How to Fit and Install a Garden Gate

By Kim
Last updated 15th January 2021 - Reading time: 7 mins

A garden gate can create a beautiful entrance into your garden as well as add some extra security and contain any pets. Whatever the reason you want to install a new garden gate, we have created this handy guide to explain what you need and how to go about fitting it yourself.

how to Fit and Install a Garden Gate

What Tools Do I Need to Fit and Install a Garden Gate?

Below is a list of the tools you will need to install a new garden gate successfully:

  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Drill driver
  • Spirit level

What Safety Equipment Do I Need to Fit and Install a Garden Gate?

There are no specific safety items that you need to install a garden gate. However, it may be beneficial to wear gloves when handling wood and timber to avoid the possibility of getting splinters. It would also be a good idea to wear safety goggles when drilling in screws to prevent any flying debris from entering your eye.

What Materials Do I Need to Fit and Install a Garden Gate?

The list below highlights all of the materials you will need to install a new garden gate:

  • Garden gate
  • Screws
  • Security bolt
  • Hinges
  • latch

How to Prepare for Garden Gate Installation

To prepare for your garden gate installation, you must begin by making sure the gate frame is the right size. The gate frame should be 20mm wider than the gate to make room for expansion and contraction. This prevents any problems from occurring further down the line.

You should also use the spirit level to ensure that the posts where the gate is going to go are perfectly level.

It is a good idea to also add a piece of baton to the gate frame that is the thickness of the gate in on both sides to form a rebate. This stops the gate from swinging too far.

How to Fit and Install a Garden Gate - Step by Step Guide

Below is a guide on how to fit and install a garden gate:

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is fit the hinges to the gate. If your gate has double diagonal supports, the hinges can be applied to any side. However, if the gate has just one diagonal support, the bottom of the diagonal piece of timber is the side the hinges need to go on.

how to fit a garden gate step 1

Find the centre of the three pieces of thicker timber across the gate and mark out the centre line.

Step 2

Then you can mark up where your garden gate hinges are going to go. Do this by resting the hinge up against the lines that you have drawn. The hinges will have a little nick in them at the end.

how to fit a garden gate step 2

These nicks need to go level with the outside of the gate. When you line it up, make sure you can see your marked centre line through the centre holes.

Step 3

Next, you need to get some screws. Use the ones recommended for your particular hinges by the manufacturer. Screw the screws into the holes on the hinge using a drill.

how to fit a garden gate step 3

Ensure that you screw it into place level with your centre line. Repeat this step for all three hinges. You should have a hinge at the top, one at the bottom, and one in the middle for optimum security.

Step 4

Once you have installed the hinges to the gate, it’s then time to place the gate into the frame. Use some 2x1 pieces of timber to place underneath the gate to make sure there is plenty of room underneath, so there are no obstructions when it is opening and closing.

how to fit a garden gate step 4

Step 5

Place the pieces of timber underneath the garden gate frame and then put the gate into the frame on top of these pieces of wood. Make sure the gate is evenly spaced out so that there is an even gap on either side.

how to fit a garden gate step 5

Step 6

It’s now time to put the screws into the hinge to fit it to the gate frame. It’s a good idea to just fit one or two screws into each of the hinges, to begin with until you’re absolutely sure that the gate opens and closes properly.

how to fit a garden gate step 6

You can then add in the rest of the screws once you’re sure of this. Use your drill to drive the screws in fully.

Step 7

The next step is to fit the gate latch or lock. Since every lock or latch is different, it is a good idea to look at the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct way of installing your particular model.

how to fit a garden gate step 7

There will usually be numerous parts. Some of which are fitted to the gate itself and others that are fitted to the gate frame.

Step 8

If you are fitting a lock to your gate, it’s a good idea to fit this at a lower level (somewhere around the middle of the gate) so that intruders can’t reach over and unlock the gate from the other side. Once you latch and lock are installed on the gate, it is now complete.

how to fit a garden gate step 8


Can I make a garden gate myself?

It is possible to make your own garden gate. You begin by creating the frame, then measure the diagonals and fix a diagonal brace to the frame. Finally, nail the palings to the frame.

What is the best paint for a wooden garden gate?

The best types of paint for exterior wood are often water-based paints. Some other types of paint will also work, but you want to make sure you choose one that is specifically designed for exterior use on wood. It is also essential to make sure the paint you select is weather-proof.

How do you maintain a wooden garden gate?

To prolong the life of your wooden garden gate, it is recommended that you give the gate a new coat of paint or stain every 12 months. Be sure to clean it and allow it time to dry before applying paint or stain.

How do I add security to a gate?

You can secure your gate using a bolt lock which should be located somewhere in the middle of the gate so that intruders can’t reach over the gate and unlock it themselves.

For extra peace of mind, you can add a padlock to the bolt lock so that it can’t be opened without a key or unique code. Garden gate locks are a good idea if you want that extra peace of mind.

How high should my gate be from the ground?

You want to try to place your gate at least 20mm above the ground level. This allows room for expansion and contraction, and it also ensures that the gate won’t get stuck on any obstructions or drag along the floor.
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