Sagging Gate

Get your gates back on the horizontal

Ask This Old House Crew
Photo by Matt Kalinowski

When I added a stockade fence around the yard, I closed off my driveway with a pair of gates made from leftover fence sections. Now the gates are sagging, and I've had to put wheels under both to keep them from dragging on the driveway. Do you have any suggestions for correcting this problem?
— Susan, Bethany, OK


Tom Silva replies: It shouldn't be hard to make them square. First, prop up the latch side of each gate so it's square, then shim it up another inch or so, to allow for settling. Now attach a diagonal 2x4 brace to the horizontal rails on each gate, using a pair of carriage bolts and washers wherever the brace crosses a rail. (Put the bolt heads on the outside of the gates, and countersink the nuts and washers.) Each brace should run from the end of the bottom rail closest to the lowest hinge, up to the end of the top rail closest to the latch side. (Running the braces the other way won't do any good.) That should stiffen the sections enough for you to take the wheels off.


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