A number of reasons exist for installing a driveway gate for your home or business. Whether your reason has to do with improved security, more privacy, creating curb appeal, or simply for architectural design, a variety of options needs to be considered when choosing the best company to install your driveway gate.
Your choices in design elements, driveway gate types, materials, operation, and even the accessories you want can all influence the final design. At LA Gates & Doors we want to make the decision easier for you, so we have put together this list of your options that includes the right materials. Our goal is make sure your gate is safe, effective, and easy for you to maintain.
Types of Driveway Gates
One of the first decisions you need to make with a new driveway gate is what type of material do you want to use. The material used has a huge influence on the function, design, size, the maintenance needed to keep it functioning.
Common materials used in stock and custom driveway gates include:
Steel – Powder-coated steel is the most commonly used material for driveway gates. It is easy to manufacture and customize, and due to its strength and durability it is an excellent choice for long-term use in home security.
Iron – Iron driveway gates, like steel, are highly durable and have a certain feel to them that some people prefer for their home exteriors. Just like steel gates, iron requires some upkeep and maintenance to preserve the look of your gate.
Aluminum – Aluminum is often chosen for driveway gates because it is more affordable than steel or iron and it is rust resistant. While it isn’t as strong or sturdy as the other two, the lightweight of aluminum makes it excellent for large gates as it is less likely to sag or become misaligned over time.
Wood – When it comes to flexibility in design or customization, wood is an ideal material for a driveway gate. Wood is great for changing the design, just by choosing wood based on its color or texture you can create a variety of options. The biggest problem with a wood gate is that it is heavier, depending on the wood you choose it can be more expensive, and over time it can warp or crack, which means more repairs.
Glass – A new trend in driveway and pedestrian gates is the use of glass. The great thing about a glass gate is it looks elegant and can be customized easily. We can add gold or silver to the glass for a classy, modern look, or we can finish the back side of the glass with almost any color you choose to create a unique look for your home. When installing the gate on your property, the steel frame is added first, then the glass goes on last.
Design Elements to Incorporate
The design of your driveway gate is about creativity more than functionality. While you may not be concerned with the look and curb-appeal of your gate design at first, there is one thing you should consider. A driveway gate that matches the architecture and ambiance of your home, along with the features of the property and landscaping will increase the value of your property.
Driveway gate design includes:
Custom designs around themes – Choosing a theme is a popular design when it comes to driveway gates. Choose one that matches the architectural style of your home, like gothic, European, modern, or a traditional western design. Or take a different route and go with something cultural or family oriented like a family crest, business logo, or other feature.
Color – Your choices for color customization are almost endless. For wooden driveway gates you’ll find color variations in the type of wood used, or you may want to paint or stain the wood to match your home. With metal driveway gates, such as those made from steel, you can easily get them powder coated in the color of your choice.
Shape – Driveway gates can be customized to just about any shape or design. In most cases, residential gates are designed with vertical pickets within a frame. Other than that, you will see some common themes in the shape such as the flat top (a simple rectangular gate), arch-top gates (with a gradual but smooth arch) and arch-top gates with finals (pickets that extend beyond the top like points)
How Secure are Driveway Gates?
The security of your driveway gate has everything to do with the type of gate you install, along with the materials and accessories you choose.
For example, a short and simple manually operated metal driveway gate offers only the most basic security when it’s closed and locked.
If maximizing security, along with safe operations and easy entrance and exit is what you are looking for, then you may want to consider an automatic metal driveway gate that uses accessories such as coded entry, magnetic locks, sensors for vehicles, and cameras and intercoms to effectively control inbound and outbound traffic.
Common Accessories for Driveway Gates
While an eye-catching driveway gate can go a long way towards complimenting your home or business, design is not the only thing to consider. Your choice of gate accessories will also customize the safety, security, ease of access to your property and the functionality of the gate itself.
Some of the most common gate accessories include:
Wireless intercoms – Adding an intercom system on your driveway gate allows you talk to visitors without leaving your home. And since it is wireless very little installation is required.
Card readers – Proxy card readers let you grant access to anyone holding the card and are great for tracking who is coming and going. These can be ideal for quick entrance access, especially where you can also program proxy card readers for the doors of your home and business.
Pin pads – Pin pads are some of the most basic security options. These include a mounted box that require a passcode to be entered before the gate can be opened.
Sensors – A variety of sensors can be installed, each with different functionality, like motion detection (for light and video activation), photo beams (for safety and to eliminate entrapment), and vehicle sensors (for entrance and exit without getting out of the vehicle).
Programmable timers – Timers can be added to automatically close and lock the gate, or open it, during specific windows of time.
Maglocks – Magnetic locks, or solenoid locks, can hold a tremendous amount of force, upwards of 1200 pounds, when electronically engaged. They are far more secure than generic locking mechanisms.
Remote entry – Set your driveway gate up with remote access so it can be opened or closed/locked using your phone.
Solar panels – Install a driveway gate that runs on clean energy to power your accessories