DIY Deck Gate Tutorial

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I’ve got 3 kids, and 3 dogs, 1 of each currently falls in the “less than 2 years old” category, and let me tell you something that 1 year olds love to do.
They love to break free, run wild, and basically be anywhere that “adult” eyes or hands won’t catch them or see them.
Time: 2 HoursCost: $39Difficulty: Easy
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We’ve got a deck that runs all along the back of our house, and its got an opening and set of stairs on one side that opens up into the yard, and a driveway that runs along the side of our house to our neighbor who lives behind us. If my eyes aren’t glued on the little guy 24×7, he could be out that door and onto the side driveway in the blink of an eye.
For awhile, we had to jerry-rig a blockade of sorts, to try to at least slow the kid down, if he made an escape. Check out how well thats been working for us…
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Finally, I decided it was time for a more official gate (and some fun with the power tools!)

PROJECT: DIY DECK GATE – Total Cost ~$39
  • decks gate tutorial, decks, diy, fences, how to, woodworking projects
1. If you purchase angled ballusters: Using a handsaw or power saw, cut off the angled ends of each of the ballasters so that each balluster is 1″ less than your Gate Height. In my case, that was 33.5″
2. Lay out your ballusters along the top and bottom boards, aligning the tops and bottoms of the ballusters, with the top and bottom of the support boards. There should be 1 support board on top and bottom, front and back. The 6″ boards go along the top, and the 2″ boards go along the bottom, like this:
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3. Optional but makes things easier – I put wood glue between all the connection points and let it dry. This prevented the boards from moving around when I drilled holes.
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4. When drilling holes for the top and bottom boards, you can stagger your drill holes every other post, alternating between aligning with the top and bottom of the board (I didn’t do this, and I had WAY too many drill holes and way too many screws – was totally not necessary)
5. After one side is drilled, flip the gate over and drill in the same way, but reversing which side you drill into, for each balluster (top/bottom), so that the screws alternate and don’t hit eachother.
  • decks gate tutorial, decks, diy, fences, how to, woodworking projects
6. Use a couple of pieces (or a big long piece) of your 1″ scrap wood, placing them on the floor of the deck to give your gate something to rest on while you are securing the latch. The gate will be mounted 1″ up from the deck floor.

7. Drill and attach your hinges according to the instructions for your gate hinge kit. Be careful to pay attention to the direction you want your gate to swing. In my case, I opted to have it swing in towards the deck. Also, make sure you leave about 1/2″ clearance between the gate and the deck rail, on the side where your hinges will be, so that your gate doesn’t get stuck and can swing freely.
8. Install your gate latch according to the package instructions (drills and screws are all you need here)

9. Take your 1x 4 x 36″ board and place it along the top of your gate to cover the tops of the ballusters. Drill along the left and right sizes (making sure the drill is going into one of the balluster ends), and add another 1 or 2 screws closer to the middle – there isn’t a science with this one, just get that thing stuck on there.
10. Give yourself a HUGE high five, you are officially a ROCKSTAR GATE BUILDER!!!

Suggested materials for this project:

    Ashley Rader  {Giddy Upcycled}

    Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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