Whatever your reasoning for installing automatic driveway gates, security or improving the overall appearance of your property, choosing the right products from the outset can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Types of Gate Automation
Essentially in the UK, two types of gate automation are used; sliding gates and swing gates, there are also a few variations on these two basic operating methods.
Sliding gates can be track mounted, a track system is installed to the driveway surface and the gate runs on this track. This particular type of installation requires a level driveway for the track system to be installed on.
Alternatively if the driveway surface is uneven a cantilever sliding gate can be installed, the gate is designed to run on a pivotal point usually near the gate motor, which suspends the gate over the driveway.
Swing gates can be either a single leaf or a twin leaf design, both operating in similar way. You have the choice of a gate mounted operator or underground gate operators. With gate mounted operators the installation tends to be less expensive due to the saving on groundwork’s. With an underground gate mechanism the motors are enclosed in a housing that is flush with the ground level, so you can’t actual see the gate motor. Although underground gate operators have a more pleasing appearance, this type of installation is not suitable in areas of flooding as adequate drainage is essential for trouble free operation.
Choosing the right material gates
Traditionally wrought iron, steel and timber gates are installed, but increasingly aluminium is being used as an alternative due to the low maintenance requirements. The materials the gate is manufactured from can significantly impact on the overall cost of the installation. A solid hardwood gate that is fully boarded would cost approximately double for a similar installation in softwood. Due to the additional material costs and the increased in cost due to the gates requiring a heavy duty gate operator.
Choosing the right installer
Most automated gate installers tend to install products from one manufacture. This could be for many reasons, discount from the supplier, quality, availability and product knowledge to mention just a few. But how do you know the products offered is the best product for you? Nobody knows your lifestyle better than you, consideration should be given to how many times a day your gates will be used, if you work from home and are constantly taking deliveries all day the duty cycle of the automation may need to be considered. The type and weight of gate installed could determine which gate operator is used, electromechanical or hydraulic which more commonly used on hardwood gates due to the weight. It is essential that your gate installer specifies the products to be used when quoting for the works, and do your research on the automation your installer proposes to use.
Choosing Access system
Your decision to purchase automated gates was likely to have been influenced by securing your property. However from time to time visitors and delivery drivers will need to access your property, you will most likely use remote control key fobs to enter and exit but it is not practical or cost effective to give everybody that may use your automated gates a remote key fob. Instances like these require addition access options, intercoms systems and keypads are the most obvious product to install. Intercoms come in many different forms. GSM intercoms are ever increasing in popularity allowing the flexibility to open your automated gates from virtually anywhere in the world, so you won’t miss your delivery even when you’re at work.