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Cost is always a significant factor when considering whether to install electric gates.
The price varies according to several different factors, including the size of the gate required, the groundworks needed to complete an installation, and the type of automation you choose.
In terms of the material gates are manufactured from, aluminium is recognised as one of the most practical and cost-effective solutions.
Your choice of gate material matters, particularly when it comes to a project’s price tag.
For example, softwood timber gates are cheaper than hardwood ones.
However, the downside of using softwood is that it is less durable so requires more looking after.
The cost of metal gates can also vary significantly depending on your choice of construction material.
Wrought iron gates are heavy, so require stronger gate hardware, such as wheels or hinges.
More powerful motors are needed to automate them, while a regular maintenance schedule is the only way to keep rust at bay.
Steel is another popular material, but shares the same downsides as iron when it comes to its weight and maintenance.
Aluminium continues to grow in popularity because it is light and resistant to corrosion.
Aluminium gates require a less powerful motor to operate them as a result, and the moving parts will sustain less wear and tear on them over time.
Aluminium is the perfect long-lasting alternative to wooden or iron gates, but does that make it more expensive?
There may be a slight difference in the initial cost of new gates, but that is paid back over their lifetime.
There are several factors that determine the cost of aluminium gates.
The combination of design and finish impacts on the price.
Aluminium gates can be made to encompass a wide range of designs and finishes in a selection of wood-effect finishes or pretty much any colour.
As outlined above, the initial cost of aluminium gates can be slightly higher than for wooden gates.
However, wooden gates need frequent attention to maintain their natural good looks.
For example, old and flaky finishes will need to be removed and new varnishes, preservatives or paint applied.
With age, wood can also split, rot or warp which can make wooden gates more difficult to open or close.
In contrast, aluminium gates will last for years needing only a wipe down to remove dirt.
Linkcare’s aluminium gates are sold with a long-term guarantee because they are supplied with a surface coating that gives them a tough protective layer.
Considering that longevity, low maintenance and the initial price tag, aluminium is among the best value materials for gates.
The price of the gates themselves is, of course, not the only element that determines the cost of any electric gates system.
It is also important to factor in the following:
Gate automation is made up of a group of individual components that combine to make a new piece of machinery.
Typically, this includes motors to move the gates, safety devices to stop them causing damage (or injury) and a something to tell them to open and close.
As a rough guide, you should expect to pay a few hundred pounds for an articulated arm motor intended for low-intensity use, and up to £1,000 for a pair of domestic underground motors.
Unsurprisingly, commercial gate motors used frequently will cost considerably more.
A sliding gate is opened and closed by a single motor which pushes a single rolling gate along a track that spans the driveway entrance.
The size and type of the motor required will be determined by the weight of the gate, and how frequently it will be opened and closed.
For example, if your sliding gate is installed in a busy commercial setting with a high volume of traffic moving in and out of the property, the motor will need to be stronger.
The more powerful the gate motor, the more expensive it will be.
Swing gates have the largest range of automation systems, including electric motors and hydraulic systems.
Swing gate motors turn gates through at least 90 degrees inside the entrance to a home or business.
The motors themselves are fixed to the gate pillars or posts or installing into houses sunken into the ground.
As the gate motor operates, it moves an arm connected to the gate to push or pull it open or closed.
Unlike sliding gate motors, there are a few different types of swing gate motors.
The following lists the various swing gate motor styles, and how each of these impacts on the cost of your automated gate system:
Articulated arm motors used a jointed arm to connect it to the gate.
The motor housing is mounted to the gate post. When the motor turns, the articulated arm opens or closes the gate.
Because the gate mounting is further from the gate hinge, less force is required to open and close the gates.
Ram motors’ long, thin bodies and arms provide a relatively unobtrusive gate automation installation.
The end of the motor body is attached to the gate post, or pillar, and the end of the piston arm is attached to the gate.
Hydraulic ram motors are an efficient way to automate gates because the piston arm mounts to the gate a good distance from the hinges.
However, because the assembly is affected by indirect pressure on the piston, the installation must be aligned carefully.
Linear screw motors look like a long, slim motor housing with no arm.
However, the arm is in fact contained within the motor housing and is a threaded shaft.
The gate motor rotates the threaded shaft and, because the mounting point is fixed to the gate, it is screwed along the shaft and pushes the gate open or closed.
Like hydraulic rams, linear screw motors need careful alignment while being installed.
Underground motors are discrete, as they’re sunken into pits beneath the gate hinge. Arms connected to the hidden gate motors are then attached to the base of the gate.
The underground location makes them prone to water damage unless an appropriate drainage solution is provided.
This type of motor needs a lot of force to operate gates because the motor output shaft is in line with the gate hinges so the arm mounts close to the hinge point.
Aside from a careful and often labour-intensive installation, they require regular inspection to ensure that they are working optimally.
This can make underground gate automation one of the most expensive choices.
Another discreet option is in-post gate motors.
They are usually installed within specially-constructed gate posts, and arms connected to the hidden gate motors are then attached to the base of the gate.
This means in-post motors operate similarly to underground gate motors, but without the need for a drainage solution.
Gate automation systems range price from ones that use rams and are easier to install, through to hydraulic underground systems that require accurate and often lengthier installation.
As with many services, the costs of installation can also vary according to your location.
Because gates can be dangerous if designed, installed and used badly, it’s wise not to cut corners. A poor installation can also cost you more in maintenance and breakdowns, so it’s best to get it right first time around.
As a guide, for a domestic installation you can expect to pay between £1,000 and £3,000. Commercial installations can be considerably more.
Badly-installed automated gates can be dangerous, and end up costing a lot of money.
It is essential to find a professional installer who will not only ensure your gates meet your needs, but also be available to provide a proper maintenance service and call out for repairs.
Any good engineer hired to automate existing gates, or install and automate new gates, will carry out a site survey and safety audit before they do anything else.
This will cover how, and by whom, the gate will be used and how frequently.
It will also review the location of the gates as far as slopes, water table and exposure to wind are concerned.
All these factors affect what types of gate and gate automation can be installed.
Here at Linkcare, we can recommend trusted and professional gate installers around the UK. We’d be happy to find someone based near you if you need help.
Call us on 01895 232626 to find out more.
At Linkcare, we are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of aluminium gates for both domestic and commercial settings.
We have an extensive selection, from classic designs to more contemporary options, and a high number of different finishes.
Our gate automation equipment is among of the best and most reliable on the market, and we work with a wide range of leading manufacturers to give you the broadest possible choice.
If you’re a professional gate installer looking for a reliable and cost-effective supplier of gates, gate automation and access control for your customers, we can help find the right solution for you.
If you’re considering installing aluminium gates at your property, then contact us today.
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