How to build a picket gate

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How to build a picket gate

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Project Overview

Building a picket gate between your house and boundary fence will give you extra privacy and security. We’ll show you how to build one yourself in just a few steps. You’ll learn how to install the posts, build the gate frame, attach the pickets and fit the gate between a fence and exterior wall. While building your gate, it’s important to always wear safety gear.

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Use the 3-4-5 rule to make a square

To make sure your area is square, measure three metres from the corner out along one edge. From this point measure four metres across the front edge. If the diagonal line that connects these two points is five metres long then your area is square.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Line up the posts
2 Sinking the gate posts
3 Mix the concrete
4 Install the gate posts
5 Mark up the posts
6 Bolt the post to the wall
7 Measure the distance between the posts
8 Measure and cut the horizontal rails
9 Assemble the frame
10 Measure the gate position
11 Attach the gate frame to the post
12 Measure the picket spacing
13 Attach the pickets to the fence gate
14 Attach the gate back onto the hinges
15 Cut the top off the posts
  • Step 1. Line up the posts

    Make sure that the posts that your picket gate will be attached to are in-line with each other, one against the house and the other against the boundary fence. Hold the set square flush to your brick wall with a piece of wood underneath it. Lift the piece of wood and set square up so that they’re flush with the brick wall and the boundary fence. Mark this off on the fence and the wall. This is where you will be putting your posts.

  • Step 2. Sinking the gate posts

    Take your spade and dig individual holes underneath the marks on the wall and boundary fence. They should be deep enough to support your gate posts. 

  • Step 3. Mix the concrete

    Put on your dust mask and safety glasses and mix the quick set cement with some water in a wheelbarrow. Watch our video to find out more about how to mix concrete.

  • Step 4. Install the gate posts

    Put the posts in the hole, in-line with the marks on the wall and fence and use a spirit level to make sure they’re straight. Shovel the cement into the holes and let it set for at least 24 hours.

  • Step 5. Mark up the posts

    Mark three spots on the post next to the brick wall, one near the top, middle and bottom of the post, making sure they’re in the middle of the bricks. 

  • Step 6. Bolt the post to the wall

    Use a spade drill bit to drill about 30mm into the three marks you’ve made on the post. Then use a wood drill bit, to drill into the three holes in the post but don’t drill into the bricks. Do this by making a mark on the drill bit at the depth you want to drill. Using a masonry drill bit, drill through the post and into the bricks. Hammer the Dynabolts into the holes and use a socket wrench to secure the post against the wall.

  • Step 7. Measure the distance between the posts

    Use your tape measure to measure the distance between the two posts. Measure it at the top and the bottom of the posts to make sure it’s square. This distance is the length you’ll be making the horizontal bars of the picket gate.

  • Step 8. Measure and cut the horizontal rails

    Mark out the distance between the two posts on the three metal horizontal rails of the gate frame. Clamp the rail to your sawhorse and cut each of them to size with a hacksaw. 

  • Step 9. Assemble the frame

    Assemble the frame for the picket gate, using a hammer to gently tap the rails into place. Secure the joints using a drill and the screws that have been provided.

  • Step 10. Measure the gate position

    On the post attached to the brick wall, mark where you want the picket gate’s frame to be. Make sure you take into account the height of the pathway below, so the pickets don’t scrape against it.

  • Step 11. Attach the gate frame to the post

    Hold the gate frame against the post and drill a screw into the top hinge. Check that it’s straight with your spirit level and then drill a screw into the bottom hinge. If necessary, undo the screws on the bottom hinge and adjust the gate frame so that the gap between the frame and posts is the same distance.

  • Step 12. Measure the picket spacing

    Lift the gate frame off the hinges and place it on your sawhorse. Clamp the first picket into place on the frame. Work out the gap between each picket, so that it’s evenly spaced and you have a full picket at either side of the gate. If the picket is 65mm wide and you want a 15mm gap, mark off every 80mm.
  • Step 13. Attach the pickets to the fence gate

    Mark this distance out on each of the three horizontal rails. Use a drill with a counter sink to drill the holes in the pickets. This will stop the wooden pickets from splitting as you attach them to the frame. Screw the pickets into place on the top and bottom rails using your frame marks as a guide.

  • Step 14. Attach the gate back onto the hinges

    Once you’ve attached all the pickets to your frame, it’s time to slot the gate back onto the hinges.

  • Step 15. Cut the top off the posts

    After attaching the gate frame back on the hinges you need to cut the posts. Measure about 2 centimetres above the height of the pickets on both posts. Because of the height of the posts that you’re cutting, it’s safer to use a handsaw to cut them rather than a circular saw.

    You are now ready to attach the gate latch. Watch our How to install a gate latch video and simply follow the steps.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Dust mask
  • Hacksaw
  • Safety glasses
  • Saw
  • Saw horse
  • Set square
  • Shovel
  • Socket wrench
  • Spirit level
  • Wheel barrow

Materials

  • Dynabolts
  • Gate frame
  • Pickets
  • Quick set cement
  • Screws
  • Timber posts
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Person securing horizontal rails 07:06

Gates & Fencing How to build a gate We show you how easy it can be to add extra privacy, security and street appeal to your home simply by building a wooden gate.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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