How to fit gate posts to a wall

By far the easiest of the gate posts to fix and supplied in the same material as your gates (softwood gates then softwood fixing stiles etc.) so everything matches, used for fixing to a wall or other structure and fixed by either frame fixings or masonry screws/bolts.

Concreting posts into the ground? Please see our guide showing you how to sink your posts into the ground

With posts that are sunk into the ground the bigger the post size the better, however with wall fixing posts the narrower (to an extent) the better as the gate post or fixing stile is only as strong as the method of fixing to the wall – if you opt for something like a 150mm square post then you’ve got a lot of timber to get through before you get a fixing so in the case of a wall fixing gate post this would be weak! Ideally choose a gate post that is large enough to fix you hinges to but not overly large (our fixing stiles come in two standard sizes of 58mm and 70mm thick) but other sizes can be machined upon request.

Before fitting the fixing stiles it is always a good idea to get at least one coat of your chosen finish on the stiles, especially on the rear of the stile (the side that would be against the wall) and underneath the stiles as you will not be able to access these once fitted. When fitting keep the fixing stile up from the ground approx 50mm (when fitting your gates you need to leave a clearance gap underneath, normally this is around 50mm/2 inches, so whatever gap you keep under the gates keep the same under the fixing stiles), you don’t want it coming into contact with the ground as during wet weather it may be sitting in a pool of water and is then liable to soak the moisture up.

Fixing the gate posts to a wall

1 – Don’t forget to get a coating of paint or stain onto all sides of the gate post, don’t forget to also coat the top and underneath of the post. (In the video I’ve used a post without any coatings, this was just for the benefit of the video as it made everything show up a bit better!). 

2 – Start off by positioning your gate post/fixing stile in the desired location.

2 – Keep the post off the floor (so it’s not sitting in any water) and lines up with the gates when hung (normally you aim to keep the gates off the floor by around 50mm (2 inches) – so aim for the same gap underneath the post.

3- When the gate post is in position, check it for plumb (level in the vertical, don’t worry yet about whether your wall is plumb!) and when satisfied it is mark the position of the post on the wall with a pencil.

Pack gates posts plumb on wall
 

4 – Keeping the gate post in position on the wall, mark off (on the post) where the fixings will be (aim for the centre of the brickwork). In a 1830mm (6ft) tall post I’d go for at least four fixings to the brickwork.

5 – Once the position of the fixings are marked upon the gate post, remove from wall and drill countersink holes (large enough to accommodate the head of the masonry screws/bolts or frame fixings). Aim to get the head of the fixings just below the surface.

6 – Once countersink holes are drilled, using the correct sized drill bit (size will depend on the fixings you use, in the case of the masonry bolts I’m using in the video an 8mm bit is required) drill the holes for the shaft of the fixing right through the gate posts (when drilling the holes right through the gate posts, rest the posts on a scrap piece of timber directly under each hole – saves bursting out the back of the post!).

7 – Now it’s time for your masonry drill, position gate post back in place (using the pencil lines you marked on the wall) and drill through the gate posts the required depth into the wall (if using masonry screws/bolts then you can drill a hole at a time, then place the bolts/screws in and then move onto the next holes. If using frame fixings, see below).

8 – As mentioned at 7 you can if using the masonry screws/bolts drill a hole and insert the screws/bolts a hole at a time. Alternatively, drill all holes then insert the fixings all at once and tighten up. 

9 – Check post for plumb at both the side of the post and face of the post.
If the post is not plumb on the side, then slightly loosen fixings and adjust accordingly.
If the post is not plumb with the level sitting on the face of the post, then loosen relevant fixings and insert packers between gate post and wall and repeat until face of gate post is plumb. Once plumb re-tighten fixings and check for plumb once more.

10 – Once gate posts are plumb remember to seal between wall and post with a good quality silicone, paying particular attention to the top of the post. It pays to do this once the gates have been hung and you know everything fits!

Westie fitting gate posts
 

Tools required –

Hammer drill with masonry bits,
Spanner or Screwdriver (depending on the fixings used),
‘Spade’ drill bit (if using masonry bolts – size wider than head of socket set),
Twist drill bits (size – refer to fixings)
Spirit Level,
Silicone & Gun,
Pencil,

Tools to fit posts to a wall
 

Frame fixings or masonry screws/bolts for fixing the gate posts?

In the video above I’ve used masonry bolts (a screw headed version is available but I find personally you can get the hex head/bolt version tighter, giving a better more secure fix.). Another option to fix the wooden gate posts to the wall is frame fixings (a larger version of a rawl plug and screw if you like, often used for fixing door and window frames, hence the name frame fixings).

If you do use frame fixings (shown as B in the picture) then the method of fitting is much the same as what is mentioned above. However when drilling and fitting you must drill all the holes into the brickwork (pre-drill the timber gate posts as before) and place the plugs or sleeves (remove the screws first!) into the hole (in the brick/stone work) before re-positioning the gate post and then drilling the fixings into the plug/sleeves.

Fixings for wooden gate posts

Masonry screws/bolts (Shown as A, above) for want of a better description are similar to self tapping screws (for metal work), you drill a hole for the main shaft of the bolts/screws and then as you tighten the fixings they cut their own thread into the brick/stonework as they go in.

You’ve not mentioned screws and rawlplugs?

I’ve not made any mention of using screws and rawlplugs for fixing the wooden gate posts, I’d tend to avoid these as you can get a much better and stronger fixing with either the masonry bolts/screws or frame fixings – both of these are more suited for the fixing of the posts as they are a more heavy duty fixing.

or move onto How to sink gate posts into the ground
 

37 thoughts on “How to fit gate posts to a wall

  1. chris says:

    Brilliant video, i had never heard of masonary bolts (not ones that dont use resin anyway).
    I will definately opt for these instead of frame fixings which would have been my default fixing.

    1. Jon says:

      Hi Chris,

      They’ve been on the market for a while but not all that readily available, but more and more places seem to be selling them now. I much prefer them over frame fixings! Thanks for the comments on the video, lot of work went into that (more to come shortly too).

      Thanks
      Jon

  2. Philip says:

    Hi, I haven’t seen these bolts either. Your video was great. Just a question, when you drill into wall with masonary bit do you drill all the way in for the length of the bolt to follow or just drill so far in?
    Thanks Philip

    1. Jon says:

      Thanks for the comment on the video ๐Ÿ™‚

      Normally you drill into the wall the length of the bolt plus a bit of clearance. Bolt will then cut it’s own thread into the brick as it’s tightened – the hole you drill is usually a bit narrower in width than the bolt – you should get instructions for this on the fixings

  3. Paul says:

    Excellent information. Heading off tomorrow to fit my 1st pair of gates. There’s some top tips here which I should hope will make my life a lot easier! Thanks.

    1. Jon says:

      Hi Paul, Give us a shout if you run into any problems

      Jon

  4. Scott from Runcorn says:

    What a brilliant video, I’m fitting a gate 6ft x 6ft and was wondering what you would recommend as an ideal size post for the wall? I’ve ordered my m10x 150 bolts. It’s double gates and the other one is 8ft x 6ft so I’ve opted for a 200×200 tantalised. I’m quite nervous about it to be honest. Do you think I’m doing it right ? Any tips would be appreciated

    1. Jon says:

      If you’re fixing to a wall then they are more than enough, you could actually use something a lot smaller as the posts are only as strong as the fixing to the wall.

      Just make sure you get a decent fixing to your brickwork and stonework, as using posts of that size there is a tendency for the posts to twist off, away from the brickwork otherwise.

      I’d also recommend larger fixings as well, 150mm is a bit on the small size for 200mm posts. I’d say at least 250mm, even then with the bolts sunk into the posts a bit!

      Hope that is a help, good luck and let me know how you get on! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Brummie John says:

    Top-hole (Excuse the pun?) explanation..
    I fully recommend this video to anyone who has a DIY gate job on hand. I wanted the low-down on hammer-fixings, but instead I found an even better way! I am another who had never come across the screw-in bolts. This will save me loads of messing about, and it will make as little noise as possible when fixing the hanging post to my neighbour’s wall.

    (I am using decking boards coach-bolted to a 3x 2 frame for the gate btw. In case you need an idea for a quick side gate.) Best of luck. Thanks fellas.
    JW

    1. Jon says:

      Thanks for the comments ๐Ÿ™‚ Should be another gate fitting video up next week!

      Let us know how you get on and please do share any photos of your gate making & hanging with us over on our Facebook page at http://goo.gl/MRUrK1

  6. Scott from runcorn says:

    Hi Jon thanks for your reply mate,

    I wasn’t clear enough sorry the 200×200 is going in the ground mate, I was thinking about 100×100 for the wall post, what wood do you recommend aswell?

    Sorry to pester you on this mate.

    Scott

    1. Jon says:

      For the post into the ground Tanalised softwood or better still (and a bit more expensive) sawn green oak. For the wall fixing post either the same timber as you gate or again tanalised softwood or the green oak!

      If I’ve missed anything then give us a shout!

  7. Scrim says:

    Hi, Where are the links to the videos?

    1. Jon says:

      The video is embedded within the page, just under the second heading titled “Fixing the gate posts to a wall”, just double click on it to play.

      If it is not visible or showing up as just a black (I think!) image then you may need to upgrade your browser or plug-ins. Also if your viewing the site on a mobile device then then video may not be supported. If you still cannot see it then you can find it on Youtube at http://goo.gl/FPiy1f

      1. Scrim says:

        Hi,

        Nothing appears here at all, so it appears to be because I am using Firefox, do you know what plugin I need or setting I need to turn on/off? Nothing comes up when I open the page saying it needs anything. i also want to look at the other videos related to setting a post in the ground and fitting hinges/latches.

        Thanks.

        1. Jon says:

          Try updating Adobe Flash Player, if you’ve not then you’ll need to install if for Firefox!

  8. John Walker says:

    Download the latest version of Adobe Flash-player. It’s free. Takes about two minutes.
    HTH

  9. Alan says:

    superb video and you’ve given me the solution to attach my fence post to the wall

    1. Jon says:

      Great thanks for letting us know! If we have helped then please give the page a share on Facebook, G+ or Twitter to help others find it ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. James says:

    Hello Jon. Great video. Many thanks for all the info, it’s helped a lot. One quick question please. I can hang one gatepost onto our house wall using these instructions. However the other side of the drive, the neighbours house creates the border. They are not keen on me securing the other gatepost to their wall, so have no choice but to sink it into the ground on my drive. The thing I’m not sure about looking at your post about sinking them into the ground, is that ideally I should have 6 inches in the hole all the way around the post to make it secure when concreted in, which will then leave a gap between the gatepost and the neighbours wall. As the hole will be up against a brick wall, will it be OK to ignore that 6 inch guide and move it closer to their wall and just leave a smaller gap of say 1 inch from their wall, but 6 inch the other 3 sides if that makes sense? Many thanks

    1. Thanks for the comments on the video!

      You’ll need to leave a bit of room between the post and their wall as you need to get a bit of concrete down there. The other thing to bear in mind when sinking the post into the ground is you may well end up hitting the foundations of the house which may cause problems for you.

      Not really a lot you can do really, unless they are exceptionally large gates then you shouldn’t cause them any problems fitting a post to their wall.

  11. Marcus says:

    Hi, Jon.

    Just wanted to thank you for putting up this information and recording the video. I’ve moved into a place where the back gate has essentially been cobbled together from various off-cuts of what look like featherboard fencing, and of course no gap was left between it and the posts so it’s now solidly wedged itself shut and requires kicking to open. So my plan is to get rid of all of that and start afresh with a proper gate build.

    Will probably have to wait a little bit before I can get started on the project, but just having watched how you mount gate posts to brickwork has given me a lot more confidence that I’ll be able to make this work when the time comes.

    All the best,
    Marcus

    1. Glad it is of some help! If you run into any problems then give us a shout!

  12. Chris says:

    Hi Jon,

    Great vid, really useful thanks.
    I am fitting gates with one post sunk into the ground and the other post attached to a wall.
    You mentioned that bigger is better for sinking and for wall fixings the narrower the better. I don’t want to use different sized posts on either side, can you recommend a good sized ‘middle ground’ post that would be suitable for both wall fixing and sinking? The gates are double, width 270cm x height 180cm.
    thanks

    1. There isn’t really a middle size you can work to! Pick a post too small for the in the ground post and you can find that the post bows under the weight of the gates, which in turn means you gate catches the floor as you open or close it.

      Nothing stopping you fixing a larger post to a wall, though for best results and a more secure fixing a narrower post is the best!

  13. Andy says:

    Great tutorial, thanks. Do you have any advice for fitting a single pedestrian gate where the two outer walls used to fix the posts on are at an angle? For reference, one wall is the house, the other wall is the garage at around a 30 degree angle.

    1. I’d personally try and replicate the opposite angle of 30 degrees which is 60 degrees on the rear of the gate post and fit this to the wall that is at an angle.

      If you cannot do this then you should still be ok to hang the gate as normal but you may find you end up with tighter clearances gaps on the side of the gate which is against the gatepost fixed to the angled wall.

  14. Andrew says:

    This is brilliant. It’s really clear and easy to follow. I’ve learned loads from you. Thank you very much.

  15. Ron Nutten says:

    Hello, I am looking to purchase a pair of cranked band and hinges (galvanised) 300mm to fit on a 900mm garden gate. Can you please let me know what the width is of the hinge pin plate- My gate post is 47mm wide. Sorry to trouble you, but I do not want to place an order, only to find when I receive them they will not fit.
    Thank You in advance Ron Nutten

    1. Hi Ron,

      On our 300mm hinges the pin plate is 38mm x 135mm.

      Hope that helps!
      Jon

  16. Neil Davies says:

    As others have said, great tutorial. Clear, easy to follow and to the point. If only all web tutorials were like this! I wasn’t aware of the bolts you used either so this has hopefully made today’s gate fixing job easier. Thanks very much.

  17. Jake says:

    Hi im looking to fit a gate post to my wall however i was just wondering if you had any tips for pebbledashed walls. Do i just bolt straight through on top of it how will i know if im in the middle of the masonry behind it and not in a mortar bed?

    1. Hi Jake,

      Just fit it straight to the wall as normal, if the pebbledash is uneven then you may well have to pack the post plumb in several places.

      You’ve no real way of figuring out where the mortar joints and bricks/blocks are unless your peebledashing stops just above ground level – if it does then you should be able to roughly work where the bricks/blocks are otherwise you will just have to put the blts where you think – trial and error!

      Hope that helps
      J

  18. Ben says:

    Any idea which fixings to use if you have an oak gate post? My understanding is that anything other than stainless steel will stain the oak the when it reacts with the tannins?

    1. Yes, ideally all fixings and fittings should be marine grade stainless steel. Using anything else will cause a reaction between the metal and the tannins within the oak which over time will cause blue stain on both the metalwork and Oak as the metalwork corrodes.

      As an aside, as apprentices we used to turn our handsaws blue overnight by placing damp oak shavings on both sides of the blade and wrapping in a damp cloth overnight – it’s basically the same thing!

  19. adrian says:

    This was really helpful, I’ve have a really clear idea of what I need to do thanks.

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