This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

When we moved into our house, we needed a gate for our little ones, to prevent them from crawling up the steps without our knowledge and supervision.  The problem is always the same- the opening at the bottom of the steps is far too big of an opening – so what do you do when the bottom of the steps is too wide for a gate?

Here is a DIY gate for bottom of wide staircase – I hope it is helpful!

DIY gate for bottom of wide staircase

Follow my husband’s lead and build your own!  He can fix just about any problem in our house and if he can’t, my Dad can… so when I gave him this problem, he was quick to come up with an answer.

Here is how it is done- a PVC Pipe Gate

  1. Buy a few 8-10 feet long pieces
  2. Buy around 20 (however long you need) T-Connectors
  3. Buy four ‘elbows’ (corner connectors) 

DIY Gate for bottom of steps (when opening is too wide for a gate)

Cut some of the long pipes into smaller 3-inch sections 

gate 3

gate 2

Line them up to make sure that you have what you need – a template.   Do this on a flat surface. 

gate 5

Connect them together (DO NOT GLUE YET) to see if you have the sizes right and to see if you need to add more sections.

gate 10
Next, connect the 3 inch pieces to the t-connect pieces 

DIY staircase gate
Now to brace it to the stairs:

Use a piece of wood (a 1 X 3 would work).
Connect it to the stairs with zip ties.

Connect a piece of the pipe with a corner piece of PVC pipe.  Now you will hinge it to the  wood.   The hinge connects the wood with the pipe.  This pipe will swing because it will be part of the gate. 

My husband cut the hinges to make them fit on the pipe- put one part on the pipe & one on the wood.  Do this at the top & bottom.  (See picture below)

gate 6gate 7


gate 8
ttach the rest of the gate (as seen below).
(Test it first & if it works, use glue to hold it together and then put it back on, once the glue has dried).
Here is the glue that we used.

gate 9

Here is what the gate will look like now… gate done
To attach a lock to the gate (to keep your toddlers from opening it themselves), simply add an eye-screw to the gate, towards the top (don’t put it too high on the gate, or your kids will pull the gate down, trying to open it)

gate 14We used a small bungie for the ‘lock’ part, but you could use anything that works.  We tied it to the railing on the stairs (that was already there before we added the gate).   This has worked well for us and its been over six months.

gate 13

Here is how they go together. gate 15

And your gate is completed in under an hour.   This has been a life-saver for us (preventing many falls, I’m sure!) DIY gate for bottom of wide staircaseDIY gate for bottom of wide staircase
I hope this gives you an idea of what you can do at your house.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. This is such a great idea! May have to try this myself… 🙂

    Have a great day!!

  2. This is exactly what I needed! We have the exact same staircase! My mother in law suggested carpeting the staircase which I don’t want to do. Has a wood staircase been an issue for you at all with the kids? Any slips or falls?
    Thanks for the tips!

    1. I have had wooden steps at various homes with raising children and now having grandchildren.
      Carpet carries its own sets of problems with teaching children stairs. If you are worried about slipping on wooden steps, there are stair grippers (I can’t remember the name right now, but any hardware store can find them for you.) These can be either wood tacked into the floor or super sticky applied (depending upon the kind). Some come in invisible strips (which are actually nice at first, but hard to keep clean), some come in strips you can see and are glued/stuck on and others are like large rectangular rubber things that are tacked into the floor with wood tacks. Hope that helps!

  3. How wide is the opening at the bottom of the stairs? I am trying to figure out how much material to buy. I need a gate for a 42″ opening.

  4. Great idea! I think you have a typo in the list of parts needed. Those elbow pieces are 90 degrees, not 45 degrees.

    “Buy four ‘elbows’ (corner connectors) 45 deg angle”

  5. Is this just regular PVC that you can buy at HomeDepot or is it special? I read most PVC comes with toxins…..

  6. This is great – I want to make some small gates for my elderly puppy but need something very custom! I’ll let you know how it goes!