A deck gate is a great addition to your deck for added security and style. This article will show you how to build a simple deck gate to keep prying eyes out of your backyard and give your yard a whole new look.
A deck gate is a great way to keep small children and pets out of specific areas on your property. Its construction is based on the same principle as that of a door – a hinge and one or more fence post-like beams. However, instead of covering both sides with hard materials such as wood, a deck gate uses only one side for its hinges and posts, with the rest of the frame being covered in soft material such as fabric.
I have a simple deck that I built myself. It has worked out great and really added some space to my yard, but after having it for a while, I decided that it was missing something: a gate! Adding a gate was the perfect way to complete the deck and make it useful for entertaining guests. Plus, with two young kids and two dogs, I wanted to be able to keep them out of the yard so they wouldn’t get into trouble (and I could enjoy an adult beverage or two in peace). So today, we’ll show you how we built our simple deck gate.
Measuring The Deck Posts
The first step to building your deck gate is measuring the space between the deck posts. If you have a single post on each side, measure the distance between them. If there are multiple posts, measure between the closest two posts and then divide by two.
Measure the height of your gate opening. This will allow you to determine how high above ground level it should be so that when it opens, it doesn’t hit any part of your house below (or damage any plants or flowers). Once again, if there is an obstacle such as a light fixture or door jamb in place where your gate will be opening through, take careful note of its height before marking measurements on your lumber pieces. Measure this out at several intervals along both sides of where you plan on cutting so that they match up evenly when put together later down the line.
Marking The Deck Posts
- Mark the deck posts where the gate hinges will be mounted. Make sure that these spaces are at least 12 inches apart, and mark them with a pencil or marker.
- Measure how much of the post is left after you have marked it for the gate hinge and remove this amount (to allow room for your gate latch).
- Measure how wide your latch is, and mark that distance on both ends of the post (again, take into account any extra space needed to accommodate your latch’s width).
Installing The Gate Posts
- Use a level to make sure the posts are level. This is important for making sure your gate will hang straight and not sag over time.
- Drill holes for the gate posts in the deck railings at both ends of where you want to install your gate. If you’re using pressure-treated lumber, use an auger bit with a diameter that’s three times as deep as your post’s thickness (3″ max). If you’re using cedar, it’ll need only two screw holes (1 1/8″). You can always add more later if needed.
- Drill pilot holes with a 3/16″ drill bit at each end of each post cap so they’ll be easy to drive into place when attaching them later on (this will save time and effort).
Installing The Gate Bracing
- Place the gate on the post. Make sure it’s level and square to the post as you do so to ensure a proper fit later on.
- Use a compass to mark where the hole will be drilled into each post (you want it centered 1/2 inch above where you want your gate latch at).
- With a power drill, use an appropriate sized bit (1/2-inch) or bit size that corresponds with your lag bolt size to drill holes in each marked location into both posts (there should be two holes per post). The photos show how I drilled through one side of my wood before flipping over and drilling from another side for more stability—this is optional. If possible, I would also recommend using pre-drilled lag bolts as opposed to machining them yourself since there is no way for these bolts not held in place by pressure alone once installed when mounted properly onto studs behind them; however if this is not possible or desired then here are some tips: -Use clamps when drilling lag bolt holes on sides without studs behind them so they don’t slip out while drilling; -Make sure all four points created by connecting two perpendicular lines intersect perfectly before using screws because if they don’t then your door frame won’t line up properly after being attached.
Measuring For The Gate Boards
- Measure the distance between your posts.
- Measure the distance between your posts and your gate, which is the width of your gate boards plus 1/8″.
- Measure the distance between your posts and your gate, which is the width of your gate boards plus 1/4″, then subtract that from 2″ (the actual measurement for 3/4″ plywood). If this result is less than or equal to 0″, add .5″ instead (this ensures that there will be enough room for hinges on both sides).
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you get an even number in inches or centimeters
Notching Out The Board Grooves
Next, you’ll need to use a circular saw to cut the grooves. Your board will have been pre-drilled with 2 or 3 holes depending on how many boards you are using in the gate, so it will be easy to mark what you need. Make sure that your grooves are placed in the right place and that they are deep enough. You can test this by putting a piece of wood against them and measuring how far down it goes – make sure there is at least 5cm space between it and the ground!
You should also check all your cuts for straightness: if one side looks different from another (i.e., longer), then either adjust your blade height or move onto another board until all 4 sides look similar (this isn’t very important but just makes things look neater). Finally, smooth out any rough edges before moving on.
Determining And Cutting The Board Angle
You can use a protractor to measure the angle and then use your miter saw to cut the boards. It’s important that you make sure that your gate is straight, square, and level.
To do this, use a level to make sure the gate is level. Then, use a square to make sure the gate is square.
Attaching The Boards To The Backing Frame
Now that you have the boards attached to the gate frames, it’s time to attach them to the backing frame. The simplest way to do this is with a nail gun.
The first step is ensuring that you have your boards and frame lined up correctly. Once everything is aligned, begin nailing all of the boards together by starting at one corner and going down each side of each board until you reach the end of your row.
You may need to use clamps or wood blocks as guides for where to place your nails so they don’t damage anything else if they go through into another piece of wood or accidentally hit something in between two pieces of wood (this could happen if there’s too much space between two pieces).
Assembling And Installing The Gate
Once you’ve got your gate assembled, it’s time to install it. First, make sure that the gate is level and square by lining up one end of the bottom rail (the horizontal piece) with a straight edge on your deck floor. Then adjust each post according to that same straight edge until everything is in line and even.
Now flip it over so that its front side is facing down on top of your deck railing posts or uprights. Notice how the top rail (the vertical piece) remains parallel to the ground? It should stay like this throughout this process—you want all four sides to be about equal distance away from each other when they’re being installed into place.
Install two screws through each post where they meet at corners with other pieces of wood—you may need someone else’s help here because there aren’t enough places for fingers while holding ones hands level while tightening them down properly onto their screws first before putting any pressure onto them until they’re ready for use later next year when spring comes around again after winter comes back around again again etcetera ad nauseum ad infinitum ad nauseam.
step by step instructions for constructing a deck gate
- Measure the deck posts and mark their locations on the floor. Use a hammer drill to bore holes into the concrete, then insert steel post anchors and secure them with nuts, bolts and washers (in that order).
- Measure from one gate post to the other at top of opening (A) and bottom of opening (B). Add 2 inches for both measurements plus 6 inches for gate thickness; use these numbers to determine how big your gate will have to be in order for it to fit between those two points in both directions.
- Install a pair of hardwood boards along one side of each post so they rest flush against it when viewed from above; this provides extra support for your gates’ frame later on down the road when you won’t have an opening left open anymore due to using up all its space with additional materials like trim work or decorative mouldings around its edges/corners instead.
- Final words
You are now ready to put the gate posts in place, following the same process as with the deck posts: cut out a hole to fit them, bury them with concrete, and wait for it all to set. When that’s done, brace your work with some 2x4s while you assemble the gate. The bottom board will need notching on both sides so that it can fit over your deck railing or otherwise against whatever structure you have in mind. After this is done, attach each of your boards individually to the back frame by first attaching a temporary piece of wood (a “witness”), then screwing in each board before removing this witness piece. Once all boards are attached and braced from behind, attach handles and hinges to finish off.