Before installing new automated gates, you need to make a range of decisions, covering both the practical and aesthetic. Here are several of them.
Opt For An Opening Mechanism
Your first point of call is to decide on the opening mechanism. Some gates slide along the fenceline while others swing inwards or outwards, on posts or pillars, single or double. Your landscape may dictate your selection. If the fence doesn't allow the gate to slide sideways, a swinging gate might suit. Remember that a gate can't swing onto an upward slope, so factor in any incline when researching your options.
Select A Style
Many gates are attractive, but whatever you choose needs to work with the entire hardscape exterior. If your home is modern, opt for a complementary style with a clean design, stressing straight, angular lines. For a traditional home, ornate curves and arches with embellishments can work better for the gate. Other possibilities include a white timber farmhouse gate or an arty iron one, with abstract metalwork of birds or leaves. Consider privacy when installing the gate, also, as some designs block the view while others give an open feel.
Choose A Material
Metal gates can use aluminium, steel or iron. For a lightweight but robust barrier, opt for aluminium which naturally resists rust and is available in a wide range of powder-coated colours. Steel is extremely strong, but heavier than aluminium. Stainless steel resists rust, and other steel varieties often have a zinc film to protect them from moisture (galvanised steel).
Wrought iron is another possible metal for your gate; it can need sanding and repainting at times to eliminate rust spots. Most of these metals are available in a range of designs, from simple to ornamental. Adding a warmer aesthetic, timber can evoke a contemporary or traditional look depending on the gate style.
Pick An Automation Method
Automated gates give control over who enters your home in various ways with remote controls, keypads, card readers or magnetic sensors. If you are frequently in and out, you might like the convenience of a motion detector sensor in your vehicle or handheld device, so the gate automatically opens as you approach. Or, similarly to a garage door, a remote handheld device can give some manual control. So long as the sensor in the gadget is within range, you can open the gates before reaching them. Alternatively, a number pad or card reader in a convenient location allows access.