Choosing a Driveway Gate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) Answered by Elex Gates

A lot of people are now considering adding new and more secure gates to their existing driveway or expanding their driveways to accommodate the growing number of cars in their family so we have put together everything you need to know and should consider when choosing a driveway gate. Our Driveway Gate FAQ’s will help you with the style, colour, and opening and closing options of the gates you need.

Why would you add a Driveway Gate to your home?

A new driveway gate will give you so many benefits including;

  • More privacy for your home
  • They can make your home look similar to the houses in your street
  • They can make your home stand out against the houses in your street (whichever you prefer)
  • If your driveway gates are automated they will make access to your driveway and home really easy
  • They will enhance your home’s curb appeal
  • They will make your home and belongings more secure

Why would you have a Driveway Gate for your business?

Adding gates to your business gives you many benefits including;

  • Making your property, stock, customers and staff more secure
  • They will look impressive and professional
  • If your gates are automated they will make it easier for staff and customers to enter and exit your business
  • If you have a gate access system you can remove the cost of security staff at your business’s entrance

What types of driveway gates are there?

There are so many different types of driveway gates you can choose from and there are a lot of things to take into consideration when you are making your choice. Its always a good idea to ask a professional gate company to come round and talk to you about which gates you are able to have, why and what their benefits are.

Types of driveway gates include;

  • Swing Gates
  • Sliding Gates
  • Bi-folding Gates
  • Automated Gates

What can driveway gates be made out of?

Driveway gates can be made from wood or metal, have solid panels or a metal frame and wooden inserts, there are loads of styles and colours to choose from and one to suit every home or business.

What are Wooden driveway gates?

Wooden driveway gates give a home a more rustic or country feel and appearance.  5 bar wooden gates can have a drop bolt and loop over a latch to hold the gates together when shut and look similar to a countryside or farm gate.

A wooden closed panel driveway gate looks rustic than a gate made from metal, however, they look traditional and will give your property more privacy when closed compared to a barred wooden gate. Solid panelled wooden gates will be heavy so it’s always a good idea to think about getting them automated. Closed panel gates offer a secluded feel to a driveway and can be purchased in many different dimensions and shapes.

What are Metal driveway gates?

Metal or cast iron driveway gates can be as plain or as decorative as you want them to be. They are extremely hard wearing and long lasting as well as heavy if they are big gates. You can have your metal gates painted in any colour and many impressive homes including stately, historic or modern homes have panelled or barred gates at their entrances.

How are driveway gates attached?

Driveway gates can be attached to matching wooden or metal gate posts or to brick or stone piers. If you already have brick or stone piers you can attach your new gates to these and your gate manufacturer and supplier will ensure the right fixings are installed.

Driveway GateHow do I know which design to choose for my driveway gates?

Look on the internet to see the types of designs that you can choose from and it will also give you an idea of the style of houses they are used with.

Some people choose a design and style that matches their home, so if a cottage they would choose a traditional 5 bar wooden gate, however, some people will choose something that contrasts their homes style and something that will really make it stand out.

If you have a Victorian style home then there are Victorian design driveway gates available.

If your house was built in the 1920s then think Great Gatsby.

New homes are much more versatile and can be made to look grand with an old style metal gate or modern with a wooden panelled or barred gate. It is definitely more tricky the other way round and older houses are not as versatile when it comes to gate styles, so do your research and always use a reputable driveway gate company who can advise and recommend styles to suit your home.

A driveway gate is the first thing that people see when they come to your home or business and will have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your whole property so you want to get it right.

What are reclaimed driveway gates?

Reclaimed garden gates are normally purchased from a reclamation centre and they would need refurbishing after you have brought them. Reclaimed wooden or metal gates normally need sanding down and repainting and it is a long and slow process to get it right. If you buy reclaimed driveway gates then the fixings and accessories such as gate stops, latches, handles, matching railings, matching pedestrian gates are likely to be missing and it will cost you quite a bit to get these parts and fixings made to fit

New driveway gates are definitely the easiest option as they will be manufactured to fit your driveway and needs, installed with all the fixings that are needed and can even be maintained by your gate supplier if you want. A new driveway gate doesn’t have to look brand new if you want a more rustic style and design.

What is a pedestrian driveway gate?

A pedestrian driveway gate is a gate that is fitted in the same style and sometimes next to your driveway gate so that access to your property is easier if you or others are on foot.

If you walk in and out of your driveway frequently then having a pedestrian gate makes it much more convenient without the need of waiting for an automated system or manually opening or closing sometimes large heavy gates.

If security is important to you then pedestrian gates can also be automated for quick and easy access. Most full-width driveway gates can be scaled down for use as pedestrian gates, ensuring they are the same style, material and colour.

Why have dedicated pedestrian access?

Having a smaller pedestrian gate can save a significant amount of wear and tear on your main driveway gates. Smaller pedestrian sized gates are much lighter and better suited to high-volume access.

How do driveway gates open?

There are three main ways that a driveway gate can open:

  • Swing inwards towards your property
  • Swing outwards towards the street
  • Slide to the right and left or both behind your a boundary wall or railings

What should I take into consideration when I am choosing how my driveway gates will open and close?

  • Does your driveway slope? If it does then a swing gate will be more difficult to get right as well as being heavy to open or close so you may need to have your gate automated by a gate specialist, or consider sliding gates
  • If you have a relatively flat driveway then swinging or sliding gates can be an option
  • Sliding gates need to have the room either side of the gate opening on the inside of your property to slide into when they are open
  • You will also need to consider the size of your driveway and where vehicles will be parked as inward swinging gates will need to have full swing access when opening and closing when there are cars parked on the driveway
  • Outward swing gates are not recommended if there is pedestrian access or a road

What driveway gate styles are there?

Choosing a driveway gate that matches the style of your house will improve its aesthetic and curb appeal which in turn can significantly increase the value of your home and the people wanting to buy it if you ever want to sell.

There may be restrictions in some residential areas on the style and type of driveway gate you install so always speak to a gate specialist and ask for their advice.

There are so many gate styles and combinations to choose from so have a look on the internet to get some inspiration.

What colour driveway gates can I choose from?

People entering your home as well as passers-by will notice the colour and condition of your driveway gates. Some people choose to keep their gates in the colour of the material they have chosen; grey or black for metal or a wood stain for wooden gates, however, some people choose to add a bright colour to the entrance of their home and this can often be really dramatic and eye-catching.

What are the benefits of a new driveway gate?

The benefits of new driveway gates are huge; improved curb appeal, matching neighbouring houses, an increase in the value of your home or property, easy access, increased security and privacy.

What are the opening options of a driveway gate?

Opening your gate by hand can be the simplest way to allow access, however, it can be inconvenient and time-consuming as well as heavy work, depending on the size of the gates. Manual Access can sometimes impact people coming in and out of your property and there is even more of an impact if it is wet and cold so always consider this when choosing your gate system. Manual gate openings can be secured with either a padlock with either a code or a key.

Entry Code, Electronic Key or Swipe Card Access needs the person entering your property to have the correct access code for the gates to automatically open, or an electronic key or swipe card that needs to be used. Having this type of access is dependent on who enters your property, when and how many unexpected visitors you will have. You really need to be able to trust anyone who has the entry code, key or card as changing these for everyone who needs access can take time. These opening methods mean that the person entering can wait in their car whilst the gates open and close which is time-saving and brilliant in bad weather conditions.

Remote Control Access means that you can drive up to the gates and as long as you are in the sensor proximity you can press a button and the gates open or close as you approach them. They also mean that you can open and close the gates from inside as long as you are within proximity which is great when visitors arrive and leave. Again this is a great option as the person entering can wait in their car whilst the gates open and close, saving time and brilliant in bad weather conditions.

An Intercom Access system is probably seen as the most secure option and means the person wanting access to your property has to request access through the intercom system and wait for the gates to be opened and closed by the person answering the intercom.

Combined Gate Access systems can mean you have an intercom system for ad hoc visitors and an access code or remote access fob to open and close the gates for regular visitors.

How can I power an automated driveway gate?

You would normally power automated gate systems using the same power source as your home or business. A good and reputable gate company will be able to look at where your electric access points are and arrange for additional cabling to be run to where it is needed.  Solar powered gates are an eco-friendly and cost-effective option to power your gates meaning you don’t need to worry about running electrical cables underground.

What should I consider when I am thinking about replacing or adding an automated driveway gate?

The location and power supply to your gates will have a big influence on the type of electric motor that is needed to open and close certain size gates.

If the location of the gates is prone to flooding or high winds then this also needs to be taken into consideration as a solid panelled gate can be impacted by both of these factors as well impacting personal safety in these situations.

The power supply to the gates needs to be consistent and adequate for the size and weight of the gate to ensure they open and close when you need them to, as well as not damaging the mechanisms and motor of the gates.

The surface level of a gate opening will impact if you can have a swing or sliding gate.

The space to the side of your gate opening will impact if you are able to have a sliding gate system.

If your gate is automated then it still needs to be opened manually if ever needed, for example, if there is a power outage.

A good gate supplier and an installer will talk about all of these things when they come out to see you and will be able to tell you the benefits and disadvantages of all types of gates, openings and access systems. A reputable gate company will offer a free, no-obligation quote and be able to give you timescales on how quickly your gate can be manufactured and fitted.

What can I expect from a professional gate supplier and installer?

  • A free no obligation quote
  • Professional advice and recommendations
  • Full fitting and installation service
  • User training including; how to manually open gates if they are automated and there is a power cut
  • Good customer feedback and testimonials
  • Made to measure bespoke gate services
  • A warranty which covers the gate fixings as well as a satisfactory warranty period
  • Emergency repair and maintenance services

What is a custom made driveway gate?

Most gates will work with automated gate opening systems and these can be purchased off the shelf, however, they still need to be installed by a specialist company that has expertise in installing gates and automation systems and this often works out to be the same cost as the gate company supplying the whole system. The benefits you will get from using an established and reputable gate company are endless but the biggest one will be the advice and recommendation they can give you from their years of experience of supplying and fitting driveway gates.

A custom made gate is where the gate is manufactured to your specific needs, requirements, design and measurements and this can include company logos or hose names.

What is a wooden swing gate?

Wooden swing gates are available in hardwood and softwood with a range of automation and manual options for a swing opening. The gate opens and closes by either swinging in or out of a driveway opening as one or two gates.

What is a wooden sliding gate?

Wooden sliding gates are available in hardwood and softwood with a range of automation and manual options. The gate opens by sliding back into the side space of the gate opening either as a whole gate or with a middle opening and both sides sliding back into each side of the gate opening.

What is a metal framed swing driveway gate?

Metal framed swing gates are strong, galvanised for corrosion resistance and durable steel framed. They can be powder coated in black as standard or in any ‘RAL’ colour and available with hardwood and softwood infill. They can come in a range of automation and manual options and the gate can swing open and closed as one inside or outside of the gate opening. They can also be made as two gates that meet in the middle when closed or swing open as two gates that attach to either side of the gate opening.

What is a metal framed sliding driveway gate?

Metal framed sliding gates use a high strength steel frame to provide ultimate structural strength and rigidity, galvanised to ensure corrosion resistance, finished in a choice of durable powder-coat and filled in a choice of hardwood or softwood. Metal framed sliding gates can come in a range of automation and manual options and as the others can slide open to the side of the gate opening as one, or as two gates that meet in the middle and slide open behind the space of both side openings.

What is a metal framed bi-folding driveway gate?

Bi-fold metal framed gates are available in hardwood and softwood with a range of automation and manual options. Metal framed Bi-Folding driveway gates are perfect for short driveways or areas with restricted space that don’t have enough room to swing open or closed as one whole gate inside or outside of the gate opening.

What is a metal swing driveway gate?

Metal swing gates use a robust box section full panelled steel construction and are finished in high-quality powder coat which is available in any RAL colour. Made to last they offer a high level of security, privacy and peace of mind and can be fully automated with any type of opening system which is best as their weight can make them difficult to manually open or close.

What is a metal sliding driveway gate?

Metal sliding gates use a high strength steel frame and panel to provide ultimate structural strength and rigidity, galvanised to ensure corrosion resistance and then finished in a choice of durable powder-coat in any ‘RAL’ colour. They are available in a range of automation and manual options and can either slide open as one into the side opening of a gate or as two sections that slide open into both sides of the gate openings, meeting in the centre of the opening when closed.

What is a metal bi-folding driveway gate?

Metal bi-fold gates use a high strength steel frame to provide ultimate structural strength and rigidity and they are finished in your choice of durable powder-coat and colours. Bi-fold gates are perfect for gate openings with limited space either side of the opening or swing space as they concertina open in a much smaller footprint.

What is an automated driveway gate?

An automated driveway gate has a power supply to a motor which opens and closes the gate at the touch of a button or with an access code. This takes away the need of getting out of your car or vehicle to open the gate, get back in to drive in and then out again to close it yourself. An automated gate gives you additional security as the people entering need to have an access code, card or fob to open and close the gate. Gate automation takes away the time and inconvenience of manually opening and closing a gate and keeps you warm and dry in your vehicle whilst the gates are opening and closing. Automated driveway gates also add style to your home or commercial property

About Elex Gates

We are a reputable and renowned driveway gate specialist in Bristol and the South West and we have been providing all types of gates, barriers, bollards, doors and fencing for over a decade. Whatever your access requirements, budget or setting we can help.

We pride ourselves on our quality workmanship and strive to provide the highest installation and aftercare services in Bristol, Somerset and the South-West.

With our own in-house production facility, as well as access to all top manufacturers, we have the capacity to meet any brief or budget.

We offer comprehensive gate maintenance packages to suit your needs ensuring your driveway gates are safe and fully functioning at all times as well as a two-year warranty on the components of your new automated sliding or hinged swing gates.

Whether you are looking for a functional and practical automated gate system for your commercial premises or a stylish addition to your home to add security and aesthetic appeal then we have the solution for you.

Contact us on 0117 978 6095 and one of our gate experts will be able to help and arrange a no obligation site assessment and quote.