How Much Space Should Be Between A Post And Gate?

Eli Smith
by Eli Smith
Classic gateway entrances are iconic and can give your home some serious curb appeal. The ideal space between a post and the gate is ½” or ¾” to prevent pests from getting through. Whether it be the type of gate or style of post, follow along as we explore the ideal post-to-gate clearance.

When building a fence, everything goes well until you reach the gate. At this point, you may be asking the question: how much space should be between the post and the gate? Without proper measurements, it can be a bit tricky.

There should be between ½” and ¾” of space between the post and gate to keep small animals away. You can leave 1” of space between the post and gate if you have a double-gated fence. Measure the width of your latch before you set the gap between the post and gate.

Below, we will get into more information behind what it means to produce an appropriate gap between your post and the gate. We will provide you with a step-by-step process in installing your gate, ensuring you know exactly how to get the job done.

Do You Need Gate Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

A Step-By-Step Process To Ensure A Well-Constructed Fence Gate

This process assumes that you have a wooden gate. We will provide altered steps further down to account for other types of fences.

  • Have the right equipment
  • Choose your favorite latch
  • Measure the gap and the width of your latch
  • Drill holes, so they are about an inch or two from the top and bottom
  • Screw the latches and hinges.
  • Test the gate and the latch

Step One: Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment

Our guide assumes two different things: you have a wooden fence and have already installed everything but the gate. With this in mind, check out the equipment below to help you get the job done.

  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screws (matching necessary latch width for screw holes)
  • Latch
  • Hinge

Step Two: Choose Your Favorite Type Of Latch

If you are building a wooden fence, you have a lot of latches available to pick. When choosing a type of latch, make sure you have your priorities straight.

If you want to save on costs, bolt latches are your best choice. They have a classic look that requires clear, human intervention of moving up, sliding right, and moving down. Don’t expect too much security, but they are easy to use and install.

If you want more security, consider purchasing a spring-loaded latch. These latches have a bit more flexibility and can be opened from two sides if needed. However, they also have lockable varieties.

Last, you can choose a gravity latch. As you may expect from the name, gravity locks the latch. They do have dual-sided opening methods available. These latches are great if you are forgetful, as the wind catches the door and locks it for you. As a result, it is one of the least secure options.

Step Three: Measure The Gap And Width Of Your Latch

To determine the gap between your gate and poles, you will need to be sure that you know about your latch’s width. While 1/2 to 3/4 inch provides an excellent base, some latches don’t follow those standard requirements.

If your latch has more width than that, you will need to ensure that the gap accounts for this. While your gate is on wooden blocks, run a visual test to see if it will look too snug.

Step Four: Drill Holes An Inch Or Two From Top And Bottom

When selecting where your hinges will be, you need to be sure they are in a stable position. It means placing your hinges reasonably close to the ends of the gate.

Select a spot that is about one inch or two from the end. Picture what you would expect from a natural hinge. Larger gates may require a third hinge, especially if you are looking for a privacy fence.

Step Five: Screw On Your Latches and Hinges

Start with the latch connected to your door. Be sure that it is positioned comfortably for your height and others who will be using your latch. Nobody should have to stretch to open their outside door.

Hinges are a bit pickier, as you need to be sure they connect correctly with the rest of your gate. They should be fine as long as you have measured for that one to a two-inch gap from each end.

When positioning your gate, you may have a friend hold it up as you are screwing it to the rest of the fence. Otherwise, you can use two identical wooden blocks. Be sure that they are steady, as you will have to start over if it is crooked.

Step Six: Test It

Check to see if the hinges open properly with no snags. Following the 1/2 inch rule made present earlier, your hinges shouldn’t dig into the sides of the gate.

The same logic applies to the latch. Make sure that it isn’t rubbing against the wood. Your gate should be incredibly easy to close. If it isn’t easy to shut, you will need to take a closer look at the area that is snagging.

Test the latch by firmly pressing against the gate after closing it. It shouldn’t give easily, which means that it is working. Do not test it by trying to kick down your fence.

How About Chain Link Gate Hinges?

If you are installing a chain-link fence, the hinges that come with these are in a kit. In many cases, these kinds of barriers have standards which can make things a little easier.

If purchasing from a local hardware store, you can use their customer service if you are uncertain. Be confident that premade kits are for this purpose. If you are purchasing parts separately, be sure that you account for the hinges’ diameter.

What About Wrought Iron Gate Hinges?

If installing a wrought iron fence, you have less room for error. The same half an inch rule applies here; be sure you have enough of a gap for the hinge to move pleasantly.

It is essential to get this right on the first go, as wrought iron fences gates have bolts to stay on. If you make a mistake, your wrought iron fence could turn into an eyesore.

Always be extra careful with measurements on wrought iron fences.

How Much Does A Fence Gate Cost?

Check out our table below to find out how much it costs to get a gate for your fence

Type of gateCost
Single wood gate$50 to $75
Double wood gate$100 to $250
Chain link fence gate$50 to $600
Wrought iron gate$150 to $2000
Wheeled gate$250 to $2500
Electric gate$750 to $4500

As we get into higher-quality materials, you start to see that fences have the ability to be pretty long. It is especially true with wrought iron driveway gates, which are pretty standard in more prosperous communities.

With wrought iron, wheeled, or electric gates, the cost can include installation, adding several hundred (or thousand) depending on the project’s full extent.

There is a lot of wiggle room here. Still, lower-end materials can mean it is more comfortable for ordinary people to install. If you wish to handle a DIY project, consider avoiding more complicated materials. Depending on how long it can take, you may choose to hire a professional company instead.

How Much Space Between Double Gates?

Be sure that there is at least one half of an inch between gate and post. Try and keep the same distance between double gates, which you will be testing with multiple friends or wooden blocks.

Depending on your tolerance for a gap and, you can have half about an inch or two between gates feasibly. But if you want little to no gap, be incredibly specific with your measurements and installation.

For example, large animal fences typically are more sturdy. Still, they have a wider gap because a cow cannot fit through two inches of space.

Do You Need Gate Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

Should A Gate Open In Or Out?

If your gate goes out to the sidewalk, it should also swing inward. It is because you should not block public space with your gate.If there is no public space or sidewalk on the other end of your gate, see if you have any uneven ground. Getting your gate caught on a small hill or lump isn’t appealing. If neither of these is a problem, you can make a selection based on personal preference.

Related Guides

Eli Smith
Eli Smith

I'm a guy who becomes the expert of whatever I stumble upon, writing-wise. I've written tons about cool home products, home improvement, and smart technology in the home. I'm also the proud father of a kiddo born on new years, making my holidays very busy.

More by Eli Smith