How to Add a Gate to an Existing Wood Fence

putting a gate in an existing fence

Adding a gate to an existing wood fence

Right after we started working on our low maintenance, low water, no grass landscaping project, it was obvious that an extra fence gate on the east side of the house was a must. Unless we really wanted to carry all of the materials the long way around the house, adding the gate was actually our first priority.

Luckily, it is very easy to add a gate to an existing wood fence. There are obviously different ways to do it, but, assuming you do not need to somehow modify your fence (add an extra post for example), this is a project you can complete in a couple of hours.

HOW TO ADD A GATE TO AN EXISTING WOOD FENCE

STEP 1: DETERMINE AND GET ALL THE TOOLS AND MATERIALS YOU NEED TO ADD YOUR FENCE GATE

Although I usually list all the tools and materials I use for the different projects at the end of the posts, this time, to make it easier for you to follow the steps, I have decided to do it right at the beginning, before I go ahead and explain how to add the fence gate.

Tools and materials you need to add a gate to an existing wood fence:


STEP 2: CUT THE WOOD TO SIZE AND FIX IT, DIAGONALLY, TO THE EXISTING FENCE

To complete this step, all we did was setting the wood against the fence and then marked it with a sharpie. Then we used these marks as a guide to cut the wood with the reciprocating saw.

Putting a gate in an existing fence

Marking and cutting the wood for the new fence gate

 

simple fence gate design

Measuring and marking the wood for a new fence gate

 

This may not be an extremely accurate method, but as you can see in the images, it worked well for us. You can always take some extra time to measure, mark and cut as straight as you feel is right.

Crafting a fence gate

Using the reciprocating saw to cut the wood to size

 

Once you have cut the wood to size, go ahead and fix it to the fence using either nails or screws. We used screws.

how to make a fence gate

Putting together the fence gate

STEP 3: CUT AN EXTRA PIECE FOR THE LATCH AND FIX IT AS WELL

Just as you did in the previous step, cut an extra piece of wood for the latch and put it in place. The position of this piece is based on the size and type of fence gate as well as your personal preference. We put it right in the middle of the gate.

STEP 4: INSTALL THE FENCE GATE HARDWARE, HINGES, AND LATCH

With the gate assembled (if you can call it that way), you can go ahead and install the hinges and the latch. Keep in mind, however, that the hinges cannot be completely fixed just yet.

wood fence gate hardware

Fence gate hardware (hinges and latch) installed

 

Feel free to fix them to the support side of the fence (the part of the fence that will not move), but not to the new gate. This is so that you can get your saw blade to cut in between them. Once you cut in between the two pieces, you can fix the hinge to the gate.

installing fence gate hinges

The fence gate hinges we used

 

crafting-a-wood-fence-gate

Cutting the new fence gate from the rest of the fence (right at the hinge)

 

crafting-a-gate-in-an-existing-wood-fence

Separating the fence gate from the rest of the fence

 

Repeat this step as necessary, depending on the number of hinges you have. Do it a hinge at a time. We have a total of four hinges, so we had to repeat this step four times.

STEP 5: MAKE THE REST OF THE CUTS

Depending on the size and type of your new fence gate, you may need to complete a few extra cuts before you can use it. You should now be ready to do so.

In our case, we had to cut two fence rails (top and bottom), the new piece we installed to support the latch as well as one of the pickets to the right of the new gate.

adding a gate-in-an-existing-fence

We cut the top and bottom rails as well as the extra piece we added for the latch

 

crafting a wood-fence-gate

We also cut one of the pickets on the left side of this image

STEP 6: STAIN OR PAINT YOUR NEW GATE

As the title suggests, once you have the new gate ready, I would recommend that you either stain or paint the new wood to match the rest of the fence. As you can see, I did not complete this step right away, but it is definitely better if you do it sooner rather than later.

STEP 7: ENJOY YOUR NEW FENCE GATE

Now it’s time to enjoy your new gate! I hope it didn’t take you too long to complete the project.

adding a gate to an existing wood fence

Our new fence gate ready to go, we had already completed our landscaping project when I got this photo

 

For us, it was time to move on with our low maintenance, low water, no grass landscaping project. Check it out if you haven’t done so!

Readers, have you ever added a gate to an existing wooden fence? How did you do it?

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