My husband and I had just finished building the fence. (I give him credit for all the labor-intensive work there. I just held fence pickets.) Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the gate built before our weekend was over.
My husband is very busy with work during the summer and I was growing a bit impatient. I really wanted to get going on our gate. We were just starting our backyard landscaping and I needed to be able to contain our very busy little boy.
So…I built it myself!
Here she is:
Aint she perty?? It’s cedar to match our fence. I have to warn you, though that it’s not done. The posts on either side look like two goal posts. We still need to finish the top. We haven’t quite figured out what we want to do yet. This post is just to give details about the actual gate. I’ve included affiliate links to help you find some of the products I used.
Here is it from the other side:
Do you love the window detail as much as I do?? I knew I wanted to do something different to make our gate unique.
I actually considered using a metal doormat as an insert, but I decided to go searching online and found this. It’s made by Nuvo Iron. Their site does not sell them, but you can find this one on Amazon HERE.
First I had to figure out how to work around the window.
To start, I built my rectangular frame using three pieces of 2×4 and 1 piece of 2×6 for the bottom:
Don’t worry about the diagonal pieces, yet. Cut your outer frame and the single 2 x 4 that runs across the center. These are the dimensions I used:
Your measurements may vary. These worked for our situation.
Then while they were on flat, even ground, I screwed them together using 3″ Star Drive Screws. The star shape of the head makes them easier to drive into the wood.
I screwed them in diagonally from the top and the underside:
You could also use a Kreg jig if you happen to have one It’s an awesome tool that you use with your drill to create pocket holes in which to insert your screw, perfect for attaching wood at 90° angles.
I just screwed them in on the diagonal into the four corners and the piece across the middle.
Then I laid out my 1 x 6 pickets leaving about ¼” between each. I had to trim two of them (marked with an “X”) to make them fit the width of the opening:
You probably didn’t even notice until I pointed it out that those two pickets were narrower.
My pickets were a few inches shorter than I wanted.
I wanted to round the top of my gate, but I also wanted it to sit above the top of the fence. To do this, I had to figure out a way to add height.
I attached my pickets (using the same style screws in 1 5/8″ length) so that they sat at the height I wanted them to be before cutting the arched top. This left them short at the bottom by a few inches. This is the reason for the 2 x 6 across the bottom. It would give me a couple more inches.
To fix the front, I cut a scrap picket to fill in the gap across the bottom, then covered it with a picket, cut to fit the width of the gate. Problem solved!
After all pickets were screwed in place and I figured out how to remedy the height issue, I added my diagonal braces to the back. I measured, cut, and screwed them into place. Here are my measurements. You should measure to be accurate. **Note that the gate was built while flat on the ground. (I only have upright pics to share.)
These were a bit easier to screw in place:
Now for the arched top.
To create the perfect arch, you will need:
- two screws
- a piece of very thin, flexible wood such as a narrow piece of wood trim or lattice
- Attach screws on either side where you want your arch to start and end.
- Lay wood piece flat against the bottom of the two screws.
- Slowly push it up in between the screws to form an arch.
- Use a pencil to trace along the wood, transferring the arch shape onto the top of your gate.
- Cut with a jigsaw.
The perfect arch:
Then a jigsaw was used to cut the opening for the window. (The window comes with a pattern. ) It’s made up of two pieces; a piece that inserts into the opening in the front and a framed piece that attaches to the back with four screws. It measures 15″ X 24″.
It really adds so much character. Plus I can see any activity that’s going on on the other side without opening the gate.
You can see my lovelies are all coming back to life and my azalea is starting to bloom!
To see more of what’s on the other side, click here!
My husband arrived just in time to add the hardware.
After the cedar had time to dry out a bit, about six weeks, I sealed it with a UV blocking sealer. We wanted to enjoy the natural beauty for a long time. I would recommend sealing both sides as you may have warping if you don’t.
You may also have noticed that a black stain from the hardware has bled on the front of the gate. I believe this is from the sealer. So you may want to go easy around your hardware.
And that’s the story of how I built our gate! How did I do? I’d say, not too shabby!
Still looking great two years later:
And four years later:
(I tried to photoshop the post as unfortunately we have yet to cut them down ha ha! My gate-building skills are far better than my Photoshop skills!)
Take our front garden tour HERE!
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