How to Build a Wooden Side Gate

Anything you can do to beautify your property is a good idea.

Awesome GateAwesome Gate
One of those ideas may include a gate leading to the backyard or garden. There are many ways to build a wooden side gate, so you should check out all the options available before purchasing your material.

Measure the width of your opening, subtract one inch, and record your finding. Cut two of the 2-by-4-inch pieces of lumber to this measurement. Determine how many 1-by-6-inch pieces of lumber you need to fill in the space.

Space the 2-by-4-inch lumber apart from each other so that, when you place one of the pickets on them, there will be four inches of the picket hanging over at the top and bottom. Center the pickets on the 2-by-4s and secure them with the deck screws through the picket and into the frame.

Turn the gate over and lay a 2-by-4 from the top inside corner of the frame to the bottom inside corner. Draw a line where the lumber lays on the 2-by-4s in Step 2.

Cut the lines so that when you place the lumber on the gate, it will fit between the lumber in Step 2 and create a "Z". Secure it to the other 2-by-4s with the 1½-inch drywall screws. Next, turn the gate over and secure the pickets where they cross over the 2-by-4 cut on an angle.

Install the gate hinges to the gate to the top and bottom of the 2-by-4-inch frame. Use lag screws that are at least 1¼-inches long on the gate and longer ones for the post the gate will swing on.

Things You Will Need

  • 2-by-4-inch Lumber
  • 1-by-6-inch Lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Electric miter saw
  • Variable speed drill
  • Phillips head screw tip
  • 1-inch deck screws
  • 1½-inch deck screws


  • Always wear safety glasses. The lag screws holding the gate to the post should be long enough to support the weight of the gate. You may need to secure a 2-by-4 on the pickets for a gate handle.


  • Do not leave power tools unattended. Do not attempt to hang the side gate by yourself, as this could lead to injury.

About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.