How to Fit Gate Latches

There are a range of components required in order to fully assemble and fit a quality gate, and one of the most important for safety and security is the gate latch. We’re here to take you through a variety of latch types, step-by-step, to ensure even the most beginner of DIY-ers can follow along and create a neat and professional finish.

How to Fit A Gate Latch

Auto Gate Latch – these latches lock automatically when a gate is closed, hence their name. Fitting these latches is easy – simply install your catch, marking out the holes for the screws, drilling and securing this component into place. Do the same with the horizontal strike bar, ensuring the two components align. If done correctly, the bar should fall into the catch when the gate is closed!

Ring Gate Latch – ring latches can be a little more complicated than auto latches, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re relatively simple. Follow the instructions below for a seamless installation:

  1. Drill a hole for the spindle – you may need to lift your gate off its hinges and use a spade bit
  2. Install the front handle – put the spindle into the front half of the ring latch handle. Poke this through the hole you have just drilled, ensuring the handle plate is flat against the gate. Drill pilot holes for your screws and fix the handle plate to your gate. Trim the spindle if it is too long for your gate and it prevents the back plate from sitting flush against the gate.
  3. Install the back handle – screw the back plate into place.
  4. Install the latch keeper – slide the keeper over the tongue and place it against the frame of the gate, screwing into place.
  5. Install the catch plate – you should install this on the frame of the gate as opposed to the door, and it should be installed so the tongue sits in the catch. Once the tongue falls into the correct place in the catch, this is what locks the two elements of the gate together. Your installation is now complete!

How to Fit A Gate Spring

Gate springs ensure that your gate closes automatically, even if you don’t pull your gate shut. This is a great choice for added security, or for the forgetful pet owner wanting to avoid an escape attempt!

  1. Your first step should be to secure the spring to your gate hinge often the fixings for this are provided alongside the spring. It is crucial to ensure that the adjustment knob is positioned on the top of the spring before installation.
  2. You should then attach the gate spring to your fence post, making sure the brackets are even on both sides and the rivet has been inserted – this is what makes the spring function.
  3. You can then adjust the tension of the spring. This can often be the most frustrating step and can be a matter of trial and error. You can use the tension key to adjust the gate, testing if it pulls back and closes at the preferred speed once you let go. Once you’ve found the sweet spot here, go ahead and place the second rivet into the spring, and your gate spring installation is complete!

How to Fit A Suffolk Gate Latch

A Suffolk gate latch, for those not in the know, is a gate latch that does not have a back plate, and the handles connect to the gate using screws through the top and bottom of the handle. Due to this, the fixing and fitting of this specific latch can be slightly different to that of a standard latch.

  1. Check your parts – ensure you’ve got all the necessary components of the latch before you begin. This might vary from brand to brand.
  2. Preparation – note which way your gate opens, as the handle with the thumb level must be fitted to the side of the gate that opens away from you, and vice versa with the latch bar and keeper.
  3. Marking and measuring – decide where the latch will fit on your gate. You will need to create a slot to allow the latch to move up and down. Around 30mm high and 50mm in from the edge is recommended, but the final measurement is personal preference, as long as it does not affect the functionality of the gate.
  4. Create a slot – use a 10mm drill to create your slot.
  5. Fix the bar and handle – pass the bar through the slot you have created. Lower the handle so the bar sits at the bottom of the slot and 90 degrees to the front of the gate. Mark the screw holes with pencil.
  6. Fit the latch bar – on the other side of the latch, lay the latch bar over the lever. This should be horizontal to the floor and 10-20mm should be accounted for (this is to allow for the overhang where the keeper will be fixed in position).
  7. Fit the staple – the staple keeps the bar against the gate, and keeps the gate latch neat when moved around. Some staples need hammering into place, and some will screw into place – please refer to specific manufacturer’s instructions depending on the type you have purchased.
  8. Fit the keeper – this should be placed strategically so the latch fully clicks into place when closed. Once you have determined the ideal spot, simply screw into place.

How to Install a Gate Hook and Eye

Although hook and eyes are one of the simpler gate locking methods, their effectiveness is not to be overlooked. They’re a great solution if you require a quick and easy installation - usually, the hook and eye can be installed by hand, often placed above the gate knob or latch.

  1. Installing the hook – you should first attach your hook component. You should simply be able to choose a spot and screw this in, ensuring the hook part is facing downwards.
  2. Installing the eye – once the hook is installed, you should hold the hook level to see where it intersects with the loop of the eye – this is what makes the catch. Once you have marked this, simply screw in the eye, check the hook attaches to the eye, and voila! Your very own hook and eye for your gate.

For any further help with installation, or choosing the right latch for your project, get in touch with our expert team!