Knowing how to build a Farm House style Deck Gate that lasts, does not sag or close properly is something I am sure (If you found our website) close to your heart. Many of the designs today, look simple and clean but lack strength. Typical designs don’t take into account two factors. 1. Strength over time and 2. Affordable (if they are steel it gets expensive real quick).
In this post today, we have the task of replacing the two gates on our deck from 1989. I honestly don’t know how they survived this long. They literally weigh only 2 lbs as they are rotting away and way past the replacement date. This was one of the first Items we wanted to replace, but did not get to it until now as it was not a priority.
Before Building a Deck Gate
If you are starting from scratch, you may need to check with your local city or town about proper Building Code regulations. Typically if you are replacing (exact location and height) you can get by without getting the over reaching government in your life. However it does not hurt to look up your local town regulations (web site) that are required. While in many cases it won’t be a factor, sometimes they will give you a helpful tip or two. Here are a couple of things to think about that you might see:
- The top of hand rails or gates may have a height requirement (typical would be roughly 44″ from the deck surface).
- The gate should swing over the deck, not open stairs
- Gaps in or below the gate should be limited to four inches.
- Think about how you will secure the gate in both positions. The wind blows at our house so it must be secured in either position.
You only need a couple of basic hand tools and a saw for making this farm house style deck gate. The materials list below is pretty simple. You can use this design for a yard & pasture fence or a driveway gate as well. This is a timeless, strong gate design that can meet many jobs you might have.
What you will need:
- Measuring tape
- Pencil to mark the wood
- 10″ Compound Miter Saw
- Drill (two if you have them)
- Drill bits
- 1×6 Treated Decking bards (for two gates I used (3) 12 ft and (3) 8ft boards)
- Wood Deck screws (3″ and 2″)
- Two gate hinges
- Two gate latches or hooks
- Wire Brush Wheel
Build A Farm House style Deck Gate
Total Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Measure the location of the gate
We will be replacing two gates, one on the kitchen side entrance and one in the rear near the Beechwood tree coming out of the deck. We are duplicating the existing gates and enhancing them. IF you currently don’t have a gate, take this into account when measuring. Subtract 1 inch on either side for the gate as a good starting point. Plan to go as wide as possible and if you need to sand or trim the gate you can do that. You can’t go back to add material after you cut, remember that! Target the height of your hand rail accounting for a space of 1-1.5 inches at the bottom of the gate.
Final Measurements for our gate
If you have an existing gate like ours, you can simply copy your design. However if not, you can go by these measurements for a guide. The overall opening is we have is 44 inches wide. Accounting for how the gate needs to sit 1 inch off the deck floor to have it sit properly connecting to the height of the handrail. For your location, identify total width then subtract one inch from this measurement to allow space for hinges and a latch.
MY GATE SPECS:
Top & bottom boards: 42″ inches
Side boards: 23″ inches
Middle board: 29″ inches
Cross boards: 53″ inches
Mark and cut boards
A real time saver is to have / do all of your cuts at one time. Using my measurements I started cutting the boards and confirming the measurements. I did find the cross boards would be best if they were slightly longer. I made them 54 to give me extra inch or so to trim up the edges. Once you have the cut out, then lay them out on the deck floor and do a test fit dry run.
The best method I found to strengthen the gate was to pre-drill the holes for the deck screws. When attaching the adjacent boards drill at a 45 degree angle on each side of the board. Using the 3″ deck screws will pull both ends tight against the joint. Do this all around the gate at each board joint. The cross braces will use a different method.
Cross Member Support
The cross member board will run on each side of the gate in opposite directions for maximum support. I have seen some people say you only need one side, however for this look you need to have one on each side.
– Lay the boards on top of each side of the gate. Make sure to center the boards to the corner of the fence. I went ahead and secured each end with 1 screw. – Use a pencil to mark where you need to cut the ends of the cross member.
As you can see in this picture, the final result, it looks like an arrow and is flush with the top and side.
Adding Additional Support
At the top corner of the gate that attaches to the gate hinge, I added an additional board to keep the hinge side equal. Otherwise your gate will sit at an angle. This keeps it perfectly straight. A small but important detail that was missing on the old gates.
Re-using The Old Hinge
We did use the old hinge hardware to mount the gates back in place. They were still in good enough condition to clean up and paint again. They were made in the USA as well… so I could not bring myself to throw them out and replace them. You can clean up old hardware with a Wire Wheel 4-in Brush.
Final Prep Before Painting
We removed about 80% of the paint and rust from the hinges and then painted them. We used a prime and paint one step flat black paint like this one from CRC. After a couple of coats they looked great.
Mounting the Gate
Take a couple of the leftover boards and stand the gate up in the opening. Add 1-2 boards to get an acceptable height and level. Make sure to align the gate as much as possible and have someone hold the gate for you. Then mark off where the hinges should attach to the deck and gate. Drill small pilot holes and attach the hinges to the top and bottom.
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to make your own Farm House Style Deck Gate. We were lucky to have a template, but now that is passed on to you. Let us know if you create a gate for your home. We would love to see it!
Until next time!