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Vinyl Fence Installation Tips: Attaching the Gate

Vinyl Fence

Learn how to plan and attach the gate to a new vinyl fence in your yard.


Building the Gate

Assemble the vinyl fence gate following the manufacturer’s instructions. Many manufacturers offer kits that can be used to construct a gate from a fence panel. Typically, all you need to do is cut down the panel, then add the gate kit components with vinyl cement. Other manufacturers require that you purchase a specific gate panel of a standard width.



Setting Gate Posts

Checking Gate Posts for Level

It’s a good idea to install your gate when you come to it as you’re setting your posts and panels. That way you can be sure your gate posts are precisely located. Your first gate post will be installed with the panel that precedes it. Once the gate has been assembled, you can set the other gate post.

As the gate will put additional stress on the adjacent posts, install a 4-inch-by-4-inch treated lumber post inside the vinyl post, flush with the side of the post where the hardware will attach and secure with screws for stability. The wood also gives the hardware something to grab onto.

Before beginning any excavation, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies.

Step 1

Cut a board the width of the gate panel plus hardware. Use this to help position the exact location of the other gate post.


Step 2

Mark the location and dig the post hole.

Local building code will dictate post hole depth and diameter. Sometimes, building code requires that the post hole on the hinge side of the gate is slightly deeper and wider than the latch post because it will hold the weight of the gate.

Step 3

Add gravel to the bottom of the gate post hole, following local building code.


Step 4

Set the post in position and secure it plumb with clamps and braces.


Step 5

Add concrete to within 2 inches of the top of the hole.


Step 6

Work the concrete to remove air bubbles per manufacturer’s instructions.


Step 7

Use a level to make sure the tops of the posts are even.


Step 8

Double-check the post for plumb.


Step 9

Allow the concrete to thoroughly set before installing the gate.



Hanging the Gate


Step 1

Install the gate hardware on the gate’s rails as directed by the manufacturer.

  • Center the hinge on the rail, leaving about ¾ inches of space between the gate edge and the hinge pin.
  • Mark the position of the screw holes.
  • Drill pilot holes into the rail so it doesn’t split.
  • Secure the hinge to the rail with screws. Some hinges include elongated holes that allow for adjustments.
Use a slow drill speed when securing with screws.

Step 2

Place the gate in the gate opening between the hinge and latch posts.

Place blocks under the gate to temporarily hold it in place.

Step 3

Line up the gate rails with the fence panel rails.


Step 4

When the rails are lined up, hold the hinges against the post.


Step 5

Drill pilot holes for the screws through the hinges.


Step 6

Secure the gate hinges to the hinge post with screws.


Step 7

Attach the gate handle flush with the edge of the gate using screws.


Step 8

Attach the arm to the handle.


Step 9

Hold the latch lever on the post so it lines up with the arm on the handle.


Step 10

Mark the holes, drill pilot holes and attach with screws.


Step 11

If your gate hardware includes a thumb latch, hold it in place so the inside latch smoothly opens and closes, then attach it to the post with screws.