Tips for building a wooden gate include saving the best boards for the gate, double nailing the materials, setting the opening before building the fence and bracing with an A-pattern instead of a Z-pattern. Many fence builders make the mistake of using leftover fencing materials for the gate, even though it is often the focal point of the entire fence. Setting aside the best quality fencing boards for construction makes a better gate.
Gates are the only moving parts of the fence and have less support than other fence panels. Double the number of nails you use in constructing a gate as compared to the number you use for the fence. The additional nails prevent boards from loosening due to constant movement and provide additional support to prevent sagging.
When planning for a fence, plan for the gate. Avoid constructing the entire fence with no regard for the gate. Determine where you want the opening and plan the rest of the enclosure accordingly.
Although Z-pattern bracing is common in gates, an A-pattern provides greater strength. The A-pattern requires two separate braces that meet in the middle at the top of the gate and angle outward toward the bottom, like the legs of an A. By using galvanized truss plates with the pattern, it reinforces the entire gate.