So, you're at the point where you want a driveway gate. You've scoured the Internet for gate designs, you've painstakingly sketched out what you envision your driveway gate to look like and you believe that you've done the homework required to collect estimates. Then, you contact the first iron fabricator and that's when the questions begin. The following is a list of what the iron fabricator may ask:
Do you want a manual or automated driveway gate?
Do you want a single or double swing gate? Do you have the room for a single swing gate to open completely?
If you want your gate automated, ask about the operators available, the choices are many. Keep in mind, that you don't want the cheapest operator out there. There are many good medium priced operators and that will be your best bet. A medium price for a single swing gate operator is about $2,400.00 including tax and freight. This does not include the price to install the operator.
If you want automation, do you have electricity available at the point where the gate operator will be installed?
How will you exit and enter your driveway gate if you're on foot? The best option is to have a walk gate installed adjacent to your driveway gate (if you have the space). If not, a keypad can be installed.
If you're interested in a double swing gate, are you okay with having your driveway's concrete cut in order to bring electricity from one gate operator to the other? There are always new operators coming on the market. There's currently a system available that works like a blue tooth eliminating the need for wiring to stretch across your driveway. This might be a good alternative for some applications.
What type of safety devices do you want installed? If you want your gate to open automatically when you leave your home and close automatically when you enter or exit then you will need safety and exit loop detectors installed.
If I install a single swing gate what are my design alternatives? Most driveways measure at least 11' - 0" and that is a very wide expanse. When you have one wide panel it can be very heavy and can cause the gate to sag. One good way to help with the sagging is to install heavy duty adjustable gate hinges. This won't eliminate the sagging problem altogether so you may wish to implement a solid kick-plate at the bottom, or a diagonal bar that extends from one top corner to the opposite bottom corner. This helps with rigidity. Most people think a kick-plate is for beauty but as you can see it also serves a purpose.
How will my guests and maintenance people enter through the gate? There are several options. You can install a keypad and distribute codes or you can have an entry system installed. If you choose this option then the guest will press the keypad and that places a call to your phone (both home and cell). Once you determine whether or not you want the visitor to enter then you can press a button on your phone to activate the gate.
Another issue that you may run into with an automated single swing driveway gate is it's lenght. A long expanse will gain momentum as it opens and closes. It's not the best idea to have a gate that opens and shuts in a speedy manner to avoid injury or damage to the gate. That's definitely something to consider.
Educate yourself on the best options for a driveway gate. You'll be ahead of the game if you find out what is available, what designs are best and whether you want a manual or automated gate, not to mention what fits your budget. Don't scrimp when it comes to automation and remember that you’ll have this gate for many; many years to come so why not make it the best design possible, one you’ll love and be proud to have as the entrance to your home.