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How to build a front porch gate

How to Build a Front Porch Gate

I Built this front porch gate in a day. Now my dogs can't run out into the street!

I wanted to enclose my small front porch with a gate. This would give my front porch a quaint appeal. A do-it-yourself gate would also enclose my front porch to make it safe for my three dogs (who like to run out into the street). If you have little children or pets, you can build a gate that will enclose your front porch for around $50. Here’s how I did it.

Where to position the gate you build?

It’s a good idea to build your gate above your stairs. This way, you can place casters wheels under the gate, so it can roll along over your porch. This way your do-it-yourself gate will be sturdy and easy to use.
How to build a porch gate


How to take measurements for building your gate?

Measure the height and width of the opening you wish to seal off with a gate. Divide the width in half, to create two gate arms that meet at the center. I recommend using cheap 2x4 lumber. So now draw on a piece of paper how many 2x4’s can fit into your width measurement.

Of course, remember to take the empty spaces between the 2x4’s into account (unless you want to build a solid gate without any slits between the lumber).

How much wood will you need to build a gate?

My gate is made up of two width pieces at the top and bottom (horizontal pieces). The remaining pieces are vertical and attach to the horizontal pieces. Of course, everything you do when you build a gate has to be done twice, because the gate is made up of two swinging arms.

In addition, after I finished building the gate I added another horizontal piece, which I set atop the vertical ones. This created a sort of banister look atop the gate.

How to build the gate?

I cut the wood for the first swinging arm of the gate and sat on my garage floor. I rested the two width pieces on the floor, then placed the vertical pieces above, adding spaces between them until I was happy with the way the gate looked. Using a drill and screws I attached everything.

It’s up to you how you want to build the gate. You can place the horizontal pieces at the ends of the vertical pieces, or a little further in (as I did). It’s also okay if the distance between the vertical pieces isn’t 100% identical throughout. No one’s going to notice once the gate is built. 

How to enclose your porch with a gate
Why add casters when you build a gate?

I found that adding stainless steel wheels under the gate made it sturdy. It also made assembly of the gate easier. You can find cheap casters wheels at your home improvement store. Buy two.

Which hardware should you use to build a gate?

Look for heavy duty hinges. And remember that by using casters you’ll take tremendous pressure off the hinges, because the gate will not have to float in the air. In addition, buy a gate latch.

How to attach the gate to your porch?

I placed a piece of 2x4 lumber on the floor to rest the finished gate on the side where the hinges will connect to the existing porch rail. At the other end, on the bottom of the gate I connected the caster, which the gate could now rest on as I drilled the hinges into place.

How to paint your do-it-yourself gate?

I decided to paint the gate white, to match the trim around my windows. To weatherproof the gate at the same time, I used water based primer before following with outdoor latex paint.

Tip: if you build your gate in winter, you can wait until summer to paint it. Otherwise, the rain will simply wash off the paint before it dries.

Questions? Comments? Drop me a line.
Enclose your front porch with a gate to make it safe for kids and pets
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