Looking for the right security gate for your home?
There are many types of driveway gates out there for you to choose from. If you’ve never shopped for a driveway gate before, selecting the best gate for your residential property may seem downright confusing and difficult at first. But if you understand your options, the gate selection process should be a smooth one.
Having said that, here are driveway gate ideas to consider.
Gate Operating Mechanism: Manual vs Automatic Gates
All driveway gates fall into two distinct categories — manual and automatic versions. Each operating mechanism has its unique pros and cons which should be considered during the gate selection process.
Manual gates are available in the same styles as their automatic cousins but have been around longer. Aside from this, manuals do not feature a gate opener, which automatic gates have. As you might already know, manual gates have to be operated by hand. This may mean that you will have to leave your car to open or close the gate or ask someone at the gate to operate it for you.
As automatic gates incorporate a gate opener, it is possible to operate a driveway gate without leaving your car. Gate openers make automatic gates bring convenience to gate operation. It also improves your safety, as you won’t have to leave your car to operate the gate yourself.
Gate Type: Swinging vs Sliding vs Overhead Gates
Whether manual or automatic, there are primarily three types of driveways gates. These are swinging, sliding and overhead gates. The right type of gate for you will depend on various factors including:
- How much space you have
- The gate construction material
- The frequency of use
- The length of the gate
- The slope of the driveway
Swinging gates open and close by moving either inward or outward away from the vertical supports (the walls to which they are attached). Internal swinging gates are a suitable choice for residential driveways located adjacent to main roads or busy streets. This is because these gates swing inside the property and thus do not obstruct traffic on the outside. These gates are, however, not suitable for homes with short or ascending driveways.
Short driveways lack adequate space for the gates to swing open while gravity-pull will cause the gates to move back towards the walls when being opened. External swing gates are an ideal selection for homes with short or ascending driveways because neither space nor gravity-pull impedes their movement.
Swinging gates are available in single and bi-parting options, depending on the available clearance.
During operation, sliding gates run parallel to the wall to which they are attached. This makes them a desirable option for homeowners that don’t have enough clearance for a driveway gate to swing either inwards or outwards.
Sliding gates are also a great option for steep driveways where swing gate installation isn’t practical. Like swinging gates, these gates are available in single and bi-parting options.
An overhead gate moves upwards and downwards during operation — pretty much the same way as a typical overhead garage door. Although the use of overhead gates in homes isn’t as common as the installation of swinging and sliding gates, it is a trend that will become more popular with time.
Gate Material: Metal vs Wood
The two primary materials available for gate construction are metal and wood. Learn about each option below.
The vast majority of driveway gates in the market are made from metal materials. Steel, aluminum and wrought iron are the primary materials used to make driveway gates. Although metal gates are generally the sturdiest and most durable in the market, the strength and durability of these gates vary depending on the material type and quality of fabrication.
If you want the strongest and most durable gate, consider installing a powder-coated steel gate — it is stronger and more durable than other metal gate options. If you want a manually operated metal gate, you can opt for an aluminum gate, as it weighs less than steel and wrought iron.
Gates made from wood are also available in the market. Like wood fences, they are an appealing option for homeowners looking for a driveway gate that looks unique. Note that no two wooden gates are exactly the same because natural wood grains and patterns differ from tree to tree.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of wood gates is that they demand much more upkeep than their metal counterparts. Plus, they tend to be heavy and can warp and crack over time.
Gate Construction Method: Prefabricated or Custom
How your driveway gate is built also matters. Depending on what suits your requirements, residential gates can be pre-built or custom-made.
Go for a ready-made gate if you simply need a functional gate that will fit the space where the gate is to be installed. If you have special requirements in mind, for example, extra security or a unique finish-type, it is best to have your gate custom-built to your exacting requirements.
Keep in mind that you will be required to pay extra for a custom gate. However, you will love that fact that your gate will stand out from the rest.
Discuss Your Driveway Gate Ideas with a Gate Installation Expert
Together with residential fencing, driveway gates are the cornerstone of a home’s physical security. In fact, they are the first line of protection against break-ins on your residential property.
As you can see from the above gate selection guide, there are lots of factors to consider before selecting the right type of driveway gate for your home. There is no single best solution for all homeowners. The right type of driveway gate depends on the amount of space available on your property, your personal preferences, and budget. Safety is also an important consideration if you are looking to install an automatic gate.
Contact us today to discuss your driveway gate ideas and get a free estimate for your residential driveway gate installation.