Automated gates are an attractive option for those homeowners looking for additional security and convenience.
However, it is a common misconception that the cost of installation puts them beyond reach for many interested buyers.
But what is the reality?
Electric gate installation costs are determined by groundworks, which include pillars, posts, underground motor installation, and drainage provision.
The type of gates you choose has an impact on the price too.
Why install electric gates?
Homeowners and businesses have electric gates installed for a wide variety of reasons.
Here are a few principal reasons why:
Higher level of security
Perhaps the motivation for why so many people install electric gates is to enhance security at the entrance to their property.
Manufactured from strong, durable materials, and with enhanced locking mechanisms, they act as a visual deterrent and a physical barrier to potential intruders.
When combined with other security measures, they can radically reduce the risk of your home becoming a target for opportunistic thieves.
Automatic gates do not require you to get out of your vehicle in order to activate them.
Incorporating an advanced access control system, controlled by a range of sensors, transmitters and receivers, removes the need to manually open and close your gates.
This is a welcome benefit when it is late at night, or raining heavily, and you don’t want to spend time outside.
It is useful too if you have a consistent flow of incoming and outgoing traffic.
Range of styles and designs
They can even be formed and assembled to look like traditional wooden driveway gates or ornate wrought iron gates.
They can add value to your property
Your carefully chosen automated gates give your property real kerb appeal
, making it stand out in your street or neighbourhood.
As well as increasing the attractiveness of your home, they can also help to increase the asking price when it comes time to move.
Increased safety and privacy
How much does it cost to have automatic gates installed?
We’ve established there are many compelling reasons for having electric gates installed.
But how much does an installation cost?
Because every job is different, there isn’t a simple answer.
In fact, the price of installing electric gates varies widely and is made up of two components:
The price of materials
This includes the gates themselves, the automation kit, and any access technology you require. The cost of these changes according to the size of the space you wish to cover, and what your chosen gates are made from.
For example, residential gates can range from £500 up to £5,000.
If you’re looking for a more up-market solution, or own a large commercial site, you could pay anything up to £30,000.
Another element that is often overlooked is the cost of the access control system you choose.
The price of that will depend on the type of system, as well as the number of access points – which, of course, will determine the number of gates you need – at your property.
There are a range of different access solutions, including portable remote control access, smartphone controlled options, intercom systems, and keypads at the gate.
The cost of installation itself
After you’ve decided on the component parts of your electric gates, you then need to factor in the cost of installation.
As with the gates, this can vary widely.
Another element that determines the cost of gate installation is who you hire to do the work.
People often mistakenly presume that gate installation is a relatively straightforward process, and they may be tempted to complete the work themselves.
While this could be enticing, particularly if you are accomplished at DIY and home improvement projects, it is certainly not advisable – not least because there are several aspects of an installation that can easily go wrong.
Even the most accomplished DIY aficionado is unlikely to have the necessary skills, tools, knowledge, experience or electrical qualification to undertake the project to a sufficient standard.
Tradespeople such as electricians, landscapers and building contractors sometimes offer a gate installation service.
While they may be more accomplished than the average skilled amateur, the quality of the job they do can vary widely.
Gate installers are not regulated, and there are people in the industry who do not follow health and safety protocols.
Given that gates can be dangerous if designed, installed and used badly, it’s sensible not to cut corners.
A professional gate engineer will have the experience and industry knowledge to complete the installation of your gates safely and to the highest standards.
They should also demonstrate how to use your automatic gates correctly, pointing out the risks and dangers of not doing so.
What issues should people consider before having electric gates installed?
When choosing electric gates for your property, there are several factors to take into account.
Firstly, how will you use your gates? Are they going to be in constant daily use, or is their opening and closing going to be much more infrequent?
These answers help determine the type of automation system you will require.
Another key factor is how much space you have, because the options for residential gate installation can be limited if space is restricted.
For example, if you don’t have much clearance to the rear of your gates, then you may need to choose a sliding gate system
Equally, you may not have space for a sliding gate to run into when it opens.
In that case, swing gates
that fold into sections may be required.
Your chosen gate installer will advise which is the most appropriate.
As mentioned above, what your chosen gates are made from impacts on the initial costs and operation of your gates over time.
While wood and wrought iron gates boast traditional appeal, both are heavy and rely on a more demanding maintenance regime.
Aluminium, in contrast, is light as well as tough, and requires less looking after.
Aluminium gates can also be constructed to look just like wooden gates.
Finally, when considering the total cost of gates, you should also bear in mind that your gates will need servicing and maintaining.
For residential gates that don’t get much daily use, this may only be annually.
For gates at a busy commercial site, this could be several times a year.
Your installer will be able to advise a maintenance schedule you should budget for.
Regular servicing helps to reduce the chances of a substantial repair bill if your gates break down.
What does electric gate installation involve and how long does it take?
The time is takes to install automated gates is different for every job.
For example, it varies according to the extent of groundworks required.
Assessing your location
An installer should visit your property to assess what is needed in terms of groundworks, and to conduct a thorough safety audit.
They’ll look at the site and determine if it presents any particular limitations or challenges.
If you’ve not yet decided on a gate system, they will be able to advise which might be the most suitable.
This will depend on your location, the layout of your driveway, and your budget.
A good installer will ensure you have the most efficient and safest gate system for your budget.
Another factor your installer will take into account is where your property is situated.
If you live in an exposed and windy position, then sliding rather than swing gates may be more suitable.
Fully-boarded swing gates behave like sails in the wind, meaning either the gate motors struggle to move the gates against the resistance of the wind or they recognise strong gusts as obstacles and back off – meaning they don’t fully open or close.
In these situations, increasing the force applied by motors resolves the issue but risks creating dangerous gates that could crush someone.
Finally, your installer will want to ensure that there’s nothing in the way of the gates and their operation.
Does anything need to be removed or relocated, such as a tree or other garden feature?
Preparing the site
A site survey will indicate the extent of any groundworks required during the installation.
Is there an electricity supply in position and ready to use? If not, that will need to be put in place prior to the installation.
If power is being run from the house, then it’s likely to involve some disruption to your driveway and garden.
Another essential groundwork element is drainage, if underground motors for swing gates are being installed.
It is important to prevent rain water from gathering in foundation boxes because any motor that sits in water for longer than half an hour is more likely to fail.
A professional gate installer should ensure this is taken into account at the design stage.
Installing your gates
Now we reach the installation process itself.
Are there suitable pillars? If not, pillars with a concrete foundation will have to be built. These need to be secure, sturdy, and capable of taking the weight of your chosen gates.
The installer fits the gates to the hinges and connects the gate motors to the pillars, posts or walls, and the gate motor arms to the gates with the appropriate degree of attention to the geometry of the system.
As you can see from this brief outline of the installation process, there are a number of potentially complex issues to consider.
This is why it is highly recommended that anyone wishing to install electric gates chooses a professional to carry out the work on their behalf.
Electric gate installation by our qualified local installers
Linkcare uses a network of preferred gate automation and electric gate installers that covers the UK.
If you're thinking about having new gates installed (with or without automation), or having existing gates automated, this is the best place to start.
Call us now on 01895 232 626, and we will be happy to answer any questions.