How to Build a Dog Eared Fence Gate

The posts have been dug, the supports have been attached and all the pickets have been placed onto your fence. Now it's time to add a gate. These steps will guide you through the process of how to build the gate and put the finishing touches on your fence.

  1. Measure the space for the gate and how wide the gate needs to be.
  2. Build a frame with 2x4s that fits the width of the gate using screws and the screw bit on a drill.
  3. Drill two small holes, one in the upper corner near the hinges and one in the lower corner near the handle of the gate frame.
  4. Attach an "S" hook in the corner of the frame near where you want the hinges to be.
  5. Attach the turnbuckle of the wire truss cable into the lower corner of the frame on the side where you want the latch to be.
  6. Pull the cable through the "S" hook and pull the cable taut. Tie off the cable and cut it off. Then adjust the turnbuckle so that the pressure isn't too tight.
  7. Measure the dog-eared pickets to find out how many will fill the space where the gate needs to go and how tall each picket needs to be.
  8. Place a picket onto the frame and drill a small hole to help guide the screw into the frame.
  9. Attach the picket to the frame with screws.
  10. Repeat step 5 until the gate's frame is complete.
  11. Attach a gate handle and a set of hinges on what will be the outside of the gate.
  12. Attach the other end of the hinges to a post using hex bolts. You will need a socket wrench to tighten the bolts. You might also need to drill holes to guide the hex bolts into the post.
  13. Attach a latch onto the inside of the gate and hook the piece to either an existing part of the fence or a post to stop, and lock, the gate.

Things You Will Need

  • Wood -- at least four 2x4s for the frame, dog-eared pickets that match the fence
  • Set of gate hinges, latch (these are usually sold as one package)
  • Wood screws
  • A drill
  • Wire truss cable
  • Scroll saw
  • Socket wrench (possibly)


  • When installing the wire truss cable, you want it to be diagonal from one corner to another to support the frame and keep it from sagging. For the bottom of the fence, you might want to cut off four to six inches so the fence swings freely and doesn't scrape the sidewalk if it ever bows.

About the Author

Adam Crowson is a professional journalist with experience as a homeowner, parent and photographer. He has served as a copy editor and page designer at a daily newspaper since 2006, and previously worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper. Crowson holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication.