It doesn’t matter how sturdy your gate is if you’ve got the wrong hinges – or don’t install them correctly. Installing your gate hinges properly can mean the difference between a flawless gate that will last for decades and one that begins to sag and fail in short order.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right gate hinges. Do you need two or three hinges? What type of hinge do you want – strap hinges, pivot hinges, tee hinges, or maybe something else?
Consider the weight and width of your gate when selecting hinges. The wider and heavier the gate is, the more stress it will place on the hinges. This means you’ll want to increase the size of the hinges as well as the length of the attachment bolts/screws.
Let’s take a look at how to install gate hinges step-by-step, so you’ll be able to hang a gate in no time.
Tools & Materials:
How to Install Gate Hinges – Guide
Step 1: Position the Gate inside Opening
The first thing you’ll want to do is position your gate inside the opening. Use a few pieces of scrap wood, bricks, or cinderblocks to lift up the gate to the mounting height you desire.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough space on the opposite fence post for installing the gate latch. ½ an inch to an inch should be sufficient for most latches.
Step 2: Gate Hinge Placement
The next step to a successful gate hinge installation is positioning and marking your hinge mounting location. Hinges can be mounted either on the interior or the exterior of the gate – which will determine whether it will swing inwards or outwards.
Position the latches between the gate and hinge post and use a grease pencil or marker to mark the locations of the screws.
Where to place hinges on a gate?
Most hinges come in pairs of two – so you’ll want to mount one near the top and the other near the bottom of the gate. Heavier gates may require a third hinge mounted in the middle to provide additional support.
If your gate is wooden, you’ll want to mount your hinges where they can grip onto as much wood as possible. This may dictate that you’ll need to mount them in a specific spot on the gate.
Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes
Next, you’ll want to drill pilot holes in the locations you marked in the previous step. Before you start drilling use a level to make sure the gate sits flush with the ground.
Use a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the size of the mounting screws or bolts and drill pilot holes everywhere you marked in the first step.
Step 4: Screw Hinges in Place
When you’re finished drilling pilot holes, the next step is to screw the hinges in place using the screws provided with purchase.
In some cases, you may need to detach the two parts of the hinge by removing the hinge pin and screw the two halves separately. Then you can put them back together as you mount the gate in place.
This step is easier if you have the gate supported from below. Leave the scrap wood, bricks, or other shim material in place as you screw it the mounting hardware. Then replace your drill’s bit with a screwdriver bit, and drive the screws in until they’re completely tight.
Step 5: Test the Gate’s Function
At this point, your gate is mounted and screwed in place, so you can remove whatever material you used earlier to prop it into position. This can be a little tricky if you’re dealing with a heavier gate, so go slow and try not to damage the bottom of the gate.
Now, test out the operation of your new gate. Open and close it a few times to see how it moves. Swing it all the way open and let it come to a complete stop. If it stays put, then it’s level and you’re good to go!
As you can see, installing gate hinges correctly is not all that difficult of a job.
While it might seem a little intimidating to the inexperienced, once you do it once, you’ll be able to repeat the process anytime a new gate needs hanging or an old one needs repair!
If you want to enhance your gate’s functionality, check out my post on how to install a gate latch cable.
And iff your gate also needs a fresh coat of paint, check out my post on how to paint a wooden gate.
How to Set a Gate Hinge
Turn the gate hinge-side up on a flat surface. Position the hinges on the hinge-side of the gate so their straps are aligned to the centers of the horizontal rails of the gate and the edges of the hinge straps closest to the pivot aligned with the edge of the gate. Mark the positions of the screw holes in the hinge strap on the gate by passing the tip of a pencil through each screw hole. Remove the hinges and drill pilot holes through the screw-hole marks. Reposition the hinges. Using screws provided in the hinge kits, attach the hinges to the gate with a drill and driving bit.
Stack 2 to 4 inches of scrap lumber between the gate posts to support the gate while you mount the hinges to the gate post. Set the gate on the planks and center it between the posts. The hinge-side of the gate must be flush with the gate post where you will install the hinges. Set a carpenter's level on the rail or horizontal part of the gate frame. While you make sure that the gate stays straight and level, push shims between the gate and gate posts to hold the gate steady while you hang the gate. You may have to put shims between the support planks and the gate to hold the gate level.
Position the mounting plates of the hinges flat against the gate post. Mark the positions of the screw holes in the mounting plates on the gate post. Move the mounting plates out of the way and drill pilot holes through the screw-hole mark on the gate post. The pilot holes should be about the same length as the installations screws. Open the hinges to reposition the mounting plates on the post. Screw the hinges to the post, using a driving bit and the screws from the hinge kits.
Remove the shims from between the gate and gate posts. Firmly wedged shims may have to be knocked out with a mallet. Remove the planks from beneath the gate. The installed gate may be fitted with appropriate latching hardware and a gate stop, if necessary.
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How to Hang a Wood Gate
The key to installing gate hinges and hanging a wood gate that won't sag is to make a secure gate post. The most common mistake homeowners make when building their own fences, says This Old House, is to fail to sink the gate post deep enough in the ground to prevent it from working loose. Once you have a post that's secure and perfectly level, the rest of the job of hanging the gate is so easy that it practically does it itself, although there is one other important tip to remember: Choose the right hinges.
Gate hinges are T-shaped rather than rectangular like the hinges you use for doors. The shape allows the hinge to extend several inches along the frame of the gate, which reduces the stress on the screws and prevents the weight of the gate from loosening them, which also makes the gate sag. Installing gate hinges on the gate is just a matter of driving some screws or bolts, and if you do this accurately and you have a good post, the rest is easy.
How to Set a Gate Post
You should always make your gate post from pressure-treated lumber if you want it to last, and you need a post hefty enough to support the gate. A 4x4 post will do for most gates, but if the gate is particularly heavy or wide, upgrade to 6x6 lumber. The post should be long enough to allow you to sink a third of it into the ground, so if your fence is 4 feet high (for example), you need a 6-foot post.
Dig the hole for the post using a posthole digger, which does the job more efficiently than a shovel, tamp down the bottom and drop in the post. Fence Supply Online recommends dropping in a few inches of pea gravel to aid drainage. Level the post with a level, backfill with just enough dirt to hold it in place and then pour in fresh concrete to ground level. Check the level again and make readjustments if necessary before the concrete sets and then wait overnight for the concrete to harden.
Installing Gate Hinges
To attach the hinges to the gate, lay the gate flat on the ground with the framing facing up. There should be two horizontal cross members, and you attach the hinges to these. Center each hinge on the cross member with the T-section pointed toward the center of the gate and the hinge pin flush against the edge of the wood and mark the screw holes. Drill a pilot hole on each mark and then replace the hinge and drive the screws or bolts to secure it.
The gate will look better, swing easier and be easier to hang if you align each hinge so the hinge pin is parallel with the edge of the gate — not necessarily with the edge of the cross member, which may not have been cut square. You can usually eyeball this, but if not, stand a straightedge on its side along the inside edge of the last board on the gate and align the hinge with that. Be sure to use screws or bolts large enough to support the gate but not too long to penetrate through the front of the gate. Screws or bolts should generally be 1 1/2 and 2 inches in length, and they usually come with the hinges.
Screw the Hinges to the Post
If the hinges are straight and the post is level, all you have to do is screw the hinges to the post. Unfold the hinges and hold the gate so they are flat against the post with the hinge pins touching the post. While you're holding the gate in position to do this, adjust the height to get the top of the gate level with the top of the fence. When the gate is right where you want it, make marks for the screw holes using a pencil.
After you've drilled pilot holes for the screws, set the gate back in place and drive screws to hold it. If the gate is wide or heavy, you may need someone to help you hold it while you drive the screws. If no one is around, prop up the bottom of the gate with pieces of wood. Once the gate is secured, test it to make sure it swings freely and then install the gate latch.
Things You Will Need
Pressure-treated gate post
Gate hinges with screws
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at such sites as Family Handyman, Hunker.com, and SFGate Home Guides.
How to Install Gate Hinges?
Hinges are mechanical bearings used to balance the weight and rotation of the gate. So proper hinge installation is a must for efficient gate operation. This post guides you through important steps to ensure easy gate installation, and long-lasting performance.
Steps to Install Gate Hinges
Here is how you can go about hinge installation for proper suspension of the gate.
- Requirements: There are different types and models of hinges available in the market. The main types include pivot hinges, barrel hinges, case hinges, concealed hinges, strap hinges, and HL hinges. Each hinge is manufactured to fulfill certain requirements. It is very important to understand the various types, their advantages, and disadvantages. Knowing this will help you make a better call when purchasing a certain type of hinge.
Browse Gate Hinges
- Placement: Next, you need to check where you want to place the hinge. Generally, the hinge is placed at the top and bottom of the gate. For heavy gates, a third hinge is added in the middle to support the weight.
- Mark Holes: This is the first major step towards hinge installation. Grease pencil is the best instrument to mark the hole. You can place the hinges on the gate, and drill pilot holes to check how they will look.
- Position Hinges: Place the gate on the ground such that the inner portion is facing up. Position the longer flap on the hinge, and ensure that the pivot pin is properly placed, and is not obstructing the movement of the gate. All hinges should be aligned properly and placed evenly for the proper functioning of the gate. Any type of misalignment will affect the gate’s movement.
- Fixing Hinges: The next step is to remove hinges and drill holes on the marked areas. Ensure that holes are smaller than the screws holding hinges. You can put hinges back on the gate and align them to the holes and fix them with screws. Ensure that hinges are secured properly. Repeat the same process for other hinges, too.
- Propping the Gate: This may require assistance from someone. Bring the gate to an upright position, and hold it in such a way that the hinges are parallel to the wall or post. Place some blocks below the gate to lift it to the desired level. Position the side of the gate to the post, and the pivot point should be placed between the post and the gate. Ensure that the longer hinge flap is at the gate and shorter flap is on the post.
- Attaching the Gate: You can align hinges to drilled holes and fix it with screws. Place screw anchors in the holes to enhance screw installation. Next, remove the blocks placed underneath the gate to test if the hinges are operating properly or not. If the hinges are not properly positioned, then remove them and reposition the hinge pins. If satisfied with the hinge placement, swing the gate to test its durability.
You can secure your property by installing a properly suspended gate. If you are unable to manage the installation as discussed above, it is always advisable to approach any reliable professional hardware installation service provider in your area.
On which gate a side hinges do go
Which direction should a fence gate swing?
Click to see full answer.
Herein, which way should a gate brace go?
If you are building the cross brace using wood, the cross brace should be in compression. So the cross brace will go from the corner with the bottom hinge to the top corner on the other side. (Wood is much stronger in compression than it is in tension.) The sagging part of the gate will push down on the wood.
Also, can you use a fence panel as a gate? A prefabricated gate can be one of the most expensive parts of your wood fence. Fortunately, you can use an extra fence panel to build your own custom gate for a fraction of the cost. Wood fence is easy to cut and alter, so creating a gate out of the fence is actually fairly simple.
In this way, which side do hinges go on a gate?
Position your top hinge against the gate at the top cross brace. Depending on the hinge style, you can install it on the exterior of the fence or on the interior of the gate. Place the hinges where the gate will swing in the direction you desire, either away from the enclosure or into it.
Where do you put hinges on a gate?
Placement: Next, you need to check where you want to place the hinge. Generally, the hinge is placed at the top and bottom of the gate. For heavy gates, a third hinge is added in the middle to support the weight. Mark Holes: This is the first major step towards hinge installation.
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