DIY Affordable Cedar Swing Gate Design for a Backyard Driveway Leave a comment

You don’t have to be a handyman to make this swing gate design. After being quoted an obscene amount for my own driveway swing gate, I took matters into my own hands. Here’s how I made my own wood swing gate using existing fence panels and some easy to source hardware.

swing gate open from alleyway showing the blue trailer parked in the yard

It’s been a while since I shared one of my DIY building projects. Now that I’m in my new house, I can work on these big projects again and share with you my process.

One of the first things I worked on in my backyard was my back driveway swing gate. I needed it right away as a place to park my trailer.

With not a ton of room in my backyard, it took a little problem solving to come up with a swing gate design that would work for my property. But I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Now, I know that swing gates aren’t necessarily the exciting part of building a backyard garden, but let me geek out for a second and share this swing gate design with you. If you’re in need of something similar, hopefully, this will help you come up with your own innovative swinging driveway gates.

Here’s what I’ll be covering today…

wood swing gate
The swing gate opens into the alleyway, allowing me to easily back my trailer into the backyard.

Before the Wood Swing Gate

In my backyard, I have a standard cedar fence. Originally, the entire back of the fence was one 8 ft. panel followed by a gate with a swing pedestrian door and then two more 8 ft. panels.

My goal was to get my trailer in the backyard. Not only would this allow me to store the trailer on my property, but also provide a guest house for visitors. And it also just looks so darn cute in my backyard!

At first, I was thinking of getting some aluminum gates so that I could drive the trailer into the backyard and also open up the backyard directly into the alley to get lots of space.

But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was quoted $15,000 for installing an aluminum gate. It seemed so ridiculously high!

Next, I looked into having somebody build a big roller gate. Unfortunately, roller gates need quite a lot of room for the size of the gate I needed for it to roll and slide to the sides, so that option was out.

The swing gate seemed like the next best option!

swinging driveway gate
My original fence was cedar, so I used a cedar fence panel to match.

My Swing Gate Design

The first step in designing my swing gate was to remove the existing fence panels. With the help of a friend, we removed two of my fence panels, as well as the center post that was originally holding the two panels together side by side.

I replaced the panels with new 8 ft. by 6 ft. cedar panels. These are just the typical fence panels you can get at most large box hardware stores.

Next, we needed to increase the width of the two panels by securing 2×4 boards on either panel edge so they would sit between the panel and the fence post. With the center post removed, the two panels could now meet in the middle.

Swing gate hinges
You can see the 2×4 secured between the gate panel and the post to increase its width just enough.

Hardware

For my wood swing gate, I attached each panel to the fence using three heavy-duty t-hinges. The hinges are fully extendable, so they open up and press completely flat to the other side of the fence when I want to open up to the alley.

These hinges were crucial in my design, as they allowed me to fully open the gate into the alleyway without taking up additional space in my small backyard.

We also got a gate latch to keep the two gates closed. To install it, we needed to cut out part of the premade fence panels. The latch is mounted to the 2×4 boards that we attached to the panels.

Swing gate latch
You can also get a latch that you can lock if you want to keep your gate more secure.

Wheels

To complete the DIY driveway gate, we added roller wheels. Now I won’t lie and say that they’re a little bit flimsy, and I would recommend something more substantial if you were creating a similar design.

But I won’t be opening my gate very often, only to let my trailer in and out and on the occasional big yard work day. When I need to open my gate, I’m very careful. It’s certainly a little wobbly upon opening, but it works perfectly fine for what I need.

swing gate wheels
If you intend to open the gate often, I would invest in high-quality wheels. I just used basic roller wheels.

Where to Buy the Wood Swing Gate Materials

For my wood swing gate, I used the typical standard cedar fence panels (8 ft. wide by 6 ft. tall) that you can purchase at Home Depot or other big-box stores.

If possible, I highly recommend you get them directly from the manufacturers rather than the big box stores because they’re much better quality. Anyone who makes cedar fencing products is a good option.

I ended up getting mine from a box store because I only needed two and it was easier for me to just grab them. But they’ve already started warping. This means I’ll have to replace them sooner rather than later.

Ideally, your gate should last just as long as any other fence panels. So, if you can, get your wood panels from a cedar fence manufacturer rather than a big box store.

swing gate design
You can also stain your wood if you want a specific colour or want to match the colour of your existing fence.

How Much Did My Double Swing Gate Cost?

My double swing gate cost less than $1000 overall. It is a super inexpensive solution that works perfectly for what I needed—way better than that $15,000 quote!

For all the materials, it was about $700, and I had the help of a friend for the installation, so that lowered the labour costs.

The hardware didn’t cost much, and I didn’t need much beyond the hinges, latch, and wheels. The pre-made fence panels were very easy to get and also meant less hands-on building was required.

Overall, I’m very happy with how my DIY driveway gate turned out and it ended up costing was less than I initially thought.

DIY driveway gate

If you make a similar swing gate design, let me know how this works out in the comments below! I’d love to hear how you make your own double swing gate.

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