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Overview of the Material Differences Between Metal, Wood & Aluminium 

As a market leading supplier of garden gates we take pride in the products we supply. Having worked hard to establish close working relationships with some of the UK`s leading manufacturers we feel our products are second to none in terms of quality, durability and performance and ultimately represent exceptional value for money.

Which Materials to Select?

When choosing to buy a garden gate or driveway gates from our website you will need to take into account the material from which it is constructed so you can understand the inherent differences.

metal and timber raw materials


Constructed from a natural material a timber gate will provide charm and character to any space ✓ 

Timber offers a more traditional appearance than the starker lines of metal ✓ 

It is possible to change the appearance of timber by applying various shades of stain to the surface ✓ 


Due to the high strength properties of this material gates constructed from metal provide high levels of strength and rigidity ✓ 

Metal is easily worked into ornate shapes meaning the design possibilities of this material are endless ✓ 

Large openings can be spanned making metal the perfect material for the construction of large double drive gates ✓ 

Steel is hard wearing and will require minimal amounts of maintenance ✓ 


Strong, robust, and lighter than conventional materials, aluminium is the ideal choice for the construction of gates ✓ 

The rust resistant barrier created by aluminium oxide is appropriate for a salty atmosphere ✓ 

Simple to maintain; just wash down with soapy water and rinse ✓ 

For a stunningly gorgeous aesthetic, they are offered in a range of sizes and colours ✓ 

Environmentally friendly ✓ 

Made from recycled materials therefore have a reduced impact on the environment and may be recycled again and again ✓ 

Timber Gates

Please note that the installation and maintenance of our wooden gates is your responsibility therefore should a problem arise as a result of poor fitting or regular ongoing care we will not be held liable.

pressure treated timber gate construction

Inherent Properties of Wood

Loved by many as a natural building material wood is a great thing to work however as it will hold different moisture content at different times of the year therefore it is essential that you understand that it will be subject to movement in the form of expansion and contraction. Untreated softwood gates are constructed from smooth planed timber and seasonal fluctuations in the weather can influence the amount of moisture within the timber at any given time therefore we have provided you with the following information to ensure you keep your gates looking as good as new for many years to come.

Knots and Woodgrain

Our range of softwood gates are constructed using FSC certified Scandinavian Redwood and as such will have a number of visible knots in the timber and variations in the grain of the wood. In some instances they may also have resin streaks where the sap leaches out after felling. These are not faults and are simply part of the beauty of timber. If you want a uniform appearance don’t buy a wooden gate. Whilst hardwood gates will not have the same level of knots you should still expect to see variations in the timber grain structure.


If you look at timber under a microscope its grain structure is a bit like hundreds of straws bound together. The basic principle is that these hollow sections soak up moisture sending it up the tree allowing it to grow. The drawback to this is that once the tree is felled the process does not halt. As a result of this in some instances the timber may start to show signs of mould which should be wiped off using a mild detergent so the problem does not progress into something that will severely effect the appearance of the gates.

Movement, Warping and Shakes

Whilst every effort is taken during the manufacturing process to prevent a problem from occurring with your timber gates no matter what steps you take timber exposed the elements is going to move (to a certain extent). As such in some instances warping of the gates may occur as the timbers expand and contract with differing moisture levels. Factors that can make this worse include only painting or staining one side of the gate or installing it in a position where on side dries faster that the other (eg one side gets the sun). In many instances the gates will return to normal over a period of time

Variation in Appearance

Whilst the timber used to construct a wooden gate is will always be from the same species it may not always come from the same part of the tree or even from the same tree itself. As such you should expect to see some difference in the grain structure, shade and colour. We always try to ensure any differences are kept to a minimum by selecting similar boards however we stand by the fact that this is part of the natural beauty and charm of a wooden gate.

Pressure treated timber field gates securing residential driveway entrance

Advice for Timber Products

Q: What is the best way to store a timber gate before it is installed?

A: In order to prevent the gates from swelling or getting water stains on them we always recommend they are stored in a dry environment until such time they are to be fitted. Do not lean the gates against a wall as you may find they bow (this is not a manufacturing fault). Instead they should be stored in a horizontal position on timber bearers that support the gates weight (across its full width) in at least 3 -4 places.

Q: What should you do before fitting the product?

A: Before commencing with the installation all the timber surfaces should be stained or painted following the manufactures guidelines. This normally entails a minimum of 2 coats of whatever finish you select. When doing this make sure you pay extra attention to the bottom of the gates as rainwater will splash up from the ground.

Q: What if you mark or scratch the gate during installation?

A: When fitting the gate it is a good idea to apply stain to any drill holes. Upon completion of the installation, any scratched or marked areas of timber should also be touched up with stain.

Q: What on going maintenance is required?

A: Don`t think that just because you have stained the gates they can now be forgotten about. Every 3-6 months they should be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris and every 12-18 months they should be retreated with the appropriate stain to help keep them well protected against the elements.

Installation Examples of Timber Designs


These Vertifleur Wooden Driveway Gates that have been properly stained, installed and maintained to keep them looking their best.

Vertifleur wooden driveway gates with a dark walnut stain


This simply yet elegant Windsor wooden side gate hase been stained to a medium brown colour whilst the infill panels has been carefully painted black.

Windsor wooden side gate with a medium stain similar to walnut


These Salisbury Wooden Estate Gates have been well fitted to oak posts and feature a very light stain to all the surfaces. As a result they have created an great entrance to this property.

Shrewsbury estate gates with a light oak stain

Poor Finish

This example shows how not to finish your new gates. There are lots of run marks, uneven coverage and the back of the gate has not been stained. As you can see this has resulted in the gate twisting as it has been able to absorb and evaporate moisture at an uneven rate.

Timber gates that have twisted due to poor application of stain

Useful Help & Advice Pages


Wooden garden gates category - Shop Now Wooden side gates category - Shop Now Wooden driveway gates category - Shop Now Made to measure timber gates - Learn more



Metal Gates, Fence Panels & Garden Railings

As a gate building material metal is an excellent product to work with as it can be shaped into numerous designs with ease. Furthermore because the steel is far harder than timber it will not dent, crack or split (unless applied with a great amount of force) making it the perfect material of choice for entrances that get a large amount of use. However before deciding on the suitability of this steel as the material of choice you might be interested to learn a little more.

Wrought iron style metal railing example

Advice for Metal Products

Q: What is the most appropriate way to store metal products before they are installed?

A: If you will not be installing your gate straight away we recommend that it be stored upright in clean and dry environment. It is important that the gate is not allowed to remain damp before painting as small rust marks may appear.

Q: What is required prior to installation of the product?

A: Unless you have specifically ordered pre finished gates it is essential that they are painted with at least 2 coats of exterior grade paint prior to installing them so as to provide an adequate level of protection against the elements. This is because most designs only have a primer undercoat applied by the factory. Do not be fooled into thinking this is the finished surface as they will start to rust in a matter of weeks! (This is not a manufacturing fault and is your responsibility to complete).

Q: What happens if the paint is scratched or chipped during installation?

A: Once you have finished fitting your new metal gates it is recommended that you touch up any marks that may be present to maintain protection against rust. We also suggest that you paint the nuts, bolts and fixings at this point.

Q: What is the best way to care for metal products?

A: To keep a metal gate looking its best we recommend that they be wiped down every 3-6 months with a mild detergent and soft cloth making sure you remove dirt and bird droppings as these can eat into the paint if allowed to sit for a prolonged period. Every 2 years (or sooner if the manufacturer recommends) apply a fresh coat of paint to the gate and it should last you a lifetime.

Installation Examples of Metal Products


This Corfe Metal Side Gate has been installed with the hinges direct to the brickwork and the latch / lock side is utilising a metal post. It has been installed very well, with all exposed suraces full painted to protect against rust and corrosion.

Corfe metal gate design fitted to house wall

Gothic Railings

These heavy duty railings are a bespoke design and include custom posts. Before installation, the customer has had them powder coated green.

Gothic metal railings powder coated green

Help & Advice Page for Metal Products


Metal driveway gates category - Shop now Metal garden gates category - Shop now Metal estate gates category - Shop now
Metal side gates category - Shop Now Metal railings category - Shop Now Metal fence panels category - Shop now
Made to measure service available - Click here for more details



Aluminium Gates

A significant advantage of aluminium is that it requires less maintenance than other materials because of its weather resistance and high durability. When left out in the elements, it won't rust or corrode either. 

Bell top aluminium driveway gates with open pales

Advice for Aluminium Products

Q: What is the most suitable way to store aluminium gates?

A: If you are not installing your gate immediately on delivery, we recommend that it be stored upright in a clean and dry environment. To ensure the best level of protection is achieved, we recommend all the packaging is left in place to protect against scratching or accidental damage.

Q: Is any treatment required before installation?

A: Aluminium gates are pre-finished in the colour you requested and do not need additional painting before installation.

Q: What if the paint is scratched accidentally during installation?

A: The powder coating is a specific RAL colour. If you accidentally damage the paint when fitting the gate, you can purchase touch-up paint to cover any damage.

Q: What maintenance is required?

A: The surfaces should be cleaned with soapy water every few months to remove grime, bird droppings and other environmental contaminants. 

Installation Examples of Aluminium Designs

Horizontal board aluminium pedestrian gate

Arched double aluminium driveway gates in a non standard RAL colour

Diagonal board aluminium side gate powder coated black


Useful Pages