DIY Outdoor Baby Gate

Today we want to show you our new tall baby gate for the back stairs.  We still love the baby gate for the inside stairs, that we made when we first moved in.  Now that we are playing outside a lot more, we found we needed another baby gate at the bottom of the deck stairs  (hopefully the stairs will be replaced next year).  We just want to keep the little ones from climbing up those rickety old things, to avoid falling and getting hurt.

Free Baby gate plans Free Pet gate plans outdoor project-4button

There is a TON to be done outside- so please don’t judge, the chipping paint, or unstained portions or the un-poured pad of concrete for under the stairs….  We are maybe 25% done and we have been working on it since early April, so much to do, so little time.  We decided safety first, then when we are out there working on the rest of the needs on the list, the kids will be safer, and we can be a little less worried!  Win/Win!  And, at least the gate at least looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself!  It was fun to make this one for outdoors.  I think that most of you will be able to find a need to make one for your selves to keep either your kids or pets safe from falling down the stairs (This would be good at the top of a deck too!)

We have a small interior gate that we have been using temporarily, but it was not ideal.  The biggest issue is that anyone coming down the stairs couldn’t really move it   Climbing over was the only option, and for my 70 year old parents, that is not a safe thing to be asking of them, or their hips.  So we talked about it a bit and decided that another baby gate would be the best solution.   We went for a different design too, that I think is perfect for a backyard, it reminds me of an interesting trellis!   And hopefully can be repeated in other areas as we work!

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Outdoor Tall Baby Gate Design

I decided to use cedar fence planks, since they are readily available and cedar is a good wood for exterior use. It also will give it a nice rustic feel to the design (and it matches the shutters, which I still haven’t shown you plans for… oops!).

I built the main frame similar to my indoor gate, but made the front of it a little more interesting.  After checking out all the homes at the UV Parade of Homes, and taking, ahem, about a million pictures.   There was one particular detail above the fire place in the master bedroom that I had to use somewhere.  Below is the picture of it.

outdoor tall baby gate

The design was clean and simple.  We liked the lattice work, but with the wood on wood it was getting a little lost.  So we decided to stain the lattice work on the gate a darker color to help it pop.  ( and the color matches all the bark munch we have…)

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  • You can take this gate tutorial and modify it to the size that you need.  Just make all the adjustments according to your spaces.
  • Be sure the choose screws and nails shorter then the thickness of the two materials being fastened together.
  • If you are hinging to a wall, make the cap piece front overhang slightly less than thickness of the door hinge.  Mine was 1/2″ from the wall.  So my overhang was less than 1/2″.  That way the door opened all the way to the wall without hitting the cap overhang on top.
  • One feature that was a must in the project is to have the latch on the back side out of reach, to keep our girls from opening it by themselves, but it can be easily opened by anyone coming down the stairs.
  • We made the gate 48″ tall, to make it harder for them to reach over it and easier to reach as you are coming down.

Materials Used

  • (13) Cedar Plank Boards – 1″ x 6’ (Actual width is 5 3/4″ and thickness is 1/2″.  These planks are typically used for fencing.  Pick the straightest ones.)
  • (approx. 75-100) Galvanized Screws  1″ (be sure to use outdoor screws 1″ or less to avoid going threw the other side.
  • (approx. 100+) Brad Nails 5/8”
  • (2) Liquid Nails
  • (1 pint) Dark Walnut Stain
  • (1 pint) Outdoor Wood Sealer
  • (2) Outdoor Gate Hinges
  • (8) Concrete Strike Anchors (if anchoring into brick or concrete)
  • (1) Gate Latch

    Safety Supplies Used

    Free Baby gate plans Free Pet gate plans outdoor project Free Baby gate plans Free Pet gate plans outdoor project-2 Free Baby gate plans Free Pet gate plans outdoor project-3


    • Table Saw (optional, but best for ripping lattice strips from a plank)
    • Circular Saw
    • Miter Saw
    • Hammer Drill (only if you are bolting to concrete)
    • 1/4″ Hammer Drill Bit (for the concrete anchors)
    • Hand Drill
    • Nail Gun
    • Air Compressor
    • Caulking Gun
    • Tape Measure
    • Framing Square
    • Pencil
    • Square
    • 3″ Foam Brush
    • Disposable Rags

    Cut Sheet (length x width x thickness)

    • (6) Gate Boards – 48” x 5 3/4” x 1/2”
    • (2) Back Braces – 35 1/4” x 5 3/4” x 1/2”
    • (1) Top Back Brace – 35 1/4” x 2 1/2” x 1/2” (1/2″ overhand on both sides)
    • (1) Long Diagonal Back Brace   opening length” x 5 3/4” x 1/2” (measure the diagonal cut once the back braces are in place)
    • (2) Short Diagonal Back Braces   opening length” x 5 3/4” x 1/2” (measure the diagonal cut once the long back brace is in place)
    • (2) Front Frame – 48″ x 3” x 1/2”
    • (2) Front Frame – 32 1/4″ x 3” x 1/2”

    Construction Video

    Construction Steps

    1.  Cut the (6) 48″ gate boards the length. (remember to read and understand how to use any and all tools that area  part of this project, and safety gear such as eye protection, hearing protection and a face mask!)

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    2.  Cut the (2) 35 1/4″ back braces to length.

    3.  Apply Liquid Nails to the back of the back braces and screw in place.

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    4.  Cut the (1) long and (2) short diagonal back braces.

    5.  Apply Liquid Nails to the backs and screw in place.

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    This is what the back of gated ended up being.  I forgot to get a picture of it on the table. (this would be a great look for the front too!

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    6.  Cut out the (4) front frame pieces. (If a color is desired for contrast, now is the time to apply that before you glue and screw together. we decided after the fact and it made for a bit more work than we would have wanted)

    7.   Apply Liquid Nails and to the backs of the front frame pieces and screw in place.

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    8.  Cut out the lattice pieces and stain if desired.  Lay them out in place to make sure that everything fits before gluing or nailing.

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    9.  Glue and nail in place.  Use a brad nailer to hold the pieces on while gluing.

    10.  Cut out the cap piece and the top back brace.

    11.  Apply the Liquid Nails to the back of the top back brace and screw in place.  Screw it in place about 1/8″ higher than the top of the gate.  This will help the cap be slightly slanted for water to drain off. (see image below)

    outdoor tall baby gate-17

    12.  Apply an outdoor wood sealer to help prevent the colors from fading.

    13.  Screw on hinges to the gate and into a post or wall.  In our case we bolted the hinges to the concrete wall and latched it to the post.

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    Free Baby gate plans Free Pet gate plans outdoor project-4

     There you have it!  An attractive way to keep kids or pets out of an outdoor space using a outdoor tall baby gate.  Don’t forget the other indoor gate that we built, in case you want to see how to make one for inside.

    * yes it looks like it is time to replace that door frame and about a million other things… (yes I am feeling a little insecure about showing you this finished project, surrounded by unfinished stuff…. Just know that someday i will show you a finished shot of the whole space… someday)!

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I am the husband of the amazing Cassity of Remodelaholic. I love to problem solve and to design and build things inside and outside the house to make life better. I am a professional Landscape Architect by trade and love the outdoors.

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  1. Thank you for demystifying gates. 🙂 I love the decorative touch you chose. Do you need a permit to put up a gate? If so, that’s the only thing keeping me from building one right now, especially since my 3 year old daughter decided to run away from her grandma one day so she could (somehow) hang out in my neighbor’s garden and feed the baby turtles.

  2. That looks really nice, so much more elegant than store bought baby gates. Thanks for sharing your great tutorial!

  3. Love this gate and your inside gate! I am wondering what type of latch you used? We are struggling to ring one that works well with our gate.

    1. Heidi, I added a link in the post, to the exact gate latch that I used for my situation. I hope it will work for yours. I am sure you will find the right kind.

  4. Hi There,
    Thanks to share this tutorial. This idea is really good because it keep your child and pet within home.
    Thanks again and keep sharing this type of ideas.