Step 1: Dig the Postholes

digging the postholes to build a garden gate
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Use stakes and a mason line to plot two holes evenly on either side of the walkway so that, center to center, they create a line perpendicular to the path. Dig each hole 6 inches below the frost line or far enough to sink one-third of a post, whichever is deeper. Make the diameter three times the size of the post.
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    Tools List

    • garden stakes
      stakes
    • mason's line
      mason line
    • post hole digger
      posthole digger
    • tarp
      tarp to hold backfill
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • 2-and-a-half-inch paintbrush
      paintbrush
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • combination square
      combination square
    • hammer
      hammer
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun

    Shopping List

    6×6 treated posts Get two.

    self-adhesive flashing

    ¾-inch drainage stone

    fast-setting concrete

    sandpaper

    primer

    5/4×6-inch deck boards to make the frame including the crosspiece, brace, and apron; 2×4s are cheaper but give you a thicker, heavier gate.

    3-inch stainless-steel screws to assemble the frame

    1×6 cedar for the brace1 5/8-inch stainless-steel trim-head screws to attach the pales to the frame

    1×3 cedar for the pales

    1 5/8-inch stainless-steel siding nails to attach the brace paint

    6×6 post caps Get two.

    adhesive caulk to attach the post caps

    reversible strap hinges Choose a size approximately one-third the width of your gate.

    latch hardware and stop