How to Make a Stair Gate


You can buy gates to put across stairs, or you can make your own gate and paint it to make the décor of the room. Stair gates can be used to keep little ones from going down the stairs or for keeping dogs from going down or up the stairs. This type of gate is ideal because you can block the stairs for any purpose and still allow the cats to come and go as they please.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Plywood
  • Paint or stain
  • Screen door hinge kit
  • Hook-and-eye latch kit
  • Drill
  • 1/3 inch drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Measure the opening of the staircase at the top where you will place the gate. If the opening is for a basement and you have a wall on each side, measure from wall to wall. If the staircase has a railing on one side and a wall on the other, measure from the wall to the railing.

  • Determine the height that you want the gate to be. If you have cats and want to allow the cats to go under the gate, but not dogs or kids, leave a 3-inch opening on the bottom between the floor and the bottom of the gate. Measure up the wall from the floor or from the 3-inch mark to the height you want the gate to be.

  • Cut the plywood with a saw according to your measurements. The plywood can be painted to match the décor. Allow the plywood to dry.

  • Measure 2 inches up from the bottom of the plywood gate, and make a mark. Measure down 2 inches from the top of the gate, and make a mark. Place the first hinge on the bottom mark, and set with the screws that come with the kit. Attach the second hinge, and set with the screws.

  • Hold the gate up to the wall. Always attach the gate hinges to a wall. The hinges can be on the stair side so that it swings open or on the inside so that you can pull the gate open. Use a pencil to mark the screw holes for the hinge that attaches to the wall.

  • Drill 1/3 inch pilot holes. Have someone hold the gate up to the marks where you made pilot holes. Use the screwdriver to wind in the screws. There will be two screws on the top and two screws on the bottom hinge.

  • Wind the hook latch on the plywood either on the stair side of the gate or inside the gate. Wind in the eye hook on the wall or railing on the same side as the hook so that the hook fits into the eye easily.

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