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Driveway Gates

Driveway Gates
This custom steel gate offers security without blocking views (p
Driveway gates are available in a wide range of styles and materials. They should work in tandem with your home design and reflect the level of ornament or materials found on the exterior of your home.

Single Door, Double Door or Sliding Gate Styles 
Gates are available in Wood, Steel and Aluminum and range in price from $1,000 to $4,000 and beyond.  Each material has its advantages and disadvantages and we will look at each one to discover its pros and cons.

Many beautiful wood gates available on-line can be shipped to your home ready to install. Wood gates are available in cedar, redwood, oak as well as other species. The strongest wooden gates have a hidden internal structure of steel or 6061 Aluminum. The wood is epoxied on the outside of the structure and features traditional mortis and tennon joints. These gates are usually available in the $4,000 range and the price is exclusive of the gate operator. Styles include: arched upward, concave downwards, bell curve shaped, etc.   They are also marketed in styles such as the Westchester Gate, the Chestnut Hill gate and other styles that reflect regional architectural styles. Shop around online to find a gate that matches your house style and architectural theme.

If a local carpenter or shop is making the gate it is important for it to have a diagonal cross brace and to be made with tight joints. Gate hardware, hinges, cane bolts and exterior screws can be found at your home center or local hardware store. All hardware should be zinc plated to withstand corrosion

For residential use, steel is not always the best choice. At the low end, low-grade steel is the weakest material and is subject to corrosion from both the inside and the outside the tubing.  These gates are in the $1,000 range and can be found at Home Centers everywhere. Heavier steel is often found in commercial gates and while very strong is also very heavy. These gates require heavy duty operators and are more challenging to install.
Aluminum is a good choice for home applications.  Although it is available in a range of alloys, 6061 – T6 aluminum is the best choice for driveway gates. This material is strong enough for residential uses, is very corrosion-resistant and is almost 1/3 the weight of similar steel gates. Lighter gates can be operated by lighter and less expensive operators. Aluminum gates are usually powder-coated black and look very similar to steel gates. These gates are available on-line or from a local fence contractor.

Posts are often made from a heavy guage steel and have stainless steel hinges welded on. They should be buried in 2 feet of concrete. They are usually powder-coated black and visually match either steel or aluminum. For wood gates, posts are usually wood and vary from 6” X 6” to larger sizes depending on the style as well as the weight of the gate.
Gate Operators
Gate operators are available with either a Mechanical Linear Arm or with a Hydraulic Linear Arm Actuator.  The Mechanical Arm Actuators are the cheapest but can do the job if they are rated for the length and weight of your gate. The Hydraulic Actuators require occasional maintenance but can handle a heavier load and feature a slowing of motion at the end of the opening and closing cycles. This slowing of motion is a safety feature and can help prevent injury of both people and cars. In Ground Operators are also available and have the best appearance but are the most costly.

Solar is a good solution if there are no utilities near your gate. Solar panels come in 10 watt, 20 watt and 30 watt varieties. They are coupled with a battery and store energy as it is available. Larger solar panels are necessary if the gate operator is used many times per day.  Additional load is placed on the system if you have many accessories such as an in-ground gate wand, an intercom, or a solenoid gate lock.
Sliding Gates
Sliding gates are also available where there is not enough room for the gate to swing out. Sliding gates require a track either on the driveway or cantilevered from above the gate. Above gate tracks avoid the problems of branches and other debris blocking the track during a storm.

Other Considerations
Gate operators should have a manual release so the gate can be operated during a power outage.  
It is also helpful to have a service contract covering the gate operator and related equipment. Gates are sometimes damaged during storms or from misuse and it’s essential  to have a well equipped nearby service center.

Driveway gates offer privacy, security, and beauty and define the transition to your property.

Driveway Gates Inspiration

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