Driveway gates can be made from a variety of materials in a wide range of designs. They can be swing gates, sliding gates or specialised gates where space is limited. So, here’s a rundown of the options available when considering new gates.
Swing Gates or Sliding Gates?
The space available for a gate to move through when opening and closing plays a big part in the selection of swing gates or sliding gates. Opening times and design preferences can also play a role, but space is the most significant limitation.
Swing Gate Automation each need to be long enough to fil the space between the gate pillar or post at one side of the driveway and the mid-point of the driveway opening. This is where equally-sized swing gates meet when closed.Single swing gates will need to be long enough to fill the entire gap between pillars or posts and uneven swing gates won’t meet in the middle. But a pair of swing gates will always have one gate that is either equal to or larger than half the distance between posts or pillars.This then is the diameter of the arc the tip of the longest gate will travel through when opening and closing. This is therefore the space that must be free of obstacles to allow swing gate to open.Swing gates normally open into the property. Sometimes outward-opening swing gates are required as with a driveway that rises. However, there needs to be enough space on the property drive to avoid outward-opening swing gates from obstructing pavements or roads.These are usually a pair of gates.
Sliding gates slide across the driveway opening. They move into a space to one side of one gate post that is in line with the opening and longer than the gate.This is usually a single gate.
Cantilever gates work like sliding gates but avoid the need for the track across the driveway. They are balanced around the gate motor and need a counterbalance adding to the closed end of the gate. This is very noticeable and adds considerable extra length to the gate.
If the space required for swing gates is unavailable, sliding gates are the first option.If the space for sliding gates is available, there are other options including bi-fold swing gates and double Sliding Gate Automation, but these are more expensive options.For more information about gate options where space is limited, read this blog post on the subject.
Gate Construction Materials
Gates can be made from Iron or steel, wood, aluminium or even PVC. Wooden gates will need regular maintenance to avoid issues with flaking paint or varnish, movement of the joints and ultimate rotting. Iron gates will need similar maintenance to keep rust at bay. Aluminium and PVC provide near-zero maintenance options and aluminium is the only material that provide styles and finishes that mimic iron gates and wooden gates. Read more about the benefits of aluminium gates over alternative materials in this blog post.
Gates made of wood and materials that mimic wood, such as aluminium, are usually constructed with an outer frame and internal panels. These can be horizontal, vertical or angled infill panels. The proportion of gate that has infill panels determines if the gates are fully boarded (no gaps) or part-boarded (gaps between the infill panels). Gates can also be manufactured with sections that are part boarded and fully boarded. These are half boarded, one third boarded, two third boarded etc. See more about Gate Designs Here.
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