Tag Archives: building gates

Assessing PVC Garden Gates

Several people have expressed interest lately in my PVC garden gates. I built mine several years ago and thought an update on them was in order and would answer questions people have about them.

The Missouri Ozarks is a wet place with around 40 inches of rain a year. For years I built wood frames and tacked on wire for my garden gates. They lasted two years.

Disgusted with building new gates every year or two, I decided to try something different: PVC garden gates. They do take time to construct, but the steps are simple and found some previous posts. Building. Hanging.

(Some of the pictures aren’t there. Annoying. Websites seem to have minds of their own at times and evidently thought these posts were too old. I will try to redo them over the weekend.)

PVC garden gates
The metal pole is one the road department replaced as someone ran over the street signs. I drilled holes in it to put the gate hinge bolt through. The chickens come up to look through into the garden, but haven’t been able to open the gate to get through. I usually don’t latch it closed. PVC garden gates work really well. After years of use, this one is a bit dirty and still serviceable.

As I built the gates, I found I made a few mistakes. The major one was not having a hard, level surface to work on.

My working area was out under a black walnut tree where the ground appeared to be level. It wasn’t. A couple of my gates have definite bends in them. These weren’t a problem except for looks.

The second was because I lacked a third metal pole to use for hanging one gate. I had to replace the wood post this year although the original really rotted off last year and I cobbled a support up that gave way this year.

PVC gate
This is my tallest PVC gate. Some algae is colonizing the cross bar. The gate is still fine. The wire around the pipes is my whipstitching holding the wire on. When I have chicks, I use the two rubber straps, one bottom and one top. The cement blocks block a chick escape route.

A mistake I didn’t make was using too light weight pipes. I used heavy walled two inch diameter pipes. This is an excellent size resulting in sturdy gates that are easy to handle.

In all I built four gates: three PVC garden gates and one for the chick yard. This last was six feet tall with a single cross bar like the garden gates. It works fine.

After several years the gates remain as solid and sturdy as when I made them. They swing easily on the gate hinges. I use them a lot, but see no wear on them. There is a bit of algae trying to grow on a couple. Lichens will follow no doubt.

Latching them is still a bit of a challenge. This is when the bent gates are a problem. I use the rubber straps with hooks on both ends. They work.

Do I recommend PVC garden gates? Yes. I wish I had built them years before I did.

Building PVC Pipe Gates

A few years ago I needed new garden gates. Being tired of wood gates that fell apart in a couple of years, I built PVC pipe gates.

one of first of PVC pipe gates

This PVC pipe gate to my garden is used almost daily, often several times a day. It is so easy to open with one finger hooked in the wire. The bungee cord keeps it closed. It is like new after several years of use.

These gates have worked very well. They are light weight, sturdy and durable. I need another gate, this one for my little chick yard, and will build another of my PVC pipe gates.

This gate will be much taller, about six feet, as the wire around the yard is that tall. I gathered some wood to build a gate and found the weight more than I wanted even with 1” x 4” pine.

materials needed for PVC pipe gates

These are the pieces I will need for this PVC gate. The shorter pieces will be the sides. The longer pieces will be the cross bars. The short and long pieces are only 2″ different so I want to keep these separated to avoid mistakes.

Two lengths of 2” PVC pipes have a lot less weight. The pieces were cut into four 32” pieces and three 34” pieces. Four PVC elbows and two PVC tees along with a can of glue complete the materials.

checking the parts of PVC pipe gates

Putting all the PVC pipe parts together before opening the glue is a good idea.
Any fit problems or missing pieces can be fixed before having a mess.

The pipes need to be reasonably clean and dry. The working area needs to be flat and big enough for the completed gate frame to lie flat plus room to walk around it.

My preferred spot for building PVC pipe gates is under a big black walnut tree. I do need to move fallen nuts out of the way and pad uneven places. The shade is welcome on a warm, sunny day.

beginning to assemble PVC pipe gates

The first joint on a PVC pipe is easy to do. The glue is spread on and the pieces pushed together. Then begins the wait time until the next pieces go on.

The glue setup time is fifteen minutes. When I worked on four PVC pipe gates, I could glue one joint for one gate, go on to the next gate to glue the same joint and on down the line.

flattening joints for PVC pipe gates

It’s pleasant working out under the black walnut tree, but the ground isn’t level. The joints on the gate need to be flat so pieces of board give a flat surface to press the PVC joints flat as they are glued. Once the glue sets, any crooked joint stays that way.

This time I am working on one gate. I have a few other projects to work on to take up time and a watch to keep an eye on the time.

Once the frame is done and sets for two hours, I can complete the gate. I cut the wire to go over the gate and use old electric fencing wire to lash the wire onto the frame.

framework for PVC pipe gates is finished

The final two joints are glued and pressed flat completing the PVC pipe gate framework. This needs to set for a couple of hours so the glue hardens. Then the wire can be lashed on.

Hinges must be bolted on. This isn’t a big problem. Drill holes where needed, position the hinge and insert the bolts. Tighten the nuts on.

A gate latch is the last item. I find a bungee cord with hooks on both ends works well. For this particular gate I will use more than one to keep unwanted visitors from prying the gate open at the bottom.

wire is lashed onto PVC pipe gates

The 1″ x 2″ welded wire is lashed onto the PVC pipe gate frame. The gate is now complete and waiting for hinges to be bolted on.

PVC pipe gates take a bit of planning, but are easy to build. I love being able to open and close them with one hand. Best of all the advantages is not needing to replace the gates every two or three years.