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Garden Gates Direct - Metal Side Gates Buying Guide

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A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Metal Side Gate

If you are considering purchasing a metal side gate, we have created an in-depth buying guide to help you out. The below information will provide you with lots of informative knowledge and facts to help you make the right purchasing decision. 

Metal side gate installed into a brick archway within a wall

Which Side Gate Offers the Best Level of Security?

The most secure gate for your property combines several factors, including size, materials used and the locking system. For example, it may seem obvious that your property needs to feature a gate you can secure with a padlock or another locking mechanism. However, there are many other factors to consider when establishing the most secure option for your property.

Steel Specification

A secure side gate is of paramount importance. Steel components come in different sizes and thicknesses, each with its strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the correct steel specification for your project is vital.

Metal gate during manufacture Constructing metal gates at manufacturing facility Welding framework Metal components pre manufactured


Security is an essential aspect of any gate. Ideally, what is needed is a solid gate that will never break open. However, in reality, this may not be possible for everyone. The strength of the gate must be appropriate for your situation. So whether this means that you need to choose the most robust possible design or you'd be happy with something slightly less secure can only really be judged by you. However, in most cases, a gate will have to sacrifice some degree of security to keep costs down.


Although a gate can considerably impact your home's aesthetic, you should not consider the overall design part of the security system. That said, a few things can help increase its protection. For example, the inclusion of spear-shaped finials can deter climbing and horizontal mid-rails that can help resist the flexing of the framework.

How Much is a Side Gate?

Whether you want a gate for your alleyway or a rear entrance into the garden, you're probably wondering how much it costs. Well, because there are many different gate types and sizes, prices can vary widely depending on the materials that make up the gate. If you have an idea of what you're looking for, it will help narrow down your choices. Here are some things to consider when deciding how much a gate will cost:


 The configuration you select will influence the cost. A simple plain gate, for example, comprises a handful of metal components, therefore, can be relatively cheap. However, an ornate, elaborate, considerably more decorative option will be more costly.


The gate measurements and quantity of parts utilised all influence the price. Furthermore, the cost will also increase directly to the materials' quality.

Installation Location

For the gate to function as a secure barrier and remain that way, a sufficient support structure must exist to mount the hinges and latch. Let's say the area already has brick pillars or walls. The installation will be considerably cheaper than if you start from scratch, as metal posts would also be required.

Size of Components

Heavy-duty materials will be more substantial and expensive than aesthetic designs constructed from smaller components.


The cheapest option is to select a gate with only an undercoat paint applied during manufacturing. However, as with any metal, it is susceptible to rust and corrosion. This option will therefore require regular painting to protect it from the elements. In comparison, a design that has a zinc-plated (electro-galvanised) and powder-coated paint finish will need less upkeep but will correspondingly reflect in the price you should expect to pay,

Can you Attach a Gate Direct to a Wall or Masonry Surface?

Provided the structure you are mounting onto can take the additional weight of the gate and is the appropriate height to attach the fittings, then it is perfectly acceptable to use this method. Not only does it save you from having to purchase metal posts, but it also allows you to maximise the opening width. You can find more comprehensive information in our blog post "4 things you should consider when installing a gate".

Metal side gate with hinges mounted directly to brickwork Metal side gate hinged of a post

How Deep Should You Set a Metal Post?

Concreting your posts is an excellent way to give them a long life and keep your gate functioning safely and correctly. It's also a relatively straightforward process - essentially, you're only mixing concrete, filling a hole and then waiting for it to dry. Whilst this may sound like an uncomplicated process, there is a bit more to the process. Below are some valuable tips.

  • You should set metal posts around 1/3rd of their overall length into the ground for proper support. You will need to place concrete around the post to help hold it in place. 

  • As a general guide, the ratio for concreting the posts is 1:2:4. For example, one part cement, two parts sand and four parts aggregate. 

  • Wherever possible, you should prepare the concrete using a cement mixer. However, hand mixing is perfectly acceptable if you don't have a mixer. 

  • When setting the posts, ensure the correct spacing is left so that the gate will fit once the concrete has been allowed sufficient time to cure.

  • The post should be level with one another and plumb, not leaning forward or back. You can use temporary support for additional help where required.

Heavy duty metal  side gate installed using posts sunk into the ground

What Should you Consider When Installing a Side Gate?

Existing Masonry & Posts

The general condition of the structure is important as this will be what holds up your gate. Weighing between 15-90kg, we suggest that you inspect the structure to be hung off and ensure it's capable of providing a safe and secure fixing point.


Are there any obstructions that will hinder the swinging radius of the gate, such as steps, pipework, trees, or bushes? In these instances, you may need to install metal posts or hang the gate in a slightly different location.


The primary considerations you should make when choosing your gate are the style and the suitability for the area. Gates are available in various styles, sizes and designs. Ensuring the correct one is specified to suit your home's architectural style can reduce the prospects of it appearing ill-thought-out. For example, if you have an ornate Victorian property, a decorative design would not look out of place at all. However, if your home has bland brickwork, adding an elaborate gate may be too much of a contrast and detract from the overall aesthetic.


You can secure most metal side gates with a padlock. However, some homeowners prefer a more practical way to secure the gate and may decide to install a key lock. Although you might be able to retrofit a lock to specific models, depending on how the gate was built, this might not always be viable.

Box section framework of gate fitted with an integral lock Heavy duty side gate fitted with mortise lock installed using metal posts set into the ground

What is the Best Side Gate Design?

Our range of metal side gates are designed to last and provide protection to your property. However, there is a world of difference between lightweight & heavy-duty products. Which one should you choose? It all depends on where you plan to install it, how much you are willing to spend and your specific requirements.