1-800-355-2335 | Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm EST | Contact Us

Adjustable Width Steel Gate Kit for Wood Fence Gates
Build Do-It-Yourself Wood Gates
Frequently Asked Questions
Adjust-A-Gate Main Menu

Frequently Asked Questions About the Adjust-A-Gate Gate Kits for Wood, Vinyl, and Composite Lumber Gates:
I saw the Adjust A Gate on your website. I am building a wood fence that requires a large gate opening (approx 16' wide) to accommodate a large boat. The double swing Adjust-A-Gate seems as if it may work for my application but it says that it opens in only. Do you have anything or can you suggest? Anything that swings out? I may need to build the gate out of wood with external hinges, but I wanted to ask the experts. Thank you in advance.
The adjust-a-gate kits come equipped with a standard hardware package that we do not alter and cannot substitute for, however there are options for solving your dilemma. The gate kit will arrive with a pair of male lag screw gate hinges (approx. 4'' long) that screw into a wood post and female strap hinge that fits the square steel upright of the gate frame. The kit also arrives with a simple gravity latch and double kits will include a drop rod. Typically the gate kits are installed so that the male lag screws screw into the wood post on the inside of the gate opening. In other words the male hinge points towards the other gate post, be it another hinge post in the case of a double gate or a latch post in the case of a single gate. This may allow the gate to only open in one direction, typically inwards. Opening the gate outward becomes impossible because the pickets on the wood gate bind with the pickets of the fence section.

Male lag screw hinge for wood gates
Included in Kit:
Male Lag Screw Hinge
For Wood Gates
Female Hinge - Fits 1-1/2" square frames
Included in Kit:
Female Strap Hinge
For Steel Frame Gates
Adjust-a-Gate Kits for wood gates, vinyl gates, and composite lumber gates and fences
Included in Kit:
Installed Male & Female Hinges
For Wood Gate
Adjust-a-Gate kit Gravity Latch in zinc
Included in Kit:
Zinc-Coated Gravity Latch, Padlockable

There are a couple remedies for this. One, unscrew the male lag screw so that the space allowance for the hinges are increased and allows the gate to open in both directions without binding on the adjacent fence panel. You may need a longer male lag screw or a J-bolt male hinge to accomplish this depending on how thick your pickets and panel are. Longer male lag screws and J-bolt male hinges may be found in our chain link parts catalog here are are compatible with the female hinge that attaches to the gate.

Another option is change the position of where the standard male lag screw is installed. It could be screwed into another side of the hinge post. Consider mounting the male lag screw into the face of the post or the inside of the post. Either change will affect how the gate opens and in which direction. Keep in mind this may put your gate out of alignment, or no longer flush with the permanent fence sections by a few inches.

Third, if either of the above options won't work, consider other hardware alternatives. Nearly any type of hinge designed for wood gates will work and we feature a multitude of different sizes and shapes online in our wood gate hardware catalog found here. A pair of strap hinges or tee hinges may be used instead of the standard hardware. These wood gate hinges simply mount to the face of the gate and face of the adjacent wood fence panel and would allow the gate to open 'out'. Most of our hinge sets are sold by the pair and include lag screws for mounting into wood. You may use these and mount the hinges to the wooden 2x4 used in the Adjust-a-Gate kit and to the 2x4s or 4x4 wood adjacent post. You may also wish to consider using thru-bolts and nuts to install these type hinges instead of the lag screws typically supplied for larger, heavier gates.

Q2.) I have a round steel galvanized chain link style post, or would like to use one instead of a wood 4x4 post. Can I still use this Adjust-a-Gate kit for wood gates?
Yes you may, however you may need additional hardware. Standard gate hardware is supplied with this kit as shown above and in the installation manual found here. The gate hinge which is supplied is a male lag screw as shown above. This hinge is designed specifically for a wood post which may be a 4x4, 4x6, or 6x6. You cannot drill a hole a drive this screw into a steel post. Instead, you may use a standard chain link style male hinge, or a J-Bolt style hinge.

Chain link style round strap hinge may be used on round posts

Q3.) What is the difference between the 3-rail steel gate kits and the 2-rail steel gate kits?
A3.) The difference between the 2-rail kits and the 3-rail kits is the height of steel verticals in the gate kit and the quantity of horizontal rail brackets. The 2-rail gate kits are 45" high and ideal for building a gate 4' high which typically has only two horizontal rails. The 3-rail gate kits are 60" high and are ideal for a 5' high gate or taller which normally has three horizontal rails. Heights of steel gate kits cannot be modified. There are steel mounting tabs which accept the wood 2 x 4 (2 x 4 not included) preinstalled for horizontal rails which will hold the pickets. See pictures below.

Two rail adjustable gate kits are ideal for 4' high wood gates.  Three rail gate kits are ideal for 5' high and taller wood gates.

Q4.) Can I add a motorized gate opener such as the GTO PRO2000XLS to your Adjust-A-Gate Kit?
Thank you for writing. Our Adjust-a-Gate kits consist of an adjustable steel frame and hardware suitable to construct a steel frame for a wood gate. You may add nearly any of our gate openers for an automated gate application. The GTO brand of gate openers is ideal for residential and light commercial automated gate applications. Choose the gate opener model based on the weight and size of the gate(s) you wish to automate. The GTO PRO2000XLS gate opener is suitable for gates up to 12’ wide and weighing 400 pounds. Consider other models of GTO gate openers if your gate exceeds these limits such as the GTO PRO3000XLS or GTO PRO4000XLS single gate openers.

There are a few things to keep in mind when adding a GTO gate opener to any wood gate, even one made with our Adjust-A-Gate adjustable steel gate frames for wood gates.

You will want to attach the gate operator mounting points preferably to steel mounting points, both on the gate and gate post. Wood has a tendency to become soft in time and the ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’ of the gate operator can cause mounting bolts and screws to become loose. If this is impractical and you are forced to mount the gate operator to a wood surface, both part of the gate and gate hinge post, do so with larger metal washers or plates on both sides. Use bolts to attach all items which extend clear through the wood and ‘sandwich’ the gate and gate post to help prevent the bolts from ‘pulling’ themselves out.

You may wish to add a piece of steel or wood mid rail if using one of our shorter Adjust-A-Gate single gate kits such as model numbers AG-36 or AG-60. These two models have steel frames for wood gates approximately 45” high, making them ideal for wood gate projects 4’ and 5’ high. In general, wood fence pickets may extend up above and down below the top and bottom rails by no more than 6-9”. If you extend pickets beyond these general limits, they may have a tendency to warp prematurely. Adding an extra backer board can keep fence pickets straight. Our adjustable gates frame for taller wood gates, such as models AG-36-3 and AG-60-3 both have steel tabs for attaching a mid rail. These models have a steel frame measuring approximately 60” high and are ideal for wood gates 5’ high and taller. It is ideal, but not necessary, that the gate operator be mounted roughly at mid height on the gate and gate post for equal weight distribution.

We suggest you leave a space between pickets which will allow wind to flow through the gate. Solid privacy gates can be subject to more wind than picket or semi-privacy gates. Even a small space left between pickets can relieve stress on the gate(s), gate operator(s), and hardware.

You will also want to consider replacing any screws provided with the Adjust-A-Gate steel gate kits with bolts and washers. Bolts are generally stronger and will outperform screws in most applications. You will want to reinforce your gate to make it as strong and rigid as possible for automating.

Also, consider adding a GTO electric lock to your gate project, such as the FM144 or FM142 for the latch side(s). This will help relieve stress on the gate operator arms and help provide for a more secure gate.

Adding a gate opener to any gate will prove to be a extremely convenient, secure, and worthwhile investment in your property. Please review our extensive GTO gate opener accessories for automated gate entry, exit, and safety devices compatible with your automatic gate opener.

We look forward to working with you.

Q5.) I would like to use a round chain link style post as a hinge post, what size do you recommend?
A5.) The correct size steel post will of course depend on the height, width, and approximate weight of the gate. In general, a 2-1/2" O.D. (2-3/8" actual) HF40 post will accomodate most gate sizes. When possibly, avoid "free-standing" gate posts which do not have anything attached to them; a fence post with either a stretch of chain link of a panel attached to it will gain additional structural support. A 3" O.D. (2-7/8" actual) is a better choice for larger wood gates. If you are stretching the limits of one of our Adjust-a-gate kits, a 4" O.D. post should be used.

Q6.) When I use a round post for my Adjust-a-Gate Kit, how do I attach my adjacent wood fence panel to it?
A6.) Hoover Fence Co. carries a few styles of wood to steel fence post adapters as follows. Please read our fence memo on this subject here.

Q7.) Do you offer any Adjust-A-Gate kits for vinyl styles of fence?
A7.) Yes, Hoover Fence offers Adjust-a-Gate Kits for vinyl privacy fence gates and agricultural style post and rail vinyl gates.

Q8.) Do you offer an Adjust-A-Gate kit for composite board fencing?
A8.) It is likely most will work for composite fencing as well. However the model AG-36-3S was specifically developed for use with composite lumber. The frame of this kit is 1-1/4" instead of 1-1/2" like the standard gate kits, features a J-Bolt hinge, instead of a lag screw, is black in color, and still has frames that accept a 2x4 (1-1/2" actual) horizontal rails. View of the AG-36-3S picture here and AG-36-3S pricing here.

Q9.) Do you offer non-adjustable fixed width gate frames?
A9.) Yes, Hoover Fence can fabricate nearly any type of gate frame or complete gate by request. We offer custom gate frames fabrciated with welded frames for swing and slide gates. these are commonly made of galvanized square or round tubing. We also offer the posts, gate hinges, latches, gate openers and guarantee compatibility.

Q10.) I recently purchased a 3-rail Double Adjust-A-Gate Kit w/Drop Rod, 36-60" each. What size post hole and concrete footer size do I need for the hinging and latching posts for the Adjust-A-Gate adjustable steel framed gate kit?
A10.) This all depends on the size of gate and location for the installation of the gate kit. The height of the wood gate, width of the wood gate, and thickness of wood fence components used will all affect the weight of your wood gate. We prefer to use western red cedar fencing components as they have excellent weathering properties and are light weight and easy to work with. You may order a wood gate kit, 2x4 backrails, and only the amount of pickets you will need directly from our website. Treated lumber is also a popular choice for wood fences and gates, however weigh more per picket, rail, and post than the western red cedar counterparts. Your geographic region will also affect the depth and diameter of post holes used for a gate post, be it your hinge or latch post. Check your local building practices for proper depth to dig your post holes; normally the depth of a post hole will coincide and be based on your region's frost depth. Dig post holes to a depth below your local frost line. In general, post holes should be dug 30-36" deep and be 10-12" in diameter. Larger, heavier gates should have gate posts set 36-42" deep and 12-18" diameter. Another basic rule of thumb often used when installing fence and gate posts is to bury 1/3 of a post in the ground and dig the post hole diameter to three times the diameter of the post. For example a 6' high fence using 4x4s as posts should have post holes 2' deep and 12" in diameter. Be sure to 'bell' your holes which means to dig them larger in diameter at the bottom than at top. 'Carrot-shaped' holes, holes which are larger in diameter at top than at bottom can have a tendency to heave. Another good fencer's tip is to leave your concrete level down a few inches from grade, or the surface. This also helps to prevent gate and fence posts from heaving.

Dig post holes deeper and larger in diameter if you encounter poor footing soil such as sand, or are digging in a wet location.

Adjust-A-Gate Main Menu