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An electric gate is a worthy addition to a property with a driveway.
It can help enhance security, add kerb appeal, and make a garden safer, as well as potentially increasing the value of your home.
With so many different finishes, designs and operating systems available, there are options to complement most homes.
When people are considering installing electric gates, one of the issues they must face is the size of the gates relative to their driveway.
How do you ensure that your gate is the correct size to cover the space without encountering problems when it opens and closes?
There is no such thing as a ‘standard gate size’ or width.
Instead, gates are built to fit your driveway whatever its dimensions and that means gates are manufactured in a wide range of heights and lengths.
Driveways and other entrances vary greatly from property to property, but there are a few points worth remembering.
Most will be wide enough to allow a car through without too much risk of damage.
Even then, experience tells us manoeuvring a vehicle is harder in more confined spaces.
Gates can be manufactured in many designs, but for driveway gates, there are two common configurations.
Sliding gates are usually made up of one, larger gate that moves across a driveway entrance. Meanwhile, swing gates usually consist of twin leaves that open in the middle and swing into the driveway when they open.
It is worth considering that sliding gates can be made to look like two swing gates.
Whichever type you choose, your gate should completely cover the driveway without leaving space at either end or in the middle.
Any opening gate requires room to move into, and this is where sliding gates and swing gates are very different.
Sliding gates need to move along a continuous, straight track across the opening between the pillars or posts until the gate has completely cleared the opening.
Swing gates travel a shorter distance than a sliding gate, moving through an arc from hinges on the pillars into the driveway, so no object should be left in this area that might stop the gates from opening fully.
Understanding the right gate size is crucial. But how is this size derived?
To ascertain the optimal gate size, measure the driveway's opening and then add between 350-400mm. Every motor is designed with a specific gate leaf size in mind. It's essential to match the gate's width with the appropriate motor for seamless operation.
With these measurements, you're set for both functionality and design appeal.
In short, we need to know the width and the height of your gates.
For the width, measure the distance in millimetres between the internal edges of each gate pillar.
The height of your gates at the edges must be shorter than the height of existing or proposed pillars.
Be careful not to provide the dimensions of any existing driveway gates because we don’t know if the pillars or posts there now will be appropriate for your new electric gates.
Gates can also have a curved top, and so might be higher at the side or in the middle.
Consider which gate leaf will open first, the right or the left, and in which direction they will open and close.
They should nearly always open inwards towards the property, and not outwards onto a path or to the road – both of them unacceptable for safety reasons, and because they risk causing an obstruction.
If you want gate leaves of unequal size, the proposed width of each should be provided.
With sliding gates, a similar set of measurements is required.
For the full width, measure the distance in millimetres between the internal edges of each gate pillar, then add 500mm.
Indicate as well the leaf opening direction; to the left or right.
Pedestrian gates are simpler to measure for.
All you need is the width between the inside of the pillars and the hinge stile height.
You’ll also need to consider which way you would like your gate to open and close.
Linkcare uses a UK-wide network of preferred gate automation and electric gate installers, so we can always recommend gate installers local to you.
The nearest will be happy to visit your home or business to assist with measurements if you are unsure.
It may cost a little more, but you are counting on someone who will take full responsibility for the installation as well as carrying out a proper risk assessment as required by law.
Do you have any questions about the size of your automated gates?
Call us today on 01895 232626 and we will be happy to answer.