Everything you need to know about Automatic Gates – before you buy!

This article is intended to start off a series which will give you everything you need to know about automatic gates before you buy. Automated gates can be made in any form and many materials.

In this series, we'll look at the most popular types of gate for home and commercial installations, and some that are more unusual but may help give you ideas.

Teak hardwood sliding electric gate Mount Merrion

This is an Iroko teak automated sliding gate that we installed in Mount Merrion, Dublin in July 2015.

It's probably best to start by telling you that any existing gate can be automated - sometimes with a minor modification to the gate - but more often it's pretty straightforward. so if you have an existing gate, its in good condition, and you're happy to retain it, then don't let anyone talk you into replacing it, or tell you that it can't be automated. As long as it can be opened and closed, easily, by hand (i.e. you don't need the assistance of a pet elephant to move it) - it can be automated.

Okay, lets take a brief look at the most popular types of automatic gates - just to give you an initial overview.

The two most popular are automated swing gates, and automatic sliding gates. Swing gates are those which are hinged on pillars and open (most often) in two halves. they also, almost always, open inward - towards the drive. A sliding gate, does just that. It slides to one side to open. A sliding gate very often, runs on a steel guide track, that's concreted into the ground. It may also run on what's called a cantilever sliding system - which is a little more complex - but I will elaborate on fully in a later post.

Other gate types that we manufacture and install are bi-folding automatic gates, rising barrier automated gates and telescopic automatic sliding gates. These are less common types of gate - used where the installation of traditional sliding or swing gate is not possible, or would require extensive site works to enable. A bi-folding gate folds up on itself as it opens to reduce the length of the leaf of the gate (opening in an arc which is half the length than otherwise is required). A rising barrier gate swings the entire gate up into the air on one side of the opening (either because of the necessity for speed of operation, or because there just isn't room to move it elsewhere to open. A telescopic sliding gate - telescopes down in half or one third (in length) to open. This is used again because of it's speed of operation, or because there isn't room to slide the full width back to one side, to open.

Each gate type will be described more comprehensively in a separate section over the coming days.

The other questions that you may have at the outset, may be on the style or design of your gates, and the materials used to make the gate. We're often asked about our "standard gate" - and we have a 'standard' answer on that.... "We don't have standard customers, so we don't have standard gates!". Everything we do is bespoke - right from the start. We can design your gate to look exactly as you'd like it. We do the manufacture ourselves, so it will look exactly the same as the design that we agree with you - be that as plain or as ornate as you wish.

The actual gates can be curved at the top or bottom (or both), flat topped, or cut to any desired profile.

In terms of materials - the most popular with our customers would be a hardwood finish, and in second place comes wrought iron. We make a combination of both - sometimes referred to as a composite gate (maybe with a steel frame and hardwood panelling). We have also made aluminium gates and steel frames, clad with uPVC. whatever you want, we can build.

Until next time... thank you.