Happy July friends. This summer has been pretty amazing so far. We’re spending a lot more time outside on our deck and my dog Abby loves to be out there with us. The only issue is that she can’t be trusted off of a leash so we knew that we needed a gate for our deck. Finding a gate to fit the opening in our deck proved to be impossible so I came up with a design for a DIY deck gate that would fit our needs.
This DIY deck gate was a very easy build. It took just over 30 minutes to build and we bought the materials at Lowes. Special shout out to my hubby Adam for helping with this project. He’s the best. Here is what we used.
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(6) 2″ x 2″ x 42″ pressure treated baluster (Total quantity will depend on the width of your gate)
(24) 1-5/8″ Screws
First, before you get started!
If you purchase your pressure treated lumber from a store that keeps them indoors, leave the boards outside for so that it can dry out. The duration will depend on how wet the wood is but it is recommended that you wait 1 month to 6 months. When you first bring it home it will likely be very saturated and heavy. As it dries it will take it’s final form which does result in some warping. If you build your gate with wood that is not dry, it will warp after your gate has been installed and will probably not fit right in the end. You don’t want to go through the trouble of building a gate that ends up being wonky and doesn’t open properly, do you?
Also, if you plan on staining or painting your gate, it is recommended that you let it dry for a minimum of one month and up to two months depending on weather conditions.
Step 1 – Measure & Cut
Start by measuring the opening for your gate. This will help you determine how much lumber you’ll need specific to your gate. The 2×6 boards are used for the sides and the deck handrail boards that you see below are used for the top and bottom. You won’t want your gate to be too tight to open so when you make your cuts be sure to leave at least 1/8″ of clearance on the sides and I’d recommend at least an inch on the bottom as the gate may sag a bit over time depending on how large it is.
Step 2 – Special Cuts if Needed
If your deck is like mine, you may need to use your jig saw to make special cuts in the 2×6 boards to avoid railings that stick out into the opening. Just measure where these need to be (making sure to leave at least 1/8″ clearance) and mark your boards. Then use a jig saw to cut out the notches.
Step 3 – Attach the Boards
Use 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue to attach the top and bottom to the 2×6 sides.
First, align the boards and use a pencil to mark where your pocket holes will go. To improve aesthetics, put your pocket holes on the back of the gate where you won’t see them when sitting on the deck. You can also use wood filler to conceal the pocket holes.
Don’t forget the wood glue!
Below is a picture that shows what my gate looked like after the top and bottom were attached to the 2×6 sides.
Step 4 – Cut and Attach the Balusters
Th balusters are likely too long for your gate. I used my miter saw to cut them to the length that I needed and mitered a 45 degree angle on the cut end.
Step 5 – Install the Gate
I used this Deck Gate Hardware Kit that can be purchased from Amazon. You can probably find something similar at a local hardware store as well. Be sure to leave some clearance between the gate and deck. If you don’t it won’t open properly.
Step 6 – Enjoy Your New Deck Gate 🙂
I’ll be refinishing my entire deck later this month. I’m excited to give it a refresh and at that time and I’ll paint the DIY deck gate the same color as the deck so that it blends in.
What is your main need for a deck gate? Pets, children or something else?