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Wooden Fence Gates

Wooden fence gates can be as simple as planks of wood attached with 2" x 4" lumber or they can be beautifully ornate, rustic, even medieval looking.

Choosing fence gate designs depends a lot on who sees it, what it's purpose is and what your budget is. For example, if the gate is in front of your property, then it should have a little more flair and complement your home's style, whereas a vegetable garden gate just needs to be functional.

On this page I'll share some great ideas for wooden gate designs as well as hardware ideas and home landscaping photos with gates.

great example of wooden fence gates combined with a stone garden wall

Wooden fence gates such as this are sometimes called pedestrian gates or garden gates. I like how the top portion of the gate is open which helps it to visually match the height of the stone wall.

It's obvious this wall and gate were not designed for privacy, but to be more of a boundary line. You get the full view of the garden, yet passerby's and their dogs can't just wander in uninvited, and if they do, well that's trespassing.

Having a beautiful wooden gate facing the street can really up the curb appeal and depending on the style you choose, it can be a statement piece as well.

My Search For Wooden Fence Gates

Our old wooden fence and gates were warped and rotted when we got this place and after we replaced the fence, it was time to start looking for two new gates. It was a rude awakening because I had no idea they cost so much!

32 inch wide wooden fence gate with keyless entry door hardware

We could have had the fence guys make us a simple gate, but for fence planks nailed to 2" x 4"s, the price tag didn't seem worth it. I had to do a lot of shopping around to find what I wanted, at a fabulously frugal price.

I scoured architectural salvage shops and builders surplus stores for wooden fence gates or old exterior doors. None were quite the right size, nor could I find two that matched each other ~ and the style of the house.

This photo shows the back view of my 32" wooden fence gate in western red cedar, that was stained with TWP (also in cedar) and sealed with marine varnish. The photo below show the front view one year later with an arched arbor framing it that's covered in passiflora vines.

I also visited and called a couple shops where you ordered through a catalog and then picked your embellishments. Only thing is they wanted to charge more than twice my budget. Then I called a custom gate guy and he told me, "I wouldn't even get out of bed for $1,600."

That's when scrappy girl over here set out to find the "golden gate" source every one of these guys was tapping. And find it I did!

Buying online proved to be a fabulously frugal way to buy wooden fence gates along with the hardware, and I saved even more cash by finishing them myself. Then I hired the best person to install them ~ a door guy! Think about it, gates are just little doors :)

Wooden Fence Gates Can Help Protect Your Home

wooden fence gates with arched arbor and passiflora vines

I had seen other neighbors who used padlocks on the inside of their gates to keep folks from entering. (what a pain the rear!) Instead of doing that, my idea was to put a keyless entry system made for houses on each gate with auto close hinges so they would lock behind you.

This makes it easy for friends and family to get in without a key by pressing a code, but the general public is locked out. Having your yard locked to intruders is good for security and also a must if you have a pool or spa.

I bought my Schlage keyless entry system a couple years ago, but while researching this article I found out they have a new wireless version out now. It alerts you by text message whenever someone comes or goes and you can give each person a different code. This option does require a monthly fee whereas the old style keyless entry doesn't. (see both options below)

How much did I pay for wooden gate designs?

After you add up the cost of the gates, hardware, trim, and installation, each gate was around $750. with me doing the stain and sealing. Add to each another $130. for the keyless entry hardware and $125. if you wanted someone else to stain/seal them. This was still half of what I was being quoted everywhere

FYI: Next time, I would order the thicker version of this wooden fence gate because a strong gust of wind slammed it shut one day and cracked it. My guy was able to repair it by inserting super long screws sideways into the damaged area with a little wood glue. (Ordering 2 1/8" thick gates would have cost another $140. each)

The only problem I had with this using the keyless entry hardware on a gate was the screws on back of the unit, which rusted pretty quick. If you're going to use this option, replace the batteries at least once a year and you might even want to zap the screw head with a little paint to protect it.

Finishes For Wooden Fence Gates

Wood put out in the weather needs protection so choose from acrylic latex stains, oil based stains or polyurethane coatings, but do something! Don't let good wood go to waste.

Total Wood Protection (TWP) was recommended to me by a long time pro painter because it penetrates the wood and protects from water, mildew, cracking, etc.

Paint is another option, but unless the wood you chose has been kiln dried, you may have a wait a few weeks for it to cure.

Test you stain or paint colors on a scrap of similar wood to make sure you like it and for large yard projects like wooden fences, save by buying in 5 gallon pails.

How much you need depends on he spread rate of each product and the type and texture of wood your covering, with the second coat spreading farther.

Another idea to help protect wooden fence gates is to install a copper cap on top to keep water from sitting there. You can have a piece of thin copper strips cut just a fraction bigger than your doors thickness and use copper screws to attach it.

Decorative Hardware For Wooden Fence Gates

There's so many ways to customize your wooden gates, and exterior doors with decorative hardware.

A great way to get an old world look is to add decorative iron hinges to the front of the gate or door. These don't function, but add an architectural element. Of course the working hinges on the other can also be artistic in design.

Clavos are hammered circular pieces of metal that look like medieval nail heads. Use them in rows for that ancient look.

Speakeasy's can be a simple iron grate you see through or small doors that are cut into the gate and attached with hinges. (Remember the Wizard of Oz where he opens the peep hold in the door?)

Latches, pulls and handles are more great ways to assert your gates' personality. Go rustic with hand forged iron or modern with sleek, polished hardware.

There are so many ways to customize your wooden gate designs and all it takes is a little imagination.

Thanks for visiting! Before you go, see if any of my other yard or home decorating articles can help in the links below.