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Our Buying Guide

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Buying Guide

At Garden Gates Direct, we understand that the primary role of a gate, fence or railing is to provide security. We also recognise it is also essential to look good. Choosing the right design can add value to your property, but getting it wrong can leave your home looking out of character and, therefore, less desirable.

Choosing the Material

Unless you are familiar with the terminology used on our website, selecting the appropriate material that suits your requirements is more challenging than it may first appear. With many influencing factors needing to be considered, it is easy to base your purchase on price alone. However, this can prove costly regarding the level of security you may achieve, the practicality of the gates and how durable they may be when exposed to the ever-changing UK weather. 

With this in mind, we have compiled the following information to help you make the right purchasing decision.

Timber Gates Explained

Within our range of gates constructed from wooden components, we have numerous options, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here we take a closer look.

Softwood (untreated) Gate Designs

Most of our wooden gate designs are constructed using smooth-planed Scandinavian Redwood. This proves to be the most cost-effective solution for the end customer as it is a readily available timber. However, it's crucial to understand that this timber needs more upkeep than steel gates or those manufactured from pressure-treated wood. In addition to painting or staining the gate, you will need to repeat this procedure every 18 months to 2 years (or sooner if in an exposed area). This is to prevent the wood from deteriorating from exposure to the unfavourable (and typically wet) UK environment.

Bordeaux modern double wooden driveway gate design Dorset arched wooden garden gate design Essex shaped top wooden estate gate design

Pressure Treated Timber Gates

Constructed using the same Scandinavian Redwood as detailed above, our pressure-treated range of gates offers higher levels of protection against the elements than an untreated variation. This is because the timber is injected with a preservative to help prevent rot and decay. The downside is that due to this process, the gates have a greenish stain that does not take stain/varnish very well.

Pressure treated wooden gate designs examples

This is normal and cannot be avoided. However, the colour will fade over time. If you want to stain the gate, we suggest this is completed when the timber has returned to a more natural colour. This will help prevent the green preservative from bleeding through to the surface, affecting the finished appearance of your new gates. The additional cost is the only other negative point of having the gates supplied pressure treated.

If you are interested in this gate type, we have several affordable designs online, including the Drayton Wooden Estate GatesHampton Wooden Garden Gate and Windsor Wooden Side Gate.


We supply bespoke wooden gate sizes


Timber Gate Construction

When choosing a new gate, consider whether security, cost or design will play a significant role in your purchasing decision. Remember that not all gates are made the same, with some constructed from far stronger and thicker materials than others. Here we detail the 2 most common types.

Ledge and braced wooden gate example

Ledge & Braced Designs

This type of wooden gate is the most basic of designs however remains an affordable and robust option for the homeowner working to a budget. They feature a simple construction comprising vertical boars clad to timber bracing on the back face (hence the name). 

The drawback is that they are only available up to a width of 1070mm (3ft 6”) because anything wider (and heavier) than this will result in the gate wanting to sag under its own weight. 

Take a look at some of our popular ledge and braced designs.


Framed wooden gates example

Framed Gates

These gates offer superior strength and more design possibilities than the ledge and braced design mentioned above. They are constructed using time-proven joinery techniques such as mortise and tenon joints and will provide an affordable yet effective means of securing entrances around your home whilst retaining a price you can afford.

Framed gates are constructed with a 3-4” outer framework and additional rear bracing. A recessed infill panel (usually made up of tongue and groove boards) is then fixed to the framework. Sometimes, timber is combined with decorative steel elements such as finials and spiral bars to achieve a more elevated aesthetic appeal.

Click here to view our wide range of framed wooden gates for sale within our online shop 



Metal Gates Explained

Our online shop has hundreds of sizes and design options to choose from when buying a metal gate for your garden or driveway. With massive price differences here, we have detailed the main characteristics to look out for when purchasing.


As a general rule of thumb, the more expensive the gate, the higher the specification. This means that a cheap metal gate at only £50 will be nowhere near as solid and rigid as one priced at £500, so please do not confuse the two.

With this in mind, if you have a particular requirement, please pay close attention to the steel specification within the product description of each design. 

  • 10mm infill bars or less will be mainly decorative, 
  • 12mm infill bars will provide a medium level of strength and security
  • 16mm infill bars are our most robust and heavy-duty designs and will provide excellent levels of strength and rigidity.


With many size options available online to suit the most common opening widths, you should be able to find something to suit your requirements in no time at all. If you don’t find what you are looking for, look at our made-to-measure gates page. If you doubt what will best suit your needs or do not know what to choose, please fill in our online enquiry form, and we will be on hand to provide assistance.

Take a look at our made to measure options - Click here

Common Metal Gate Designs 

Within our range of products, we have numerous design options to choose from. In fact, the only style we do not currently offer is sliding gates. Here we take a look at what options are available to choose from.

Garden Gates

Abbey Metal Garden Gate  Balmoral garden gate design

Even though the name suggests they are only used for the garden, a gate of this design is the most common option of all the styles available. They are suitable for front entrances, side passageways, or any other location requiring a low-level security barrier. Suitable for mounting directly to brickwork (no need to build in the hinge pins) or metal and timber posts,  they are affordable and straightforward to install. Our prices start from around £50, making them great value.

Although we have no definitive definition, we tend to class our garden gates as anything up to 4ft in width and 4ft in height.

Click Here to View Our Extensive Range of Metal Garden Gates

An Overview of Residential Metal Gate Designs

Side Gates

Manor Metal Side Gate  Stirling side gate design

Our range of metal side gates is available in over 15 designs. They are suitable for protecting side entrances or any other area of your property that needs increased security. 

Standard heights for this gate type are 6ft upwards. Combined with an upgraded lock and key, they can provide optimum levels of security to areas of your home that need the most protection.

Take a look out our stunning selection of metal side gates here

Read our extensive side gate buying guide

View the metal side gate overview

Double (Driveway) Gates

Stirling Metal Driveway Gates Corfe double driveway gate

Available in over 20 designs, our wide choice of metal driveway gates is excellent for securing a large opening such as the entrance of your drive or any other similar space. They comprise 2 equal sections, with each gate swinging back on the pillars or posts when open. They include a latch and drop bolt to ensure they remain in the correct position when closed.

Driveway Gates are available to suit many standard sizes openings ranging from 7ft up to 16ft in width.

To view our driveway gates click here

Estate Gates

Metal Estate Gate Category

Generally used to provide the optimum level of security to the driveway's entrance, a well-made set of wrought iron estate gates is a thing to behold. Not only do they provide an imposing physical security barrier, but they also help to enhance the appearance of your home.

Available in a range of standard sizes up to 16ft in width and 7ft in height, we have numerous options available, including the ever-popular Royal TalismanCorfe and Royal Ascot designs.

To view our full range of options, visit our estate gates page, which details all the possibilities.

Bi Folding Gates

‚ÄčBi fold drive gates

A bi-folding gate is an excellent choice for the homeowner with limited parking space or where the driveway slopes upwards towards the house.  As they open, they concertina back onto itself, thus requiring only half the swinging radius of a set of 50/50 double split gates.

Learn more about bi folding gates 

2/3rd to 1/3rd Split Gates

2/3rd to 1/3rd split double gates

Although not the most popular of options, these gates are excellent for the homeowner who will use the driveway as a pedestrian entrance. Due to the unequal size of the 2 sections, the shorter one requires a smaller swinging radius making it less effort to open. This type of gate is also a great option where an obstruction on the driveway (such as a pillar, wall or similar object) may prevent a wider gate from opening fully.

For more information on this type of design, fill in our online form, and we will be happy to run through the options with you.


  • Wooden Gates – Unless stated in the product description, all our timber gate designs are supplied untreated and unfinished. At this time, we do not offer a staining or painting service.
  • Metal Gates, Garden Railings and Fence Panels – We have pre-finished zinc-plated and black powder-coated products and a range of primed options for sale on this website. On each product page, we will detail the type of finish included. Please note if you select any product with a black primed undercoat, you will need to paint all exposed surfaces to protect against rust and corrosion. If you do not paint them, the steel will begin to rust once exposed to the elements (this is not a manufacturing fault).

Ordering Sizes

To avoid any costly ordering mistakes, please ensure you fully understand the information below or refer to our comprehensive measuring guide section.

Click here to read the measuring guide

Metal Gates

The sizes listed in the drop-down box within each product page detail the SIZE OF THE OPENING THE GATE WILL FIT INTO. It does not represent the physical width of the gate, so please distinguish the 2, as you will order the wrong size.

Wooden Gates

All timber products are detailed by the physical width and height of the gate. No allowance has been made for the additional space you will need for the hinges and latch, so make sure you factor this in when choosing the appropriate size.

If you are unsure, please get in touch with us for advice or refer to the measuring guide for more detailed information on this subject.

Single Metal - Measuring Guide

Single Metal - How to Select the Right Size

Double Metal -Measuring Guide

Double Metal - How to Select the Right Size

Single Wooden Measuring Guide

Single Wooden - How to Select the Right Size

Double Wooden Measuring Guide

Double Wooden - How to Select the Right Size


Further Reading

To further guide you through the order process, we have compiled many additional valuable pages that you may wish to read. If so, click the links below to navigate to the relevant topic.

Choosing the Material

Choosing the Style

Consider Security

Adding Privacy