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Install an Aluminum Gate

Aluminum Gate

Add some appeal to your aluminum fence by installing a decorative gate. These step-by-step instructions will teach you how to attach and adjust a gate to your fence.

Installing Gate Hardware and a Gate

gate latch

Step 1

Plan the swing of the gate(s) — toward the enclosed area or away from it — for easiest entry and exit.

For swimming pools, the gate must swing away from the pool for safety. Check local building codes for gate and hardware requirements.

Step 2

Refer to the gate manufacturer’s instructions for specific details on setting hinges. For many models, line up the hinges on the post with the top and bottom of the adjacent fence panel rails. This helps distribute the weight of the gate.

    1. Hold the top hinge in place on the post — the large, flat side goes against the post. Secure it with screws.

    2. Install the bottom hinge, making sure the hinges are in line. If they aren't in line, the gate won't swing correctly.

Step 3

Hold the gate in position next to the hinges.

Use temporary support blocks under the gate to help keep it in place.

Step 4

Attach the gate to the hinges with screws or bolts. Some manufacturers include the fasteners with the gate. Be sure to drive a screw in every hole.

Step 5

Verify that the gate opens and closes freely before continuing.

Step 6

Hold the gate latch arm at a comfortable height on the gate, drill pilot holes, then secure it with screws or bolts.

If small children will be in the fenced area, install the gate latch high enough on the gate so they can't easily reach it. Also consider installing a child-resistant gate latch. If you’re installing your fence around a swimming pool, use an approved latch.

Step 7

Hold the latch on the gate post so that it lines up with the arm, drill pilot holes and attach with screws or bolts.

Adjusting the Gate Hinge Tension

tension screw

If the gate has self-closing hinges that require a tension adjustment, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics. The following steps are for a typical spring hinge adjustment.

Step 1

Hold the adjustment nut with a wrench, and turn the tension screw on the side.

Step 2

Turn the nut accordingly to increase or decrease the tension.

Step 3

Tighten the tension screw to retain the adjustment. Adjust both hinges equally for smooth and balanced operation.

Step 4

Install the hinge caps.

Maintaining a Metal Fence

To maintain a decorative metal fence:

  • Apply lubricant to the gate hardware about once a year, typically in the spring.
  • Rinse the fence and gate as needed with a water hose and sprayer. For heavy dirt and debris, use a cloth towel and cleaning solution recommended for the fence material.