In this article we aim to discuss types of driveway gates that are available and that you may want to consider for your home.
We want to help you be fully informed before you make any type of purchase. So, let us take a look and see what we can find in the way of driveway gates, shall we?
There are many different types of driveway gates, mainly because there are several materials that they can be formed from. Below we will mention the most popular types of gate materials and describe each in detail. We will try to give you the whole picture with advantages and disadvantages of each.
Steel Driveway Gates
Steel is the first one we will mention although it is not the most popular of choices by far. Steel gates can cost from $1000 to $1500 on average. One thing to bear in mind when installing steel gates is that they are heavy. Steel is a strong and heavy material, there is no getting around that.
Steel driveway gates will normally weigh from 200 to 400 pounds each. Sometimes they require you to install a wheel on the end of the gate so that it doesn’t eventually sag and drag on the ground from the weight of the steel.
Wrought Iron Driveway Gates
Wrought iron gates or faux wrought iron gates offer that classic American or European look that was around centuries ago. So, if you want an antique look to your driveway gates, then wrought iron may be the choice for you. We found faux wrought iron gates that were actually made from 16 gage steel that was galvanized and then made to look like wrought iron
These gates can be plain or very intricate depending on your tastes and budget. The faux wrought iron gates range in price from about $1500 to upwards of $3000 for the fancy ones. Of course these faux wrought iron gates have the same weight problem as the steel gates above and also can weigh from 200 to 400 pounds or even more depending on the amount of detail.
Aluminum Driveway Gates
You won’t have much of a problem with weight if you decide to use aluminum driveway gates like you have with the steel gates. These gates range in price mostly between $1200 and $2200, but there are many exceptions to this if you want customizing done or automatic openers and other accessories for your aluminum gates.
Wood Driveway Gates
Ranch type driveway gates are typically made of wood. If you have wood fences surrounding your property, wood driveway gates may be an option for you simply because they will match the rest of your fence. Weight again is somewhat of an issue, but they are not quite as heavy as steel gates. They can weight from about 90 to 190 pounds each.
Wood gates give you an opportunity to save money as well. That is if you want to give building them yourself a try. Well it isn’t one of the hardest do it yourself ideas we have seen, but it isn’t exactly easy either. We suggest that you get your pattern ideas from looking at other existing gates that seem sturdy to you and mimic how they were constructed.
Vinyl Driveway Gates
We need to mention one final competitor as a possible material for driveway gates. It is vinyl, you know, just like vinyl siding and fences. They have vinyl gates now too. They are light weight and can be very cost effective too. They are resistant to many weather conditions that deteriorate metal and wood gates, making them last longer if they hold up through the stress.
Vinyl may last longer naturally, but if it is subjected to a good deal of unintentional stress, it can snap and break before some other materials such as steel or aluminum would. However, if you want to save some money and just need a lightweight gate solution, you can get some vinyl gates for your driveway for as low as around $650!
Then again, some very elaborate and sturdy models of driveway gates made from vinyl can go up into the thousands of dollars range as well. Vinyl offers many possibilities and definitely deserves your consideration as a material for your driveway’s gates.
Despite the material and type of gate from the several mentioned above, there are some basic styles or shapes of the gates that you need to consider as well. Three of the basic styles are straight top, arch top and bell curve top which all describe the tops of the gates as the mid sections and bottoms are all the same basically(at least on these basic styles). While these are some of the more common styles, if you search around, you will find that there are a lot more to choose from.
Many styles are only available from a single supplier or manufacturer. That is why you sort of have to go out and have a look or do some research online if you want something other than one of the basic styles. Almost all of the stores are likely to have something very similar to the three basic styles mentioned above.
Options for Driveway Gates
Besides the building material and style of the gates you choose, there are other options you should consider as well. One important option we definitely want to mention here is the electric sliding gates.
We think they are very important if you want an added layer of security to your home. The driveway is the first access portal to your home, so if your driveway isn’t secure, technically neither is your home.
Think about it, if a thief cannot pull into your driveway to load up a truck with your belongings, they are going to pass up your home for an easier one without security gates. What makes the automatic gates so much more secure is the fact that you can control them from the house or with a remote from your vehicle, so that only people you want to let in can get in.
Another option for security you may want to consider is a speaker system at your front driveway gate. That way, if a car comes up that you do not recognize, they would have to press the button and talk to you before gaining access to your driveway. So, there is no way a criminal will get in unless you let him in!
Other options for gates include, swinging gates, locks, guides, wheels to stop from sagging and a bunch of purely aesthetic options as well. Check with your local supplier to find out what types of accessory options you have for your particular gate.
We have supplied a lot of information in a short amount of space here, but we hope this article will help you decide what type of driveway gate may be best for your unique situation. We discussed the materials such as steel, wrought iron, wood, aluminum and even vinyl. Then we let you know about three of the basic styles, but it is important to know that you are not limited by the three styles we mentioned here. In fact, there are many different ones, too many to mention in this article.
So, if you have the budget for something fancy, then by all means, look into an original style for your driveway. On the other hand, if you are on a tight budget, then you are best off going with one of the mass-produced common styles like the ones we mentioned. They are cheaper that way because of the fact that they are made in quantity and are not custom made for each buyer.
Photo by ell brown, Creative Commons Attribution License