I'm often asked why one gate design costs more than another. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a gate design is the intricacy. Remember, labor is what costs and in many cases the material cost is really secondary. If you choose a gate design that requires cutting and shaping of the pickets that will drive up the cost. If you have a design that requires arches, (and they are beautiful) that drives up the price. This is especially true if you want more than just the top of your gate arched. Any interior arches have to be calculated and bent accordingly, that takes time.
Once a gate design is chosen it has to be drawn so that the shop personnel can make it. If you choose a more intricate design, then it takes longer to draw, adding to the price of the gate. When you integrate components into a design that will add extra time to the fabrication process. If you choose a large component, over several small ones, that may help to reduce the labor time but it may increase your material cost. Some of the larger components are amazing but expensive.
Even the smallest detail can add extra work to the project. You might not realize, but by adding an extra picket collar here or there or an additional interior rail or two that increases the cost. Each time you add an extra item, that item has to be cut, laid out, welded and cleaned. If the project is extremely elaborate then it takes more time to apply the finish too. If you are opting for a powder coat finish, the powder coater will consider how long it will take to apply the powder to scrolls, picket collars or any other small or large component design.
My recommendation is to start with a design that you love, make it as intricate looking as you wish, and if the price is prohibitive then start removing some of the elements. It's better to start at the most expensive price and remove items rather than start at the least expensive price and be shocked when you get to the design you desire.