Driveway Gates – What are my Options?

Although there are many reason to install driveway gates to the entrance of your property the main benefits are generally seen as improved security, additional user convenience (if selecting electric gates) and aesthetic appeal.

However when it comes to making the right investment (in terms of design, size and material) the process of purchasing and installing them can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated buyer. As such here we will make a clear and concise comparison of the main difference between metal and wooden gates and will go on to highlight the main pros and cons of each material.

Metal Driveway Gates

Constructed using a variety of steel specifications depending upon the design chosen and span of the opening a pair of metal gates will provide a strong and imposing appearance to the main entrance of any residential property.

Benefits

  1. Metal is a strong and rigid material therefore it is possible to span large openings with ease. Each gate leaf fixes to a masonry pillar or metal post and simply hinges open and closed allowing for easy access or larger vehicles onto your property.
  2. Easy to work into a variety of designs (using bending equipment) a set of well made metal gates will last for years as they will not rot, split or crack (a problem associated with timber).
  3. Decorative scrollwork can provide an enhanced appearance or even help them to tie in with the existing appearance of the property. With hundreds of possible options to choose from the choice is pretty endless (in terms of aesthetics).
  4. Metal gates for the driveway can be easily automated to allow for remote control operation

Drawbacks

  1. Gates constructed from solid steel will weigh a significant amount and as a result it is not always possible to attach the hinges directly to masonry or brickwork. In these instances the addition of metal posts will be required. Whilst the cost of such posts is pretty reasonable the additional work required to install them will add to the costs (if employing a fitter)
  2. Gates that are similar in appearance to traditional wrought iron designs can be very expensive placing them out of the reach of many homeowners.
  3. Due to the open nature of the design the level of privacy that can be gained is minimal.
  4. Metal gates may not be suitable for all styles or residential architecture.

To find out more about metal gates for the driveway take a look online or visit your local showroom to see what options may fit your requirements

Wooden Gates

Extremely popular in the countryside, a set of high quality, handmade wooden gates will provide a beautiful statement to the main entrance of any home. Depending on individual homeowners tastes, budget and requirements they are available to buy both online or at a local level (from small independent joinery workshops) in lots of timber species such as pine, oak, mahogany and sapelle.

Benefits

  1. Timber gates will provide a rustic charm to the entrance of your property making them better suited to country properties or where a softer design statement is required.
  2. Once stained the natural characteristic of the woodgrain will become enhance resulting in a visually appealing appearance.
  3. Timber will blend with soft landscaping and the surrounding space far better than any metal gates could ever do.
  4. Thanks to the solid boarded design a set of wooden gates will provide excellent levels of privacy and security.

Drawbacks

  1. Due to the traditional construction of wooden gates they are not really suitable for spanning large openings as the joints will want to split under their own weight (once hung). To overcome this steel bracing can be added however this significantly increases the costs.
  2. As a natural material timber will be susceptible to rotting, splitting warping and cracking. Even if well protected from the elements (using a high quality stain) the wood will still shrink and expand as humidity and moisture levels change in the surrounding environment. In some instances the gates may swell to such an extent that they start to bind on the posts resulting in access issues as they will hinder operation.
  3. Unlike metal which can be worked into hundreds of ornate patterns, timber gates will be more limited in design therefore may not be suitable for every homeowners tastes.
  4. Require a high level of maintenance to ensure they do not start to rot once exposed to the elements.

To conclude, regardless of whether you select metal or timber, with so many options being available on the market in a standard or bespoke design there is no longer an excuse to neglect your driveway or leave your property at risk of becoming a target for criminals and trespassers.