How to Install Timber Side Entrance Gates

If you need some advice on installing timber side entrance gates, don't panic! We are here to help.


The most common size for side entrance gates is 900mm/915mm.

They may be constructed up to 1200mm wide. Gates may be constructed at any height, the most common heights being 900, 1200, 1500 and 1800mm high. Unless specified when ordering, we would normally deduct up to 50mm from the height of the gate to allow for ground clearance. For example, a gate for 1800mm high fencing would be manufactured at approximately 1750mm.

When measuring the size of the gate required, do not forget to allow for a tolerance between the post and the gate, this would normally be either 15 or 20mm overall.

When gates are hung onto brick walls, it is normal to put a timber wall plate, normally 50mm thick, however, this can vary maybe between 38mm and 100mm thick to make a specific opening fit a standard 900mm wide gate. The width of motorcycles, wheelchairs and lawn mowers etc. will need to be taken into account when choosing the width.

Gate Width

How wide can an 1800mm high gate be?

Normally up to 1500mm each leaf. Beyond this the cost rises rapidly and in practice the wind resistance makes operating difficult.

Gate Hinges

What size gate hinges?

These are usually just under half the width of the gate. Garden gates which have springs or very frequent use can require larger hinges.

Handing and Hanging

Garden gates are available either left or right handed and diagonally braced accordingly. The handing is decided when viewed from the front. Gates are normally hung to open inwards. If gates have to open outwards the ironmongery will be seen on the face of the gate which, can create additional problems when fixing hinges.

Palisade gates require timber blocks and closeboard gates require the use of longer screws for the hinges. The hinges for gates are always fitted on either the front or rear face of the post or wall plate and never between the post and the gate.

Handing is the side of the hand on the gate. This can either be on the left hand (LH) or on the right hand (RH) when looking at the good side.


The hinges chosen will depend on the size and weight of the gate. As an example, 375mm or 450mm T hinges would normally be used with a 1750mm high timber closeboard gate. For widths over 900mm heavier hinges are available. See ironmongery section.

The ironmongery on the closing side of the gate will very much depend on the height of the gate. For garden gates that cannot be reached over, we recommend the 125mm ring gate latch as a standard latch and an oval padbolt as a padlocking facility. Gates of a lower height can be reached over so the normal type of latch is the auto gate latch and we would recommend the larger one as being more durable.

Double Gates

When gates are to be hung as a pair you will require one left hand and one right hand gate. The gates will not be closing against a slamming post therefore, the gates must close against each other. This is achieved using a rebate.

One gate needs to be fitted with a dropbolt to fix it to the ground when closed. The other gate will now be the gate which normally opens first. The gate which opens first, along with the direction of opening, needs to be specified when ordering pairs.

Remember to allow for a clearance where the gates meet.

Gate Stops

All gates must be fitted with a timber batten to act as a gate stop or else the ironmongery will break very quickly. It is normal to fit a matching pair of gate stops, one on the hanging and one on the slamming side to cover up any gap between the gate and the gate post.

9th Apr 2019