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:
- Screwdrivers and hand tools (always useful)
- Circular saw, reciprocating saw or similar
- Wood (2 in x 4 in or 2 in x 6 in studs , depending on the size of the fence and the gate you want to add, we used 2x6s)
- Fencing nails or screws (we used screws)
- Hammer, or even better, a nail gun or drill
- Gate hardware (hinges & latch)
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.
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.
Once you have cut the wood to size, go ahead and fix it to the fence using either nails or screws. We used screws.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 wood fence? How did you do it?
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