How to Replace a Fence Gate

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A properly functioning gate is essential for controlling access to a fenced area. As gates become worn from continued use or exposure to the elements, it becomes necessary to replace them. You can replace the gate to your fence in just a few steps.

  • Remove the existing gate. Use a manual screwdriver or electric drill to unscrew the gate's hinges from the fence post. Secure the gate as you detach the hinges to ensure that the gate does not fall on you. If the gate is large or heavy, detach the bottom hinges first while supporting the gate from the bottom with wood blocks or bricks. Unscrew the top hinges from the fence post and lower the gate gently to the ground.

  • Buy or build a new gate. Hardware stores such as Home Depot carry preconstructed fence gates, as well as the materials for making wood or metal gates from scratch. If you build a gate, remember to allow one to two inches of space between the gate and fence posts to provide room for the hinges, fittings, locks and handles.

  • Install the hardware on the new gate. Use the old gate as a template regarding where to attach the hinges, fittings and handles. Measure the distance from the top, bottom and sides of the old gate to the locations of the hinges and handles. Mark the corresponding points on the new gate and attach the hardware to the gate at those points.

  • Attach the new gate to the fence post. Line up the holes in the hinges with the holes on the post that were used to attach the previous gate. Attach the top hinges first, followed by the bottom hinges, while continuously steadying the gate from the bottom. Use new screws that are slightly longer than the depth of the existing hole in the fence post. If your fence is metal, attach the fittings in any order at the desired height.

  • Test the gate by opening and closing it several times. If the gate requires too much effort to close or makes too much noise, lubricate the hinges with a small amount of WD-40 or a similar lubricant.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you paint your new gate to match your fence, install the hardware after the paint dries to avoid discoloring the hardware.
  • If either your old or new gate is exceedingly large or heavy, enlist the help of at least one other person to steady the gate when installing it. The force from a falling gate could result in serious injury or death.

References

  • "How to Build & Repair Fences & Gates;" Rick Kubik; 2007.
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