Installation Tips For Timber Field Gates

Traditional field gates are about 1.2m (4ft) high and still normally supplied in imperial sizes. They are available as standard items in width increments of 305mm (1ft), starting at 910mm (3ft) wide up to 3.66m (12ft) wide.

It is, therefore, best before setting out a driveway or building brick entrance pillars to calculate the overall width including the ironmongery enabling standard gates to be used.

Timber appearance

Field gates are available in three types of timber - treated softwood, Iroko hardwood or Oak hardwood. Softwood gates are held in stock at all branches of AVS Fencing Supplies, Iroko and Oak are available usually to order only.

Treated softwood are available in two styles, both are smooth planed finish; a Forrester which has a simple finish and only available in right hand, a Somerset which has more detail in its construction and available in both hands.

All types of timber change their appearance when exposed to the elements and generally turn, depending on type, to different shades of grey. Initial treatments can delay this.

Gate posts

Gate posts are generally 2.1m long, which is sufficient to hang most field gates in situations with reasonably level ground and allows a minimum of 760mm in the ground. If there is a fall across the width of the gate, this may mean that a longer post needs to be ordered for the low side to obtain sufficient post length to concrete into the ground.

The section of gate posts can be varied to suit the size of the gate to be hung. A 175 x 175mm gate post is sufficient to hang all timber gates up to 3660mm wide, it is also quite normal to use 200 x 200mm hanging posts for gates over 3050mm wide. 150 x 150mm size gate posts are normally used to hang gates up to 1.83m (6ft) wide. 125 x 125mm posts may be used for the very small pedestrian field gates.

Latches and locking

There are several latches available, each depending on how the gate is situated to the latch post; self closing, spring and a central mortice latch. Other than the central morticed latch, which can only be used when central hung, all of the others can be used in each situation but may require a different receiver. If unsure AVS can advise you accordingly.

Another way to lock a field gate is with a chain around the gate post and gate style, but this would be most suited to a field rather than a residential situation.


The softwood gates are treated, but it is recommended they are treated again with a suitable treatment on completion of installation. Hardwood gates have not been treated, though we would recommend a treatment or oil to be applied on completion. This will achieve maximum protection for your garden gate, allowing the moisture to permeate through the treatment at a controlled rate and providing protection against the natural elements. This treatment also helps to prevent checking and warping of the timber.

Handing of the gate

Each gate has a specific handing, Left or Right, as it is built to be self supporting and stronger on one side. To realise the correct hand to buy, you need to visualise the gate from the front face and note which side the hanging post is situated, if it is on the right then you require a right hand gate.

A Guide to Hanging Charltons 5 Bar Gates


Gates can be hung centrally or on the back/front face of the posts, depending on how you require the gate/s to open. It is worth noting that if the gate is on the front of your property, next to a public highway, it is illegal to open the gate outwards obstructing the highway at any time. Hung centrally the gate will only open to just over 90 degrees but possibly either way, face mounted it will open 180 degrees but only in one direction.

All field gates are installed using Adjustable field gate hinges, these are double straps which provide a strong grip either side of the top ledge and an adjustable bolt through the base of the hanging style; this adjust-ability allows for tweaking if the gate should drop in time

Sloping ground

If the ground slopes up behind the gate, it is possible to open the gate so it rises as it opens. When centrally hung a rising hinge set can be used, which allows the bottom hinge to pivot on an off centre pin; when fitted correctly this will rise the gate 25mm (1") for every 305mm (1ft) of the gates width.

Double gates

Double gates may have equal leaves or unequal leaves, with the later allowing for a pedestrian gate and a driveway gate in the same set up. The latching method usually adopted for pairs is a drop over loop and a garage door bolt to secure one leaf.


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