How to Install a Fence Gate

How to Install a Fence Gate that will withstand the Test of Time and a Lot of Physical Abuse

By Mark J. Donovan

After you’ve installed the main part of a fence all that’s left to do is hang the fence gate. After everything else you’ve done in installing the fence, hanging a fence gate is relatively easy. This said, the fence gate takes a lot of abuse and thus should be securely attached to oversized fence posts that are securely fastened into the ground.

Hopefully you’ve designed and installed the fence so that the fence gate is positioned in your preferred location.

Ideally the fence gate should be installed so that it is centered between two sections of fence. This will ensure additional support for the fence gate.

Also note that your fence gate will be more rugged if there is a section of fence attached to each gate fence post. If for some reason it is not possible to center the fence gate between two sections of fence, then make sure to hinge the fence gate on the gate post that is attached to a section of fence.

Prior to installing the fence gates posts you need to first measure the width for the fence gate. It is important that when making this measurement that you allow for the proper gate hinge spacing and latch spacing.

Due to the fact that a fence gate, and its associated gate posts, take a lot of mechanical abuse it is important to set the gate posts in large concrete footers. Setting the gate posts in concrete footers will prevent the gate posts from shifting over time, caused by the constant motion of the gate fence opening and closing.

After setting the gate posts into their concrete footers it is best to allow the concrete to cure for about a week prior to completing the process of hanging the fence gate.

Once the concrete has sufficiently cured, you can move on to the next stage of hanging the fence gate. Keep in mind that is important that you mount the fence gate high enough off the finished grade of soil so that the fence gate opens and closes freely.

Moreover, you may want to mount it a few inches above the soil grade to enable you to open the fence gate even when there is a couple of inches of snow on the ground.

Next, consider where you should mount the fence gate hinges on the fence posts. Make sure they are positioned at not only the right height, but also in the proper direction so that the gate swings open and close in the preferred direction.

Finally, make sure you clearly know where you want to locate the latch on the opposite fence post.

Fence layout

And again, you want to make sure you locate it at a height so that the fence gate sits level between the two fence gate posts and swings open and close freely.

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