. There should be no movement or wobble in the posts when you push or pull on them.
If you are making your own fence posts, use 5×5 and then dig a hole that is three times as wide as the post itself, and deep enough so that you can bury a third of the post length or more. Fill the hole with concrete to hold the post in place, but I would suggest leaving a couple of inches at the top that you can fill with top soil or grave once the cement is set, to give a more eye pleasing finish.
Leave the posts in place for a week or so to settle before trying to build and fix on the gate.
How to make a garden gate- measuring and cutting
Once you’ve checked or made your fence posts, you need to measure the gap that the gate will be filling. If the gate is going to be larger than 4 feet wide, you will either have to fit a sprung wheel for support, or make two gates that will meet in the middle. These are not difficult adjustments to make and this simple design will work fine for either option.
Once you have these measurements, you can head over to the saw and start to cut your timber. Remember to deduct about 5cm from both the horizontal and vertical measurements and cut your pieces to those sizes. This will allow for space for the gate to move and also create room at the bottom.
You’ll need to cut two pieces for the horizontal part of the gate frame, and as many vertical pieces as you think you will need to fill the frame if they spaced evenly apart. The easiest thing to do, is to cut one of the vertical pieces and then use it as a spacer and mark the larger horizontal pieces with a pen. You then just count how many extra you will need and cut them.
How to make a garden gate- building the gate
Now onto building the actual gate, and it’s probably easier than you expect. Lay out your two horizontal pieces and two vertical pieces on the floor or other flat surface.
With the smaller, vertical pieces lying on top of the horizontal ones, there should be around 15mm of overhang on the top and bottom. In other words, the horizontal pieces will be fixed to the vertical ones 15mm up from the bottom, and the other 15mm down from the top.
Check everything is lined up properly and level, and then use either a nail gun, or a good old hammer and nails to fix a vertical piece in place on either end of the horizontal ones. Depending on the measurements of the gate you will make you should now have either a square or rectangular frame.
Next, add all the other vertical pieces, using the pen marks you made earlier to make sure that they’re spaced evenly apart.
Once this is done, you can check the structure for stability, and if you think it needs more support, measure across on a diagonal at 45 degrees across the frame and cut and fix another long piece in place.
You can now leave this design as it is and move onto the finishing touches, or if you want to give the gate a more pleasing aesthetic, you can use either a jigsaw, or hand saw to cut the bottoms of the vertical timber pieces at varying lengths. This could be alternating long and short, or a gradual curve. It’s completely up to you.
To finish off the gate, screw the tee hinges onto the horizontal pieces and hang the gate on the posts, and you’re done. If you prefer to use other types of hinges that’s fine too, as we said, this is just a very simple design that you can modify as you see fit.
All that’s left to do is to give the gate a lick of paint or stain, and then sit back with a cold drink of your choice and admire your handy work.
That’s all for this article folks, but as always, our aim is to inform, educate, and help in any way we can, and is the reason we built this site, which is stuffed to the rafters with how to articles, reviews, and other great stuff. So please take a few moments to check out our other top-notch pages on all things gardening related.