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DIY An Extra Wide Gate

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If there was one challenge that topped the list in the One Tail House (that is, besides time), it was the 9′ expanse that separated the entryway from the Adoption Room. Their goal was fairly simple on paper: An inoffensive gate that they could collapse out of the way for an open flow at events, but could contain beefier dogs (read: the likes of Jack and CC, if needed) from jumping on anyone that came through the door.

The problem is that extra wide gates are really expensive, and if they fall under the “affordable” category, they aren’t that strong. After a lot of internet sleuthing, we found that the most common width for residential use stopped around 72″, and even then, these gates were either held in place by tension, or they were secured to the wall in such a way that they’d be difficult to collapse or move. Scott and I brainstormed, drew up sketches and even asked fellow dog loving friends for advice, and in the end, we realized we’d just need to make one.

Story of our life.

But! While we had originally set out to make something that would be a bit more involved (we were considering a similar herringbone pattern to this past favorite DIY), we ended up finding a very easy solution at the hardware store! Aside from the time it took to paint, we assembled and installed a 9′ gate in less than an afternoon. We imagine this DIY could come in useful for anyone with a large outdoor area that may need to be contained, or like us, maybe you have a need indoors to keep babies and pets separate and/or safe.

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SUPPLIES USED FOR 9′ GATE
2 – 6′ Pre-made fence sections
2″ x 2″ x 3′
2 – Strap hinges (above, top left)
2 – T-hinges (above, top right)
3 – Fence brackets (above, bottom right)
2 – Slide bolts (above, bottom left)
Exterior grade paint
Wood stain (optional)
Wood screws

TOOLS USED
Circular saw for cuts
Drill
Paint sprayer and/or paint brush
Measuring tape
Orbital sander
Paint brush and/or rags for stain/poly
Level
Square

WHAT WE DID. Any gate we made needed to have vertical slats to keep dogs from climbing. When we spotted these 6′ pre-made fence panels at Lowes, we knew we could make them work! Right then and there, we came up with our game plan: We’d create a gate with three 3′ sections that could fold onto itself and swing out of the way. One of the sections would need to be secured on two sides (no swinging!), but it would be sturdy because we could screw it right into the wall and floor. Our plan would allow for a 6′ opening when needed, and no one at One Tail would have to fuss with storing anything away.

First, we sanded the two fence sections down and used our paint sprayer to get an even coat of exterior grade white paint on them:

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While this dried, we moved onto other projects around the Adoption Center, and we revisited the gate the next day.

The first panel would need to be raised off the floor to allow for the other two panels to swing freely, but because this panel needed to be immobile, we used a 2″ x 2″ as a spacer. You can see below that to make our plan work, we did need to screw through our spacer and into the floor a couple of times. To prevent the floor from splitting, small pilot holes were made first, followed with about three wood screws. Should the gate ever need to be removed, the holes will be tiny enough to fill with wood putty and a dab of stain. (To be fair, we ran through so many alternatives to prevent drilling into the floor, but in our particular case, it made the most sense and would provide the most secure environment for dogs and people!)

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After Scott measured and re-measured the opening width, he cut the first of the three gate sections with a circular saw, and attached it to the wall and 2×2 on three corners using the fence brackets and wood screws. To do so, after the brackets themselves were screwed directly into the wall and 2×2, we slipped the in the first panel, and it was further secured by additional screws from the sides. (Note: We had studs on both walls that we were able to take advantage of – lucky! If that hadn’t been the case, we would have had to use toggle bolts.)

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The second and middle gate panel was cut to size, and the strap hinges were attached at the top and bottom. This section of gate would now act as the Human Entrance, but it can also fold back all the way if they prefer to leave it open.

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The third and final gate panel was attached to a stud on the opposite wall using the t-hinges. Like most homes, the floor was less than perfect and the drywall was slightly crooked, but we still used a square and level to make sure things matched up neatly. With the gate in place, I took a moment to touch up the freshly cut edges with paint.

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Finally, a slide bolt was our lock of choice for the Human Entry, and as an additional measure, we had a second slide bolt go right into the floor of the third gate panel. The floor was touched up with a bit of stain, and if you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t even notice the hole! There is still a bit of give as would be the case with any gate that needs to stretch across 9′, but we had Jack and CC purposely jump on the gate multiple times – and success! It’s not going anywhere.

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If there are no pups around, the gate will probably look like this most of the time, giving anyone who comes through the door a 3′ opening to walk through.

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For gatherings with a larger crowd – the opening night festivities, for example – the panel closest to the door can swing open, creating a 6′ opening!

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We topped it all off with a tiny WELCOME plaque, because, look! It’s the little things (literally).

PS! Apparently, we love making gates. See a small – but cute! – version here, and check out our exterior side gate here.

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  • Way to save extra time by using the pre-made panels – genius! Love the little Welcome sign on the gate. Totally adorable.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.11.15 - 11:39 AM

      We didn’t even know those pre-made panels existed! When we saw them, I swear we heard angels singing.ReplyCancel

  • lsaspacey8.11.15 - 8:28 AM

    Brillant solution!ReplyCancel

  • rachael8.11.15 - 9:16 AM

    I rarely ever comment but just wanted to say how much I love this whole thing. Not just the gate, specifically, but the whole “taking on other projects for others in need” thing. You guys did (and always do) a PHENOMENAL job!ReplyCancel

  • Carley8.11.15 - 10:08 AM

    This is genius! Very practical but still visually appealing. Love it :)ReplyCancel

  • Josh | The Kentucky Gent8.11.15 - 10:31 AM

    Well the gate, along with the rest of the house, turned out beautifully! So give yourself a pat on the back.

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent
    http://thekentuckygent.comReplyCancel

    • Kim8.11.15 - 11:40 AM

      Do many boozy beverages consumed count as a pat on the back? ;)ReplyCancel

  • Dave Vargo8.11.15 - 11:40 AM

    Great job,ReplyCancel

  • Alana in Canada8.11.15 - 2:16 PM

    Amazing! You guys are so clever. Also–fabulous ecor. This has to be the most hip doggie adoption centre ever in the history of doggie adoption centres. Congrats.ReplyCancel

  • Malina12.9.15 - 11:19 PM

    Thank you for this – it is absolutely what I am looking to do in my new home. There are so many options for the fencing at Lowes (and Home Depot) – do you happen to remember the name?? I am trying to weed through them on line…. But to no avail! Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance.ReplyCancel

    • Kim12.10.15 - 8:21 AM

      Sorry, Malina, I don’t remmeber… I would definitely suggest seeing anything in person though, as we sort of pieced together the whole idea in the store. We bought these panels at Lowes!ReplyCancel

  • katie1.30.16 - 10:18 PM

    Hi, this idea is awesome. Im curious if you think it will be ok if I dont drill into the floor since I rent :/. I was hoping that I could skip that step and maybe figure out an idea to keep it sturdy another way. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. THANKS.ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.1.16 - 9:31 AM

      Hi Katie! Unfortunately, I think that if you don’t drill into the floor, the extra wide gate would be a little too flimsy! It would potentially bow in the middle with any pressure. How wide is your gate, and for what use? We needed it to be super secure for a lot of rescue pups to run around, so you MIGHT be able to get away with it in a home with only 1 dog?ReplyCancel

      • KPC`2.11.18 - 11:25 AM

        I thought the same thing…Why not use the Sungrace M8 Pressure Mounted Baby Gates Threaded Spindle Rods Accessory Screw Mounted Bolts Kit. Get creative to make it non skid.ReplyCancel

      • LisaChristine9.25.18 - 10:26 PM

        Hi!! So this is so great as has been confirmed by the masses. Funny we have 4 adopted pitties and we, too (quite oddly??) have a new fondness for gate building. As I wondered lost around Home Depot at 9:30 pm I happened upon an aisle with castors (the little wheels for chairs, carts etc..). We are going to copy your wide gate genius idea and add castors to help support the mobile gates and ease their use. Thank you for the inspiration! ????❤️ReplyCancel

  • Mike5.8.17 - 10:17 PM

    What a great looking gate! I want to do this for my covered patio, but I can’t seem to find these 6′ wood panels anywhere. I looked at Lowe’s and Home Depot, but no luck. Can you or anyone else reading this, steer me in the right direction? I’m located in Los Angeles, CA. Thanks in advance!ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.10.17 - 10:27 AM

      Hmm, that’s strange! We bought these at Home Depot. Most hardware stores can order items for you, or you can have online items shipped to the store. I’d try going that route next!ReplyCancel

  • Kate5.26.17 - 4:48 PM

    Love this gate! Do you remember where you purchased the hinges and brackets from? I’m not finding anything decorative like these at Lowes.ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.26.17 - 6:22 PM

      Hi Kate, everything was purchased at Lowe’s! Perhaps you can special order through their customer service?ReplyCancel

  • Kevin and Tina Butler6.24.17 - 8:23 PM

    I found the fence sections. They are actually deck railings. At Lowes, just like Kim said!

    Top Choice (Assembled: 6-ft x 2.75-ft) Brown Pressure Treated Hemlock Fir Deck Railing Kit
    Item # 476231 Model # 476231ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.26.17 - 11:34 AM

      Ooh, thank you SO much for chiming in with the exact information, guys!ReplyCancel

  • Judy8.23.17 - 12:54 PM

    This is close to what I need but… I need it taller, my Irish Setters are jumpers so I need 40″ height to be safe. Also, I’m installing on a concrete floor so can’t drill into it, also I don’t want it quite that permanent. If it’s mounted to the wall and on casters, would it still be sturdy?ReplyCancel

  • Alica12.6.17 - 12:45 PM

    I absolutely love this! I am going to use this idea to separate my girls’ large shared bedroom. The 2 year old keeps getting into the 7 year old’s stuff but they have no choice but to share. I like Judy’s suggestion above about using casters.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly5.17.18 - 11:42 AM

    What a great job! I’m a foster mom and have been trying to come up with an idea to block off an area of room that puppies keep getting into! I have a very similar space and distance but It’s concrete flooring that I’m putting vinyl planks over. I’m trying to avoid putting holes in the floor though and was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what I could do and still keep the gate steady. I thought about casters that could fully rotate for extra support. I would appreciate any feedback! Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.18.18 - 9:32 AM

      Perhaps locking casters would be helpful? I suppose this depends on how wide your gate will be! Ours had to cover a long stretch, so a hole in the floor was unavoidable to keep the pets safe and contained. If you have a smaller stretch to cover, you might be able to get away with it!ReplyCancel

  • Monica8.15.18 - 2:55 PM

    Does this work with smalls dogs? I love this idea since I have a climber yorkie but she also fits tru anything.ReplyCancel

    • Kim8.15.18 - 4:16 PM

      I’m worried it wouldn’t, but you could DIY with rails that are much closer together!ReplyCancel

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