How to Make A Swinging Driveway Gate

Swing gates normally have a metal frame regardless of the cladding.  The frame is made from either Aluminium Square Hollow Section (SHS) or Square Steel Rolled Hollow Section (RHS). 

Components needed are: 

components needed


  • The Centre Mullions are only necessary for gates with timber pickets, hardwood slats, metal slats or metal sheets fitted to the gate.
  • For gates with metal tubing welded into the frame the centre mullions are NOT necessary.
  • Middle rails are only necessary for gates higher than 1.2m and have either vertical pickets, slats or sheeting fitted. 
  • Mitred corners for the top rail are neat, require no caps and provide good bracing.

For Double and Folding Gates you make two or more panels like the single panel but half the width.

Material Type, Size and Cutting. 

For gates up to 2m wide 40 x 40 x 3mm SHS Aluminium is good or 40 x 40 x 2mm pre-galvanised Steel.

For gates wider than 2m and up to 4m for residential use 50 x 50 x 3mm Aluminium frame or 50 x 50 x 2mm steel.

For gates wider than 4m larger material should be used mostly for stiffness so the gate doesn't wobble about in the wind. 

You can cut Aluminium using a Drop saw with an Aluminium blade fitted, which will also allow accurate mitres to be cut (45o cut).  For steel you will need either a special metal cutting drop saw or an angle grinder with the thin metal cutting discs will still work just take a little longer and is fiddly.

Height of the Gate Frame 

For gates with pickets the top rail of the frame need only be 100mm or so lower than the top of the pickets or could line up with the fence rail.  All other types of gate should have the top rail at the top of the gate.