A perimeter fence around a yard or piece of property can add security, privacy, or an aesthetically pleasing accent to the area. One feature common on such fences is a fence gate, which makes the area more accessible or secure when the gate is closed. When building a fence gate, it is important to choose materials carefully to complement both the look of the fence and the fence's intended purpose. Security fencing, for example, will require building a fence gate that is equally secure so the gate is not a liability or weak spot. It is also important to hang the gate level when building a fence gate to avoid potential problems in closing and opening the gate.
The builder must first and foremost decide what the main function of the gate will be. This will help dictate the steps involved in building a fence gate; a security gate will be less decorative and more sturdy than, say, a picket fence gate designed purely for aesthetics. A security gate is usually made of chain link fencing, since this is a strong, easy to build, and secure type of fencing and gate that can be customized with barbed wire or other security features. Installing such a gate is fairly simple, as the gate is attached to a post using strong galvanized steel brackets.
Wooden fence gates can be built in several different ways. The vertical slats must be secured to horizontal supports, and those supports often act as the point of contact where the hinge brackets are mounted. Depending on the size of the gate, diagonal wooden supports may need to be screwed or otherwise secured to the gate to keep the slats from moving when the gate opens and closes. Choose strong hinge brackets that will not rust after exposure to the elements. Galvanized steel is a good choice because it is resistant to rust and corrosion, and it is quite strong.
Make sure to check a level often when building a fence gate. The gate must hang level or it may not close completely. Check how the gate will open — in both directions, if necessary — to ensure no obstructions exist. A gate that is not level may strike the ground when opened, rendering the gate ineffective. The gate should open and close fully; if it does not, check to make sure it is level, check if the hinges are mounted properly and are not being obstructed, and check to make sure external obstructions are not blocking the gate.