How to Build a Cheap Driveway Gate

An ornate driveway gate is nice, but a simple model is just as effective.
... Jupiterimages/ Images

Purchasing a previously made driveway gate is an expensive affair, especially when hiring contractors to professionally install it. You can make your own simple gate out of ordinary lumber for a fraction of the price, while still being fully functional and nearly as visually attractive as most commercial alternatives.

Measure the width of your driveway and determine the ideal location for a driveway gate along its length. This should be far enough up the driveway that a car can park outside it while you're opening the gate, and at as level and straight a part of your driveway as possible.

Stake string across your driveway at the determined point and dig a 12-inch-diameter hole 18 inches deep on either side of the driveway, with the inside edges of the holes the width of your driveway apart.

Fill one hole halfway with concrete. Stand a 6-foot 4-by-4 beam on the concrete while filling in the remainder of the hole until it is 2 inches from the surface. Do the same with the other hole and wait a couple days for the concrete to set. These will be the support-posts for the finished gate.

Cut two horizontal two-by-four beams to the width of your driveway and two 5-foot vertical beams, screwing them together into the shape of a rectangle. This will be the actual gate frame spanning your driveway, swinging between the two end posts. Add vertical bars every 6 inches along the length of the gate for decoration, nailing them securely to the top and bottom of your gate frame.

Bolt two hinge plates to the inside edge of one post, one near the top and the other near the bottom, and put a ball bearing into the barrel of each plate. Secure corresponding hinge bolts to one edge of the gate piece, positioned at such a height that the gate will have a clearance of at least 4 inches beneath it. Set the bolts into the hinge plate barrels and give the gate a push to ensure it swings easily. Add grease if necessary and varnish as desired.

Mark Keller has been writing everything from short stories to political commentary over the course of the past decade. He has written professionally since 2009 with articles appearing on,, and various other websites. He is a theater major at Hillsdale College in Michigan.