How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

If you googled “Sad Excuse for a Gate”, this is the image that would pop up:

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Rotted, sagging and falling apart are all words you could use to describe it.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

One of the main reasons this gate is in poor shape is because it wasn’t built rock solid! Building a rock solid gate requires a 2″x4″ frame, not these measly 2″x2″ pieces. The wire can only help so much with sag. This gate just wasn’t built to last.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Want to learn How to Build a Rock Solid Gate?

Let’s get building!

Materials:
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How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Homax Easy Gate Kit
  • 2″x4″ board(s)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • String
  • Shims
  • Drill
  • Saw

Instructions:

I’ve built several gates, but the Homax Easy Gate is the easiest way to build a Rock Solid Gate (NOT paid to say this!) The frame is custom sized to your gate by the length of the 2″x4″ boards. The hinges are integrated into the frame, making this one of the quickest and strongest gate kits I’ve ever built.

Start by removing your old gate. If the pickets are in good shape, save them for use on the new gate.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the width of your opening.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Subtract 1.5″ from the width and cut two 2″x4″ boards to this dimension.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the height of your adjacent fence posts.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Subtract a few inches from the height measurement to allow the gate kit hinge to secure to the post. (And to keep the bottom 2″x4″ a few inches above the ground to keep it from rotting.) Cut the two 2″x4″ boards to this measurement.

Insert your cut boards into the gate kit. You may need the hammer to force some stubborn studs into place.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

This is how the gate kit should look:

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the metal frame to the 2″x4″s with the provided screws.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Attach the hinge securely to the sides of the 2″x4″pieces.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Test fit the gate frame. Level the frame with shims or scrap wood.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

When the gate is perfectly plumb and level, attach the hinges to the fence post.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Test the gate to make sure it swings freely in the opening. A gate that isn’t plumb or level will open or close on it’s own.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Adding Pickets:

If installing a new walkway under your gate, do this before installing the pickets (ideally you want to install the walkway BEFORE building the gate.)

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure the width of your gate. Figure how many pickets you want to use. (Hint: check the spacing of the adjacent fence pickets.)

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

For dog earred pickets, make a template of the top profile by tracing an existing picket.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut all your pickets using the template.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

To keep the spacing the same as your fence pickets, make a scrap wood spacer. Or keep reading to learn how to space your pickets evenly.

How to Build a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

For a smooth line of pickets, string a level line across the top of your adjacent fence pickets on the right and left of the gate opening.

Use the string as a guide for how high to hang the pickets. Find the middle of your gate. Select your middle picket and put one nail into it to hold in place.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the level to plumb the picket before securing it with more nails.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Finish securing the middle gate picket.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

If you aren’t using the block spacer, you can figure out spacing now. Select the remaining pickets to be installed to one side of the center picket. Line up all the pickets on one side. Measure the distance left between pickets and divide by the (number of pickets + 1) to get your spacing measurement.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Nail the rest of your pickets making sure they line up with the string and are plumb.

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat for the opposite side and now you know How to Build a Rock Solid Gate!

Building a Rock Solid Gate | Pretty Handy Girl

Now let’s talk about how to dress up this simple gate!

PHGFancySign

4 replies
  1. Charlotte Lamb
    Charlotte Lamb says:

    I need to build a two door gate in a 10 ft space where there is existing chain link fence. Not sure I have the talent.

    Reply

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  1. […] How to Build a Rock Solid Gate by prettyhandygirl.com I’m partial to outdoor projects for beginners because minor “issues” tend to be far less […]

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