How to Install a Garden Gate

Garden gates give you an added layer of security while still giving you access to the world beyond your garden.

Yet, they can also be a weak point when it comes to home security, so it is essential that they are installed correctly and don’t offer easy access to any unwanted visitors.

Whether you need to replace a gate which has become damaged or weathered, or simply want a change, it is easy to remove your old wooden gate and replace it without getting a professional in.

To fit a new gate, you will need to fit a wood gate frame first. This will give you a frame to attach the timber gate to. In most cases, the frame is what will screw into the brick or masonry. You may be able to use an existing frame, but the wood could need replacing if it is rotting or worn.

Use long screws to ensure the frame is well attached and slant the top of the side frame posts so rainwater can run off them.

Gates can then be bought pre-made from several local hardware and timber stores, or your local B&Q. Just measure the size required before purchase.


How to install a gate: Step by step

Wear PPE when installing a gate and working with wood. Eye protection, safety boots, gloves, and a dust mask are all needed.

You will need:



Step 1: Measure correctly

Measure accurately to ensure your gate will work properly. Too big, and it won’t open and close efficiently. Too small, and you’ll have gaps and reduced privacy.

Most gates will open inwards to your property, rather than outwards. Measure the width between both sides of the gate frame, as well as the height of the frame or the height you want your gate to be.

You may wish to add a piece of 2x1 batten to the frame where the gate will sit, to stop the gate closing too far forwards.

Leave around a 2-inch gap from the floor to the start of the gate; this will give you enough clearance to open and close the gate without it catching on your ground.


Step 2: Place the hinges

Lay your gate down on the floor. Place the hinges into position on the gate and mark the screw holes. Drill a single pilot hole, which will ensure you can drive the screw into the wood with no issues.

If this pilot hole is the correct size for the screw, repeat with all the screws needed for the hinge.

SPEEDY TOP TIP: Galvanised hinges will last longer and won’t rust as quickly as non-galvanised options

Try to find the centre of the top, middle and bottom horizontal timbers, and place the hinges centrally. For large gates, you will need three hinges, but for smaller gates, two could suffice.


Step 3: Fit the gate

Now is the time to fit the gate and hinges to the timber frame.

You want to ensure there is a clearance gap underneath the gate, which should be taken into account with the measurements you made. Use two or three small 2x1 timber battens to sit the gate on top of to ensure the gap is even all the way across.

Put the gate to the frame and make sure the gate is evenly spaced, so there is the same gap on either side.

Put the screws in the hinges, attaching them to the timber frame. Just use one or two screws in each hinge until you’re 100% sure the gate opens well and it sits evenly.

Make any adjustments if needed, and then put all the other screws into the hinges once all is okay.


Step 4: Fit the gate latch and bar

The security attachment on your gate depends on the level of security required, and how often you need to use the gate. Most people opt for a bar and an opening latch/handle.

Close the gate. Decide where you want to put the latch; this is usually around one-third below the top of the gate but it needs to be comfortable for you to reach.

You will need to spend a few minutes working out where everything will sit. Once done, use a pencil to mark the drill holes.

With a latch/handle, there is often an outer part too, so the gate can be opened from the other side. Drill a hole which is large enough right through the gate, so both parts can be fitted and secured.

Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws. Then, attach your bolt in the same way, but remember this will only be on the inside of your gate.

SPEEDY TOP TIP: Could someone reach over your gate and open the bolt? If so, place the bolt in the middle of the gate.

You may wish to use a padlock which can stop the bar from being opened. Once everything is in place, check all screws are tightened.



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