How to install a garden gate?
Prefabricated gates are available at many home centers and garden stores.
Most garden gates are smaller and lighter than full-size gates, and many have spaced pickets instead of solid fencing panels. Garden gates have a pair of hinges that mount to the gate and the side of the opening. Hanging a garden gate is relatively easy using a method that professionals use. The job starts with mounting the hinges on the gate. After you hang the gate, select a latch that matches the decor of the hinges.
Attaching the Hinges
Lay the gate face up on sawhorses or a utility table. Determine which edge the hinges attach according to the way the gate swings open, or outward. The hinges attach on the right-hand edge if the left side of the gate swings open, and vice versa.
Position the long leg of a T-strap hinge flat on the face of the gate. Align the strap with the upper rail of the gate where the pickets attach. Move the hinge, as necessary, so the barrel of the hinge aligns evenly on the edge of the gate.
Install a 1/8-inch drill bit in a power or cordless drill. Use the machined holes in the strap of the hinge as guides and drill 1-inch-deep pilot holes into the gate for lag screws at each hole. If a hole falls in the space between pickets, drill a 3/4-inch deep pilot hole in the upper rail.
Attach the strap of the hinge to the face of the gate with 1 3/4 inch lag screws at each hole. Tighten the heads of the lags with an open-end wrench.
Repeat Steps 2, 3 and 4, and attach the strap of the lower hinges on the face of the gate, aligned with the lower rail of the gate.
Hanging the Gate
Swivel the butt portion of both T-strap hinges outward and against the straps, so they don't interfere with positioning the gate. Ask an assistant to help position the gate in the opening at the desired height. Place two-by-four blocks under the pickets at each end of the gate to temporarily support the gate in the opening.
Swivel the butt portion of the hinges against the face of a gate post or last fencing picket at the side of the opening. Move the gate sideways in the opening, as necessary, so the vertical gaps at each side are the same width. Lift the gate, if necessary, to the desired height.
Secure the gate in the opening with two wood shims in each of the gaps between the posts or pickets at each side. One shim is near the upper edge of the gate and the other near the lower edge. Drive the shims into the gaps with a hammer. If necessary, stack shims together to fill a gap.
Use the machined holes in the butts of the hinges as guides and drill 1 1/2 inch deep pilot holes at each hole. Install lag screws at each hole, and tighten the lags with the wrench.
Pull out the shims, and remove the wood blocks at the lower edge of the gate after the latch is installed.
Things You Will Need
- Sawhorses or utility table
- T-strap hinges
- 1/8-inch drill bit
- Power or cordless drill
- 1 3/4 inch lag screws
- Open-end wrench
- Two-by-four blocks
- Wood shims
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- Typical garden gate latches install on the face of the gate and the post or end picket at the fence with wood screws. Attach the arm of the latch onto the gate, and use it as a guide to position the catch on the post or picket.
- Enlist a professional iron works shop to hang a wrought iron garden gate on steel posts.