Decorative Hardware for Wood Gates to Add Durable Curb Appeal to Your Home
The other day I got home from the store in a rush to get dinner started. I wanted to surprise my wife with her favorite meal but, in a mad flurry, I ended up slamming the gate behind me a bit too hard. After a deep breath and a few choice words, I turned around to find that the hinges had completely detached from the fence. Needless to say, my wife wasn’t very happy, but we finally agreed it was probably time for a gate makeover anyway. A few days later I began what I expected to be a laborsome, time-consuming task, but it ended up being both simple and enjoyable.
Adding decorative hardware for wood gates is actually one of the quickest and easiest improvements you can make to your yard. It only requires a few simple tools and a little bit of cash. Your gate is the first and last thing that your guests and family see when they come and go. By combining creativity with quality, decorative products designed for your wooden gate you can add curb appeal—and value—to your home and yard.
Decorative Hardware for Wood Gates: Your Options
When fixing up my gate, the first thing I did was replace the hardware. To save yourself a second trip to the store, be sure to look for ACQ qualified fasteners and connectors if your gate is made from ACQ lumber like mine is. If it isn’t, it will corrode very quickly when it comes in contact with the wood. Here is a list of your options, and some of the pros and cons of each:
- Powder-coated hardware: Powder coating generally extends the life of your hardware by preventing rust. It mimics the classic look of wrought iron and pairs well with a variety of wood stains. High-quality hardware that has been hot-dip galvanized, powder coated, and finished with a corrosion resistant coat will last the longest and won’t be prone to chipping.
- Bronze hardware: People love bronze for its patina—the brown and green film that results from oxidation. If you like a more rustic aesthetic and want a maintenance-free material, this is a good choice. Bronze is a pricey option, but it won’t rust or chip.
- Brass: Brass is another metal that doesn’t corrode and won’t rust. It will tarnish outdoors, though, so it requires polishing in order to keep its luster.
- Stainless steel: Stainless steel is a strong, durable metal known for its resistance to rust and corrosion. It lends a modern look to gates with its bright silver color and intense sheen. Price-wise it falls in the mid-range—cheaper than brass and bronze, but pricier than powder-coated hardware.
The Types of Hinge and Latch Options
Even if your gate hasn’t recently fallen off like mine did, it might be time to replace the hinges to prevent it from happening in the future and causing damage to the wood. Consider choosing decorative hardware when installing the replacements to boost the curb appeal of your gate. Here are the three basic hinge styles. Choose which will best suit the look and style of your fence and home:
- A strap hinge: The classic strap hinge is the strongest of all hinge options. This design works well with wider, heavier gates that have the room to mount this heftier style.
- A butterfly hinge: Butterfly hinges are quite narrow in shape, making them ideal for picket-style gates with spaced planks. This design is unique among the basic hinges in that it’s possible to remove the gate with the hinge still attached.
- A T-hinge: The T-hinge is basically a combination of the strap hinge and butterfly hinge. The side that mounts on the post is a shorter, butterfly-style, while the side that mounts on the gate is similar to a strap hinge for added strength.
Once you’ve chosen your hinges, it’s time to choose a latch. Installing a good quality latching mechanism will ensure you don’t end up in the frustrating situation of a latch that gets stuck in the locked position (especially if you’re prone to rushing in and out of your home, like me). If security is an issue, you may also want to consider installing a padlock on your gate.
There are high-quality powder-coated options for both latches and padlocks, although the best option is a hot-dipped galvanized powder-coated steel finished with a corrosion inhibitor. Some powder-coated hardware sets also come with special tamper-resistant aluminum hex nuts with plugs or hammered dome cap nuts that add a decorative appeal—and an extra level of security.
Wooden Gate Accents Add a Decorative Dimension
If you want to add a decorative dimension to your gate, like I did, consider gate accents. These decorative pieces are designed to either be installed over the wood of the gate or over a cutout. When the accent is installed over a cutout, they serve as a decorative window, adding an extra level of fluidity to the gate’s style. And powder-coated accents are by far the most popular because of their classic wrought iron look.
Common designs include a circled-star in square trim, the classic square scroll design, the popular square Fleur-De-Lis, and the speak-easy cage style. Don’t be afraid to get creative! I installed a powder-coated speakeasy cage design on the lower part of my gate to serve as a little window for my dog to peek out so he could watch the neighborhood goings-on.
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m really proud of the way my gate remodel came together—and my wife is really impressed too. Using OZCO products really made all the difference. The hardware was pristinely powder coated and everything screwed together effortlessly with the same size bit-driver. I hardly had to dig through my tool bag at all! I almost can’t wait until something else breaks, knock on wood.
If you’re looking for quality decorative hardware for wood gates, OZCO offers a wide variety of hinges, latches, and decorative accents. Need to totally replace your fence? Fortress Building Products provides an array of quality materials for all of your outdoor building projects to help you impress your wife with your DIY skills—and shorten your weekend honey-do lists.