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How Do I Choose the Best Backyard Gate?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

Finding the best backyard gate for your home usually requires that you consider the point of the gate. For example, you need to know whether its main purpose will be to add some privacy, keep unwanted visitors out, or just act as outdoor decor. The first detail to think about should be the material, because you can typically choose from wood, vinyl and metal, depending on your preference and budget. Height is another important consideration, because it will determine how much safety and privacy you will get from the gate. Additionally, you should think about how you want it to look, because you can choose from several colors and accents for the gate.

To some degree, gate choices may be limited by the fence you have surrounding the gate. For example, while you could put up a short, chain-link gate flanked by a tall, wood privacy fence, you probably won't be happy with the final appearance. Instead, you will probably prefer a gate that more closely matches the style of your fence. The gate doesn't have to be a perfect match for the fence, however, and there are various options that may work well together, depending on your preferences.

A backyard gate shouldn't clash with the fence if appearance is important.
A backyard gate shouldn't clash with the fence if appearance is important.

One of the most traditional materials for backyard gates is wood, so you may want to consider this material if your home has a classic look that you want carried over into the yard. It also is one of the cheapest options, though it does tend to rot after a while, especially if you live in a humid or rainy climate and do not add protective sealant every few years. For this reason, you may prefer to go with a vinyl backyard gate if you want to save money while also avoiding rot and a lot of maintenance. The most durable material tends to be metal, with wrought iron being one of the most expensive yet sturdiest options. If you want the appearance of wrought iron without the expense, then aluminum may be a good choice for you, because this material can look ornate but also may be less expensive.

The height will often be the deciding factor regarding the amount of privacy you have. If you want to ensure that it is difficult to see into your yard, then you should opt for the tallest backyard gate possible, which should typically be at least your height. On the other hand, if your main reason for getting a backyard gate is to provide some outdoor decor to your property, a shorter product may work well. In most cases, shorter gates are less expensive than taller gates, so this may be a way to save some money while separating your yard from your neighbor's.

No matter which type of backyard gate you choose, you should have a few options when it comes to the final appearance. Most materials can either be painted by you or come in many colors from which you can choose. You also can usually add arches, lattices and even your initials to any part of the gate you choose. You also can typically decide whether to place the posts widely separated or close together, and you may be able to add caps on each gate post, as well. Such details can make a big impact on the final appearance of your backyard gate.

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    • A backyard gate shouldn't clash with the fence if appearance is important.
      By: Johanna Goodyear
      A backyard gate shouldn't clash with the fence if appearance is important.