In a house with kids driveway gates are an extremely important part of your outdoor design or renovations project. Automatic gates keep kids safe within and intruders out.
While a worthy investment, good gates can be costly, so you want to make sure you consider all angles before making the purchase.
The guide below will show you which elements you should factor in when selecting a driveway gate for your home:
1. Material vs budget
Of course the first thing you want to consider is how much you can spend and weigh it up with the highest level of quality and durability you can afford.
While timber is one of the least expensive gate materials up-front, when you factor in the annual upkeep required to repaint and retreat the wood, and the shorter lifespan of timber, which will eventually warp and rot and need to be replaced sooner than more durable materials, the cost of timber gates start to add up.
Steel is one of the hardiest and most durable gates materials out there and is the best choice when it comes to security. However, this also comes with a higher price tag.
For residential gates a good compromise is aluminium – it is more naturally rust-proof and durable, hardier than timber and cheaper than steel.
2. Slope of driveway
One of the most important things you need to think of when shopping for a gate is the slope of the driveway. If the driveway is levelled, a gate that swings away from the incoming traffic and into the property will be your best bet.
If the driveway slopes up too steeply, you will want a gate that swings away from the property and toward the incoming traffic.
Bi-parting swinging gates are usually safe to choose for a sloped driveway whether it swings towards or away from the property. Another alternative is getting a sliding gate, which can be single or bi-parting. This slides to the side behind the retaining wall or fence, so level space in that area is necessary.
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3. Style of home
Of course, you can’t just install any kind of driveway gate. Although you’re buying the gate for security purposes, you should also consider the aesthetics and how to match up to the architectural style of your home.
If you have a small, cottage-type house, consider a white picket driveway gate – it’s stylish and will beautifully complement your home. These days you can also get the traditional look of ‘the white picket fence and gate’, but made from aluminium, so you get the modern durability with the traditional aesthetics.
Modern slat gates, meanwhile, are the best choice for home with contemporary architecture as the clean geometrics complement each other. And for traditional or grand manor style homes decorative tubular fencing is usually a good fit.
4. Automatic vs manual entrance
Next thing to consider is how the gates will open and the safety implications of each type for your kids and pets.
Manual gates are the most cost effective option of course, but require you to exit the vehicle to open the gate – not ideal if you have to leave kids in a running car. Older children can easily open them, which can be a safety issue.
Keypads are safer as only older family members can be given the code, but they keypad is usually placed on the wall, which again brings about the issue of leaving kids in the running car.
Swipe cards and button remotes are very handy, allowing access from inside the vehicle but just ensure you keep the card or remote safe – losing it could leave your vehicle stuck inside or outside your home.
If you decide on any electric gates you should also consider having safety loops included, which are tripped to stop the gate from closing if someone or something is standing in their path, protective kids or pets from being crushed.
5. Power source
If you’re planning to buy an automatic gate, it’s important to consider what power source you’re going to use: electric or solar? Solar panels may be more expensive to install upfront, but they can save on electricity costs in the long run, and you’ll never be stuck should the power go during a storm.
Do you have gates on your driveway, are you happy with them? Please share in the comments below.