Pfitzer started crawling early and he is a climber! The other two weren't this bad (or maybe I have already forgotten.)
The dogs are not allowed upstairs, so when we moved in, we put up a baby gate to train them. It was a pressure mounted gate that we fixed to a width and just slid it over to allow access to the stairs. But I knew I would need a more permanent solution one day. I just didn't want permanent holes going up in my walls or newel posts!
But once Pfitzer started climbing, I had to find a quick solution. Mom has a walk-thru pressure mounted gate that we like. She uses it to keep her dogs on that side of the house.
I bought two (one for the bottom of the stairs and one for the top.) It was wide enough and easy. But when I felt the amount of pressure that went it to securing the gate safely, I got worried about the pressure pushing on the newel posts. The posts are only secured to the ground and the top part would be pushed out with so much force, that I feared the post would eventually start leaning over time. And I also learned pressure-mounted gates are not for stairs! Even if they say they are stairway safe, don't do it. Pressure-mounted gates can easily be pushed (especially if not installed correctly) and a baby/toddler would go flying down the stairs with the dislodged gate. I quickly returned the gates and decided to build my own. It meant holes were going in my posts and walls.
I got the inspiration from The White Farmhouse Blog. They had a white gate at the bottom of their stairs.
I bought pre-primed pine wood in a 3-inch width. I measured a million times before cutting. I bought gate hardware with self-closing hinges. I know my boys aren't good about shutting doors or closing drawers, so a self-closing gate would help them to make sure the gates are always closed.
The bottom gate went in first. With the pre-primed wood, I didn't have to paint it right away. I did have to add an extra piece of wood to the newel post to make the hinges call in the same zone.
I measured the desired height in coordinating with the newel post. The gate at the bottom is about 30 inches tall.
The newel post at the top of the stairs is shorter, so the gate ended up being only 26 inches tall. I made it so that you had a little bit of a landing before the gate and the gate opens away from the stairs, so you don't have to be awkward on the stairs and cause yourself a trip hazard.
I think it makes it look like a white picket fence!
The boys really liked the gates. They "helped" me build the bottom one. They got out those tools and went to town. After it was up, they were constantly playing on the stairs behind the gate pretending they were in jail. I built the upstairs gate while they were at school, so they missed out on that one. But when they came home, they were equally as thrilled. Mr. Brigglesworth kept telling me he loved my beautiful gate upstairs.
Not only is Pfitzer now safe from the stairs, but all my friends/relative with babies can come back over and let their babies roam free without worry. The playroom can be a playroom.
I used small screws to fasten the pieces together as this was prior to me buying a nail gun. But I filled in the screws as much as I could and then I painted four coats of gloss paint on these. Because they will be used a lot, a lot of layers of paint were needed.
I am really happy with the gates and so are the boys. Mr. JCrew said we could keep the gates up forever and my mind instantly went to needing these gates for our future grandchildren. Ha! I can't let myself rush life.