Build a garden gate – with instructions and suggestions

Build your own wooden gate: Green garden gate in a hedge
Building a garden gate is surprisingly simple – follow our guide to find out how
  • Difficulty
    easy
  • Cost
    From £20
  • Duration
    > 5 h

Introduction

Whether as part of a wooden fence or in the middle of a boundary hedge - a garden gate serves the important purpose of securing your outdoor space while also acting as the entryway to your personal sanctuary. As such, a DIY garden gate must be both functional and beautiful.

 

In this article, we guide you through the process of making a gate for yourself including all the materials you are likely to need.

You need

Let's get started – step by step: Build your own wooden garden gate

Through these instructions, we guide you through the construction of your own garden gate. For commonly asked questions and more information, check out our “Planning & Background Knowledge” section below.

 

Before we start, do you know about our 18-volt Power For All system? This includes all the power tools you are likely to need to build your gate. All devices are compatible with the same single battery, meaning switching between them could not be more straightforward!

 

Remember to observe health and safety best practices at every stage of our DIY guide. For an overview of what you should be doing check out our safety precautions guide before you start.

 

And lastly, if you are ultimately looking to build an entire wooden fence as well as a gate, we have you covered with our DIY fence guide.

Build your own garden gate: Sketch of a garden gate with cross bracing
Here, the timber frame of the garden gate starts to take shape
Step15

Build the frame for the wooden gate

You need:

Start by cutting the boards to length using a jigsaw. A worktable or sawing table can make this work considerably easier to complete accurately. In our various video tutorials for sawing you will also find numerous helpful tips on how to use this particular tool, including how to cut in a straight line.

 

Next, connect the side panels, using a half-lap joint – to do this, cut out an area of 10 x 2.5 cm at the end of each of the four side parts of the frame. Align each wood strip as in the above diagram and secure each joint with wood glue.

 

Finally, mount a diagonal bracing to give your DIY garden gate added support. To accomplish this, first place the 150cm long wooden beam for the diagonal strut on the finished frame and mark the diagonal cut edges. The lower end of the strut lies on the side where you will later attach the door hinges. Once cut to size, secure using small screws and your cordless drill.

 

If you are adding any other decorative elements such as moulding or vertical slats of wood, add these here. In any case, it is a good idea to go over the whole frame with a multi-sander to remove any rough areas or glue residue.

Step25

Attach the door hinges and garden gate latch

You need:

Now it is time to attach the gate hinges and the latch to the rear of the garden gate. We recommend using long screws for this to ensure you build your garden gate to last! You could also get creative with the door hinges and opt for more ornate models or vintage-inspired styles. Likewise, be sure to shop around before settling on your perfect gate latch.

Step35

Set the side posts

You need:

Use a spirit level or a line laser to measure out the positioning of your post anchors. Insert your two 12cm wooden beams and screw in place.

Step45

Install the garden gate

You need:

Place the finished garden gate against the posts and mark with a pencil where the counterparts of the door hinges and the garden gate latch need to be mounted. Affix the gate hinges and latch.

Step55

Impregnate the wood

You need:

To ensure that your DIY garden gate lasts as long as possible, you should finish by impregnating or staining the wood with a wood protection paint. The best and easiest way to do this is with a paint spray system.

 

Learn more about how to effectively stain wood or how to use a paint spray system.

Build your own garden gate: schematic representation of a garden gate with cross bracing and vertical wooden slats
You can decorate your DIY garden gate with vertical slats.

Planning & Background Knowledge: How to build a garden gate

In terms of aesthetics, a garden gate should match your garden, fence or other pre-existing boundary of the property. It’s also important to consider which materials you would like as they all come with their own strengths and weaknesses.

What materials are suitable for building a garden gate?

In addition to commonly used wooden garden gates, a metal garden gate, bamboo gate or wire gate, to name a few, may also be suitable. The below table shows the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

Material Advantages Disadvantages
Wood Versatile and natural building material, easy to handle, different types of wood (larch, Euro pallets, rhombus) can be used Maintenance-intensive, regular renovation needed, some workmanship knowledge required
Aluminium weather-resistant, stable, can be refined Harmful to the environment
Wood-plastic composite Versatile, weather-resistant, made-to-measure possible, different colours, lightweight, perfect protection against fungus and insects Cheaper look, high PET content not good for environment
Bamboo Cheap, easy to use, natural material that goes well with the garden and plants May splinter or break, may need to be replaced
Stainless steel Durable, minimal maintenance required Costly, knowledge and skill required for processing
Wire netting Inexpensive, durable, lightweight, practical Not very attractive

 

What else do I have to consider when planning a garden gate?

Regardless of whether you want to build a traditional wooden gate, a pair of double garden gates, or even a stylish metal garden gate, you should take the time to plan before starting.

 

Would you like to be able to open and close the gate electronically? Are you planning a sliding garden gate, or should it be an up-and-over door? You have to take these aspects into account when choosing the right building material. 

 

Before you get started, you should also think about the height and width of your door – especially if you want to use a kit with standard dimensions instead of building your own DIY garden gate. If, on the other hand, you need a door with special dimensions, you will find a good starting point in our step-by-step guide, from which you can then adjust sizing as required.

Does a garden gate with a lock create additional security?

You don't have to sacrifice security just because you want to build your own garden gate. You can also build a sturdy gate with a built-in locking mechanism. Of course, this is only worthwhile with a high gate that you can't just climb over.

 

It is particularly easy to use bolts, which are only attached to one side of the door frame and then additionally secured with a padlock. On the other hand, if you are willing to put in a little extra work, you could also install a door handle and a more complex locking mechanism.

 

If you build your own wooden gate, you can add a ready-made locking mechanism. Make sure that the door frame is wide enough for the lock system you have chosen. To be able to use the lock system, the wooden frame of the garden gate must first be hollowed out to such an extent that the front panel of the lock rests flush with the frame. Ideally, you should first draw the desired height of the lock case and the place where the handle is to be installed.

How can I build a sturdy garden gate?

Regardless of whether you want to build a metal garden gate or just a simple wooden gate construction for your fence, you will want to focus on making it sturdy. Particularly important are the side posts and how securely they are inserted into the ground. Use weather-resistant post anchors and you could even pour concrete into the gaps for larger and heavier doors. Alternatively, you can screw the posts to an existing wall (e.g. a garage or house).

 

The frame of a garden gate is also important for stability. If you use a sturdy wood joint, as described in our step-by-step guide, you are already well on your way to building a sturdy gate. In addition, from a certain size, it might be worthwhile to plan for additional cross-bracing to further stabilize the frame.

 

How do I build my garden gate to be as durable as possible?

Pay attention to what materials you are using and look out for robust and weather-resistant materials wherever possible: Stainless screws and hinges, premium wood, high-quality wood varnish, etc.

 

Or you could opt for a resistant and moisture-repellent material such as WPC, on which fungi, insects or even salty seawater have little to no effect. It is also worthwhile to use steel post sleeves to protect the side posts from moisture.

 

Depending on the building material you choose, you should clean your garden gate regularly, re-varnish it if necessary, and repair or replace any damaged parts. Learn more about sanding and properly oiling wood in our video tutorial.

Build your own garden gate: ornamental fittings for a garden gate
Ornamental fittings look fantastic on a DIY garden gate.

Creative ideas for your garden gate build

You can combine different materials, fittings and colours for your garden gate. A fun task when designing your gate is to try and match it with the other furniture in your garden. If you have been following our DIY guides for a while, you might already have some beloved furniture such as a colourful garden bench, garden lounger or pallet sofa, which would look amazing alongside a DIY garden gate.

 

In our guide, we suggest decorating your garden gate with horizontal or vertical wooden slats. If you like, you could decoratively round off or sharpen the slats at the upper end.

 

Find more creative ideas for your outdoor spaces (such as 10 creative ideas for garden decorations) in our garden, balcony, and terrace DIY section!

Build your own garden gate: Garden gate gives a view of a garden with a pergola
In combination with other elements, such as the pergola here, your DIY garden gate can create an attractive and harmonious transition into your garden.

What else can a garden gate be good for?

Of course, our instructions can also be used for enclosures other than those around the garden. For example, as part of a DIY rubbish bin shed or to conceal your homemade compost bins.

 

If you're considering building a DIY garden shed or a playhouse for your children, incorporating a gate structure could really help to take both of those projects to another level!

What legal regulations do I have to consider when building gates?

Even if you "only" want to build a garden gate yourself, you are bound by relevant planning permission regulations.

You will need to apply for planning permission if you want to build a garden gate that is over 1 metre high and fronts onto a footpath or public road. If you want to build a gate over 2 metres in height you will need to apply for permission, regardless of where it is to be placed.

Warning
Always ask the neighbour for permission
if you intend to build along a property divide line, you must typically inform your neighbours before and have their permission.

Cost of a DIY garden gate

How much does it cost to build your own garden gate? This can vary greatly depending on the material you intend to use, dimensions and any special features such as a lock mechanism. As a guide and basis for comparison, we have listed the average prices of garden gate materials in the table below.

Material Cost
Wood from £20
Aluminium from £200
WPC from £300
Bamboo from £40
Stainless steel from £700
Wire mesh from £10

 

All the above prices are indicative only. Depending on the dimensions and additional materials chosen, such as screws, hinges, wood preservatives, etc., prices may vary.