I posted a few days ago asking for pet gate recommendations. After a little bit of Googling, I found a blog post that explained how to make a simple, cheap pet gate. I decided this was a better choice, since it's completely customizable, a fraction of the cost, and much sturdier. The supplies for this cost about $20. The wood was under $10, the latch I chose was $6 (there were smaller/cheaper options but I have about a .6 inch gap between the edge of the gate and the door frame when shut so I needed a larger latch to cover that gap), hinges maybe $4 for the set (I used ones I already had). Already had wood glue, a variety of screws, and some brackets my dad suggested I use to keep it square and add strength. My hardware is mis-matched b/c I already gold had hinges and black screws, but the bolt that fit is silver. If you're buying all the hardware you could obviously match it. The wood was cut by hand. I pre-drilled holes to avoid splitting the wood so I did need my power drill. Now I just need to prime and paint. I've been meaning to cleanup and paint all of the trim in this back hall area, so I'll paint the gate when we do that project (so please overlook the banged up trim!). This gate will work great in this space because when it is "open", it latches across a narrow pass-through we use as a coat closet. The dogs will steal shoes so we used to have a plastic baby gate propped across the doorway but it got knocked over several times a day. This new gate protects the shoes when "open", or locks the dogs in the basement when "closed". I positioned it in the hallway rather than at the top of the stairs so I can still let the dogs outside without opening the gate. This is mostly to confine dogs while we have company (including a newborn baby) for an extended stay next month.
DIY pet gate - a set on Flickr
I used these instructions (with a different latch):
DIY Baby and Dog Gate Instructions -