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Which Gate Should I Choose?

Last Updated Nov 11, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

If you have a fence around your property, a gate is a necessity to allow you to easily enter and exit your property while ensuring that it remains secure.  However, security doesn’t mean that you should settle for any old gate. Getting the right gate will give you the security that you need and provide an attractive feature for your home.  Here are our tips on choosing a gate.

What is the Gate Used For?

The first thing you need to think about when choosing a gate is what it will be used for.  Gates are commonly used at entry and exit points such as driveways, pedestrian paths, or garden paths.  Some gates are stronger and more secure than others so you need to take this into the equation. For example, a simple picket style gate is perfect for the garden but you might want a stronger steel gate for your main driveway entrance.

The Type of Gate

The next thing that you need to think about is what type of gate you want. Gates are generally sliding or swing. Sliding gates are great for wide spans where you have plenty of room for them to slide behind the fence on their runners. They are also suitable for sloped areas.  Swing gates are great for any sized opening but they are particularly good if you only have a limited area to work with.  You then think to think about your gate material.  Ideally, you will use a material that matches or complements the fence in which the gate is installed. Common materials include timber, steel, aluminium, wrought iron, cast iron, brass, wire, and bamboo.

Choosing a Gate Design

Ideally, your gate will complement the fence in which it is installed and, more importantly, your home and garden.  There are plenty of options when it comes to gate designs.  You can opt to have the gate concealed within the fence so that you cannot see where it starts and ends or, on the other end of the spectrum, you can opt to turn your gate into a real feature with an intricate, elaborate design.  Most types of gates come in a range of standard sizes and designs but if you have something particular in mind, you can have your gate completely custom made.

Operating the Gate and Gate Accessories

You will also need to think about how the gate will be operated. Manual opening gates are great if you just want to nip in and out but you need to be sure that they are closed every time.  Automated gates open and close at the push of a button and they are particularly popular for driveways so people don’t have to continually get in and out of their car.  Don’t forget about accessories. Things such as intercoms and security cameras allow you to see who is at the gate before allowing entry while ornamental side posts, tops and the like give your gate that little something extra.
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