How to Install a Wood Gate Privacy Fence


Installing a wooden gate on a privacy fence is simple three-step process that requires no special tools or advanced carpentry skills. The hinges are attached while the gate is conveniently laid on a horizontal surface. The gate is positioned and held in place while you screw the hinges to the gate post. Due to the large size and weight of most privacy-fence gates, you may need to enlist a helper for this project. Installing your gate takes only a couple of hours.

Things You'll Need

  • T-type hinge kits, including screws
  • Scrap lumber
  • Carpenter's level
  • Wooden shims
  • Mallet
  • Drill with drilling and driving bits
  • Lay the gate on a flat surface, infill-side-up. Mark one side of the gate as the hinge side and the other as the latch side. Position two hinges on the gate over the upper and lower horizontal rails. Measure to find the center of the space between the rails and mark with a pencil. Position the center hinge on the mark. The pivoting ends of the hinge straps should be flush with the sides of the gate. Mark the positions of the screw holes of the hinge straps on the gate. Remove the hinges. Drill a pilot hole through each screw-hole mark.

  • Reposition the hinges on the gate, aligning the screw holes with the pilot holes. Screw the hinges to the gate by installing a screw in each screw hole and tightening with a drill and driver bit.

  • Place 2 to 4 inches of scrap-lumber on the ground between the gate posts. The planks will temporarily hold the gate off the ground while you install it. Place the gate on the planks, evenly centered between the gate posts. The hinge side of the gate must be flush with the gate post. Place a carpenter's level on the upper rail of the gate. Raise or lower the side of the gate until the rail is level. Insert shims between the gate and the gate posts to hold it in place.

  • Place the carpenter's level vertically on the gate stile. Lean the gate forward or back until the gate is plumb in two directions. Before installing the gate, make sure it is centered between the posts, plumb and level and held securely in place with shims.

  • Open the hinges. Mark the screw holes of the hinges on the gate post. Fold the hinges. Drill a pilot holes through each screw-hole mark. Reposition hinges on the the gate post. Attach the hinges to the gate post with screws. Remove wooden planks and shims. Install accessories such as a gate stop or latch, as desired.

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