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Build a Fence, Gate, and Arbor

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Surround your yard or garden with style with this coordinated fence, gate, and arbor you can build any time and install at your convenience.

Craftsman-style fence, gate, and arbor.

Project Overview

Skill Level

Advanced

Estimated Time

1-2 weeks

Estimated Cost

$$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Miter saw or table saw
  • Circular saw
  • Handsaw
  • Drill, bit set, and screw-driving bits
  • Carpenter's square
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Straightedge
  • Post level
  • 2' level
  • String line
  • Posthole digger
  • Flat-spade shovel
  • Concrete mixing container or wheelbarrow
  • Large hammer

Materials

  • 2 - 6"x6"x12' #2 treated lumber, #5635
  • 2 - 6"x6"x8' #2 treated lumber, #2827
  • 2 - 4"x4"x10' #2 treated lumber, #1467
  • 4 - 2"x8"x8' Top Choice #2 treated lumber, #91758
  • 2"x6"x12' Top Choice #2 treated lumber, #84981
  • 8 - 2"x4"x8' Top Choice #2 treated lumber, #46905
  • 1"x6"x12' cedar board, #7503
  • 4 - 1"x4"x10' cedar boards, #7581
  • 3 - 1"x4"x8' cedar boards, #7499
  • 12 - 1"x2"x8' cedar boards, #7592
  • 4" black automatic gate latch, #50185
  • Heavy-duty gate hinge set, #40149
  • 6 - Quickrete concrete mix, 80-pound bags, #10385
  • 12d galvanized finish nails
  • 1-1/4" stainless-steel finish nails
  • 2-1/2" bugle-head deck/patio screws
  • 2" bugle-head deck/patio screws
  • 1-1/4" bugle-head deck/patio screws
  • 5/16"x5" star-drive lag screws
  • 5/16"x8" star-drive lag screws
  • Titebond III wood glue, 16 ounces, #144
  • Wood stakes, 25-pack, #4005
  • 8 - 1"x2"x8' premium furring strips, #4511

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources

Instructions

Begin by building a gate

Step 1

Cut the frame stiles (A) and frame rails (B) about 1" oversize and miter-cut one end of each piece at 45 degrees (remove as little of the length as possible). Set a stop block on your saw and cut each set of four stiles and four rails to length.

Step 2

Cut the wide diagonal trim (C), center vertical trim (D), and center horizontal trim (E) about 1" longer than shown (Fence, Gate and Arbor Cutting List). Cut the wide vertical trim (F), top narrow trim (G), vertical narrow trim (H), upper middle trim (I), lower middle trim (J), bottom narrow trim (K), bottom mounting strips (L), and top mounting strips (M) to length.

Step 3

Miter-cut both ends of the center horizontal trim (E) to length with 45-degree angles. Cut the center vertical trim (D) to length with a 45-degree miter on one end. Glue and nail the miters and let dry.

Step 4

Cut a 45-degree corner off one end of each wide diagonal trim (C). Then cut the parts to equal lengths using a 45-degree miter at the other end. Glue and nail a wide diagonal trim to the edge of a wide vertical trim (F) so the top ends are flush. Repeat with the other sets of parts.

Step 5

Glue, clamp, and nail the frame stiles (A) and frame rails (B) to form two frames. Glue and nail one wide vertical trim (F) to the frame with the diagonal part (C) in the upper frame corner and let dry. Repeat for the mirror version of the wide vertical trim and diagonal and for the other frame and trim.

Step 6

Lay one frame assembly (A/B/C/F) upside down on a flat surface. Glue, clamp, and nail the bottom (L) and top mounting strips (M) to the frame rails (B) and wide vertical trim (F).

Step 7

Close-up of gate panel trim
Glue, clamp, and nail the top narrow trim (G), vertical narrow trim (H), and upper middle trim (I) to the frame assembly. Then add the wide center trim (D/E) centered at the bottom of the frame assembly. Now add the lower middle trim (J), and bottom narrow trim (K).

Step 8

Glue and nail the second frame assembly (A/B/C/F) to the frame assembly with the trim pieces. Let dry. Cut the top rail cap (N) to length. Glue and nail the top rail cap to the upper frame rails (B).

Step 9

Paint or stain the frame assembly (A/B/C/F) and top rail cap (N) the primary color and the remaining parts the accent color.

Assemble the arbor

Step 1

Determine how deep you'll need to bury the tall posts (O) to withstand freezing ground in your area. Position the posts so their centers are 50-1/4" apart. (The inside faces should be 44-3/4" apart.) Set the posts in concrete and allow it to cure while braced plumb. After the concrete hardens, cut the tops of the posts level with each other at about 8' above the ground. Paint or stain them the primary color.

Step 2

From 4"x4" posts, cut the bracket beam (P) and bracket-mounting block (Q). Then cut a piece 16-5/8" long for the bracket support (R).
Good to Know
Your circular saw likely can't cut through deeper than 2-1/2" of the 3-1/2" actual thickness of a 4"x4" post in one pass. One solution is to use the circular saw to start the cut. Then finish the cut using a handsaw. Sand the cut smooth before assembly.

Step 3

On the bracket beam (P), cut a 12-degree bevel on one end. On the bracket mounting block (Q), cut a 45-degree chamfer as shown (Porch Railing Project Diagram--Bracket Assembly). Then cut 45-degree bevels on the bracket support (R) to cut it to length.

Good to Know

Now is a good time to pre-drill lag-screw pilot holes for mounting the bracket on a post. To avoid bumping into the diagonal support while driving the screws, drill the upper pilot holes at a slight angles.

Step 4

Dry-assemble the three bracket pieces (P, Q, R) with clamps to check the fit. Then drill 3/16" pilot holes and drive 5/16"x5" lag screws to assemble the bracket. Repeat for the remaining three brackets. Apply two coats of accent-color paint or stain to the brackets and let dry.

Step 5

Clamp a bracket (P/Q/R) in position with the top face 5-3/4" from the top of a post, and drive lag screws to fasten it in place. Repeat for the bracket on the opposite side and on the other post.

Step 6

Lay an overhead rail (S) spanning two brackets with equal overhangs on each end, and mark the locations of the brackets on the rail. Clamp four rails together with the ends flush and transfer the bracket marks to all of the rails using a square.

Step 7

Overhead rail fitted to post bracket
Set your circular saw blade depth to 1-1/2" and make two cuts along the bracket marks on all four overhead rails (S). Then make cuts just under 1/4" apart between the two outside cuts. Break off the waste with a hammer and flatten the bottoms of the notches with a chisel.

Step 8

Four overhead rails on post brackets
Apply two coats of paint or stain in the primary color to the overhead rails (J) and let dry. On the bottom edge of each overhead rail (Q) about 1-1/2" from both sides of each notch, drill 1/8" pilot holes diagonally so they emerge on the sides of the notch. Then position the inside rails with notches wrapping over the tops of the brackets and the faces against the post. Drive 12d finish nails through the pilot holes to hold the brackets in position.

Step 9

Mark the brackets 6" from the faces of the inside overhead rails (Q). Position the inside faces of the outer overhead rails at the marks and nail them in place.

Put together a fence panel

Step 1

To make a single fence section, start with the pairs of panels. Cut the rails (T), wide balusters (U), long narrow slats (V), short narrow slats (W), upper mounting strips (X), lower mounting strips (Y), and wide horizontal slats (Z), narrow balusters (AA), and top rail cap (BB) to length. Paint or stain the rails and top rail the primary color.

Step 2

Glue and nail the upper mounting strips (X) and lower mounting strips (Y) to the inside faces of the wide balusters (U).

Step 3

Lay a pair of wide balusters (U) parallel and 6-3/8" apart. Glue and nail the long narrow slats (V), short narrow slats (W), and wide slat (Z), to the wide balusters. Then glue and nail the second pair of wide balusters to the assembly.

Step 4

Paint or stain the panel and repeat for the other panel. Also, paint/stain the narrow balusters (V) and set them aside.

Install a fence section

Step 1

Dig postholes centered 45-1/2" apart and set the short posts (CC) in concrete. After the concrete hardens, trim the post tops level with each other at about 42" above the ground.

Step 2

Nail an upper rail (T) spanning the posts with the top edge of the rail flush with the tops of the posts and the outside face inset 7/8" from the outside faces of the posts.

Step 3

Measure the length of a panel and nail the lower rail (T) that distance from the upper rail.

Step 4

Fence section with panels, balusters
Center a narrow baluster (V) on the length of the rails (T) and screw it in place. Then screw one narrow baluster on each side 1-1/2" from the center baluster. Add two additional rails with the balusters sandwiched between them.

Step 5

Screw the panels to the rails (R) using the mounting strips (X, Y). Then attach the top rail cap (BB) to complete the fence section.
Good to Know
We show the top rail cap (BB) ending at the outside face of a post -- a good solution if that's your last fence section -- but you'll likely want top rails to span more than one roughly 4' fence section. Size the lumber lengths for your top rail cap to cover as many fence sections as possible.

Step 6

To complete the project, screw the hinges and latches to the gate. While holding the gate open and in position, screw the hinges to one tall post (O) and the mating piece of the latch to the other post.