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4 Common Gate Types Explained

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Are you looking to buy and install a new gate for your property but do not know where to start? If so the following information is design to provide you with a clear understanding about the variety of gate designs that are available in the UK and what their main uses are.

Garden Gates

In general terms, a “garden gate” can be defined as a gate that is suitable for securing pedestrian entrances up to 4ft in width and around 4ft in height. Normally made up of a single leaf configuration they come in many designs in a choice of metal and timber designs (or in some instances a combination of both materials). Whilst they do not offer a high level of security they create a clearly defined boundary and act as a visual deterrent against trespass.

When used in other locations within the property a garden gate is also commonly used to secure areas of the home where children and pets need to have restricted access to space.

Rear garden gate with mortise lock and matching metal fence panels

Are they Easy to Install? A single gate is relatively straight forward to install and can be completed by most competent homeowners in around 1 hour. If brick walls or posts are already in-situ the hinges can normally be directly attached or in locations where no support structure is in place you can add posts into the ground and attach the fittings to those instead.

Are they Affordable? With many gate designs available to buy online for well under £100.00 inc VAT we feel that installing a garden gate is one of the most affordable home improvement projects you can undertake given the huge benefits they offer.

Side Gates

For areas of your home that needs a higher level of security, a side gate is an excellent choice. In most instances, you will find they have a minimum height of 6ft as this height creates an effective physical security barrier against opportunist criminals.  Available in timber and metal designs to suit the installation environment, we find many homeowners want to be able to lock their side gate therefore if you have this as a requirement you will either need to raise your budget to account for the lock and key or compromise and use a padlock.

Windsor iron security gate fitted to side of house Custom made metal side gate to secure a passageway between houses

Where are they best suited? A 6ft tall side gate is a great security precaution to many residential entrances however is most effective where a high level of security/ restricted access is required. This includes areas of the home such as side access points, passageways, alleys and secluded areas not overlooked by neighbouring properties.

How do they operate? Made up of a single leaf a side gate can be installed to a variety of existing locations where a suitable support structure is available to take the weight of the gate. This might be a garage wall, boundary wall or even an existing fence post. The hinges are normally surface mounted so installation is easy provided a good fixing can be achieved.

What designs are available? In terms of the gates' appearance, there are lots of options to choose from however the most popular seem to be a decorative arched top design for the style conscious or an imposing spear top design for the security conscious homeowner.

Driveway Gates

As the name suggests driveway gates are normally used to secure the main vehicle entrance onto the property. Don`t be fooled by the name however as they can be used in many other locations where the need for a double gate is apparent. With heights around 3-4ft been very common they are available in both metal and timber designs and will act as a great visual deterrent against the threat of criminals, vandals and trespassers.

Wooden driveway gates fitted to brick pillars

What Sizes are Available? Driveway gates normally start around 7ft in width however can be made to any size you would like in a made to measure size.

Can they be automated? Double gates are perfect for automation however if you choose to have the operated by remote control we cannot stress enough the importance of having them fitted and commissioned by a professional installation company as they can be a death trap if not properly set up.

Why do the prices vary so much? If you have done any research on the price of driveway gates you will have noticed that there can be large differences in cost. A number of factors will influence this however the main ones are size and specification of components. So remember that what can appear as a bargain on first glance may actually be quite flimsy when they are installed and may even sag under their own weight.

Estate Gates

The term “estate gates” is basically a more elaborate way of saying tall double gates. People seem to like the sound of it as it gives the impression of a grand entrance. Joking aside, where they are really effective is in the level of security that they offer to the main vehicle entrance. Due to the fact that most designs are at least 6ft in height, they create an imposing physical security barrier at the front of your home preventing unauthorised access.

Manufactured in metal and timber most estate gates feature larger components due to the spans they need to achieve and as a result cost considerably more than any of the aforementioned gate types.

Wrought iron estate gates securing driveway entrance

What is the best design? Timber gates look very appealing however they will need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Also, because many timber estate gates have solid boarded panels they offer very good levels or privacy. The downside to this is that it allows any potential criminals a place to hide from view. In comparison, metal estate gates have an open design so privacy is not as high however because it leaves nowhere to hide will actually prove a little more beneficial to the security conscious property owner.

Can they be locked? To maintain a high level of security it is always advisable to keep the gates locked whenever possible. To secure with a padlock many gates have a sliding latch however if you would prefer a key lock this also a possibility however the cost will increase accordingly.

Other Gate Designs

In addition to the 4 main gate designs we have just detailed there are also lots of other styles available including bi-folding and 2/3 to 1/3 split configurations however we will look at these in more detailed in future articles.

2/3rd to 1/3rd split non standard gate configuration

To find out more information on any gate design detailed above simply refer to the correct category on our comprehensive website to see what we can offer you. Alternatively, if you need help choosing your gate, working out what size you need or have a question you would like answering please feel free to get in touch today and we will be happy to offer assistance.