How to Build and Install a Deck Gate

Installing a deck gate is an ideal way to close off your outdoor living area from unwanted guests and visitors, or to prevent small children from tricky trips or falls down the outdoor staircase.

Whether a deck gate is necessary for your backyard area for heightened protection or if you are just looking to enhance the overall look and feel of your deck design, deck gates deliver a polished and cohesive look for your family's deck and patio space.

Choose from vinyl deck gates, aluminum deck gates, cable railing deck gates, and more to complete your ideal outdoor living area. Learn more about deck gate hinges, deck gates for dogs, deck gates for pool... there are endless gate designs and options to create your dream deck space.

How Do I Build a Deck Gate?

Protect family, friends, children, and pets with durable and adjustable deck gates and deck gate kits installed around your garden, patio, and pool.

We can teach you how to build a gate for your deck space to keep your outdoor area clear from unwanted visitors or to keep swimming pool guests in place.

Whether you need a rustic wood deck gate kit, a classic aluminum gate for your metal deck railing or even glass gates, there's a range of deck gate styles to fit every outdoor space and aesthetic.

Find out more about how easy it is to build a gate for your deck, porch, or fence such as this stunning metal deck gate from Westbury Aluminum Railing

How to Make a Deck Gate

Before beginning to make your DIY deck gate design, first check your local deck building code to ensure that the DIY gate being built is code-compliant. A general rule of thumb throughout the United States is that the top rail of the deck gate design must sit at least 36 inches in height from the wood deck surface.

This building code can change from state to state and even county to county, so confirm your local deck building code before purchasing deck gate material and starting your DIY deck gate design.

1) Browse deck gate designs, gate styles, and deck gate image galleries online

No matter your deck style or outdoor space atmosphere, there's a gate design and look that will finish your deck railing perfectly. From wood deck gates to blend in with warm cedar deck railing, or clean, classic vinyl deck railing gates for a uniform railing appeal throughout the outdoor space, there's a dream deck gate out there for your space.

Glass deck railing gates are available to keep your backyard views open and clear at all times, or check out strong, metal deck railing gates that deliver a modern deck railing and gate style for your backyard deck and patio area.

2) Shop deck gate kits and styles

Once you find the correct deck gate material to be added to your deck, porch or patio area, begin taking a deeper look at the deck railing gate profile. Do you want a simple curved top rail for high graspability at the top or bottom of your staircase? Are you looking for a more modern deck railing style with a flat top rail edge and clean beveled lines?

While adding a gate to your deck railing may not seem too important, it is helpful to keep your overall deck space style in mind so as to prevent any clashes in design.

3) Measure your gate opening

Once you've found a gate style that blends with your personal style and your deck's overall appearance, measure the space of your deck gate opening. You'll want this measurement to confirm that the deck gate you're hoping to buy will accommodate your space before you drop any money on it.

Using your tape measure, find the distance between the center of the deck post to the center of the opposite deck post. Note that space down to keep on hand for deck gate installation later.

Check out how to build a gate for your home's outdoor space easily with deck railing systems such as the Deckorators Aluminum Deck Gate

4) Shop deck gate hardware kits

Depending upon the exact deck gate idea and system that you choose for your outdoor living room, you may need to purchase the gate hinges and deck gate hardware separately. Some deck gate systems may include your gate hinges and hardware - check before purchasing additional gate pieces.

Typically, the most basic gate setups and systems will require at least 2 gate hinges and one mountable gate latch. The two hinges will be installed on one deck gate post to create the swinging portion of the deck gate. The gate latch will allow for the ability to actually secure the gate closed.

It's recommended to use self-closing gate hinges such as the Cornerstone Nylon Self-Closing Hinges or the Aluminum Adjustable Tension Self-Closing Gate Hinges by Nationwide Industries. Self-closing gate hinges will ensure that deck gates won't be left open accidentally. Instead, the hinges will swing closed by themselves for increased deck safety.

DecksDirect also highly recommends mounting a lockable gate latch such as the Keystone X2 eXterior Mount Latch or LokkLatch Magnetic Latch for your deck gate. Installing a lockable gate latch will allow you to prevent unwanted late-night guests from entering your deck space, as well as keeping children and pets from dangerous areas such as pools, stairs, and more.

5) Follow Deck Gate Manufacturer Installation Instructions

The overall majority of deck gates, whether a full deck gate kit or a piece by piece setup of a wood deck gate, will install similarly. Take the opening measurement you found earlier, and trim the top and bottom rails of your gate to length. If you're using standard 2x4 or 2x6 wood boards to build a deck gate, trim those as needed.

Set your top and bottom deck rails side by side and attach the deck balusters or gate infill before installing the gate. Deck gate kits will generally feature baluster openings or slots for easy installation. However, when building a wood deck gate, you will want to install your deck balusters via baluster connectors.

With your deck gate infill or balusters in place, set and attach the top rail in place. Then with the base of the hinges fastened to the deck gate post, have a friend or partner hold the deck gate section in place while securely attaching the section in place. Close the gate and attach the gate latch in its proper placement.

6) Enjoy your new gate!


Learn more about the basics of deck framing and building in the Deck Framing Guide and learn the specific deck part names in the Glossary of Deck Terms and Lingo.

Browse more deck design and railing style notes to upgrade your backyard space and deck in the DecksDirect Railing Style Guide. This is the quickest way to learn if your home is more suited for a classic aluminum deck railing or a strong, composite railing line.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you're looking at a brand new start or a fresh end-of-season deck renovation, give our deck designers a call at 1-888-824-5316 or send us an email at hello@decksdirect.com. Our deck experts will help you get the information, products, and tools you need for a gorgeous deck that you created and designed!