We installed one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top.
To build the gates, we followed these steps:
- Get a door. We bought a special order 5-panel door from Lowes that was composite filled. It was less than $75 and took about 10 days to arrive at the store for us to pick up. You could also reuse a door from the habitat restore or goodwill, if you're patient and find one that will work. Be sure the door is narrower than your opening.
- Cut the door. We made two cuts and elimated the center panel. Where you cut depends on the desired height of your gate and where any panels fall on your door. We marked the lines to cut with a yardstick and used a skillsaw to cut the door.
- Paint the door. You could paint the door the same color as your trim or choose an accent color (which is what we chose to do).
- Cut and paint door frame. We used extra wood from another project and painted it white to match other trim in our house.
- Install the door frame. You'll want to make sure the side that the door is going to hang from is attached to a stud.
- Attach the door to the frame with hinges. I recommend using two hinges per door and making sure they are sturdy enough to hold up if your little one decides the pull on (or eventually hang from) the door.
- Cut, paint & attach trim to the top of the door. This will give the door a finished look.
- Attach a latch. We used a cabin hook latch. We also chose to install ours about half way down the back of the door so the little one wouldn't have easy access if he reached over the other side.
By the way, I wouldn't have thought of this if not for other creators. One of my favorite places to find ideas is over at Savvy Southern Style.
1/29/17 Update: See how the gate looks like against fresh SW Sea Salt monochromatic walls in my post The Old House.