How to Convert a Fence Panel into a Gate
Most fences are built with the gate section separate. There are times when you may want to add an additional gate to the fence, such as to replace a broken gate or to create more than one entrance point. Rather than building or buying a new gate, you can convert a fence panel to serve as the new gate. Most fence panels easily convert to a gate. If the fence is weak or the panel is not sturdy, you may nail an additional 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 to the back of the panel for additional support.
Determine the location of the gate and mark the desired width. You may choose any location; however, the hinged side of the gate should connect to a fence post. Use a saw to cut the section from the fence, cutting evenly along the side of the fence post and flush with the board attaching to the fence.
Remove the fence panel and place it flat on the ground or across a workbench. Measure and mark 1/4 inch on both sides of the panel; saw off the measured areas.
Measure 1/2 to 2 inches from the bottom and saw off the extra wood. Determine the exact measurement and amount to cut off the bottom based on the levelness of the ground under the gate area. Cut off enough to allow the gate to swing open and close without catching on the ground. Alternatively, level the ground where the gate opens and shuts.
Choose the number and size of the hinges based on the overall size and height of the fence panel. Small fences, such as picket fences, usually need only two hinges. Large fences, such as 6- or 8-foot fences need three stronger hinges.
Attach the hinges to one side of the panel, depending on which direction you want the gate to open. Place the hinges 2 inches from the top and bottom on small fences; 3 to 4 inches from the top, bottom and center for large fences.
Line up the top of the panel and fence so they are even. Secure the hinges to the fence along the fence post. Start with one screw in each hinge. For safety, have a second person help hold the panel in place.
Test the placement of the hinges and for proper functioning of the gate; adjust it if necessary. Secure the remaining screws in the hinges and attach the latch to the other side of the panel.
Things You Will Need
- Tape measure
- Gate latch
- To make the gate sturdier, install a fence post on the latch side or cut the panel so there is a post on both sides of the gate.