Gates FAQ

Softwood Timber

Our softwood gates are manufactured using the highest-grade Scandinavian Redwood we can purchase.  If retreated every year with suitable wood preservative, they should last many years.


Softwood timber is cut from fast growing trees and so will have knots in it.  It is a different grade to fencing timber though and the knots will not fall out, although over several years they will become dry.  You can treat your gates with a Danish or linseed oil which will improve this.

Hardwood Timber

Our hardwood gates are manufactured from a high grade Sapele timber.  This timber is a type of mahogany and is particularly suitable for outdoor gates as it is very stable.

A hardwood gate is significantly more expensive than a softwood gate however it could last double the life of a softwood gate.

Hardwood is cut from a slower growing tree and there will be little or no knots in our hardwood gates. Hardwood has naturally occurring oils in it and so does not necessarily require treatment.  Although, we do always recommend treating our hardwood gates.

Treating your gates:

The treatment we use is a spirit-based treatment which is very thin, the consistency of white spirit and this will absorb very quickly into the gate.  It will run down the gate on application, but will not leave runs as such, so is a quick and easy job.  We would recommend 2-3 coats per year. We sell tins of this treatment Here.


The images immediately below show softwood gates treated with chestnut (dark) brown (left) and golden (light) brown (right). The images below that show hardwood gates treated in chestnut (dark) brown and golden (light) brown. The hardwood used does not show quick such a dramatic difference in colour after treatment as you can see. 

Bow Top Driveway Essex Gate Tarmec and Croft Fencing and Gates Ltd
Softwood Bow Top Driveway gates Tarmec and Croft Essex
Suffolk Gates Straight Top Hardwood Driveway Gates Tarmec and Croft fencing and Gates Ltd
Suffolk Straight Top driveway Gates Tarmec and Croft

Treatment & prolonging the life of your gate 

Any timber gate, whatever type of timber if it is left outside will eventually go a silvery grey colour, similar to the colour you see on many old fence panels.  Some people like this colour.  If you want to retain the colour in your gate however you will need to retreat it.  Retreating the gate will also make it last longer. 


It is impossible to say how long either gate would last as it is determined by the conditions it is in i.e. shaded/full sun and how well it is maintained and also the thickness of the timbers used in its construction and the actual construction techniques which can be completely different from gate to gate.  We have seen many of our softwood gates which have been well maintained last well over 10 years.

All of our 5 bar gates are made to order in our workshops using kiln dried Scandinavian redwood (softwood) or Sapele (hardwood) timber.  They can be manufactured to any width and height, with matching pedestrian gates if required.


Along side our regular 5-bar gates we also have standard hook 5-bar gates and picket 5-bar gates. 

They can be manufactured in the traditional style (left image) or with a Solid Bottom rail as well (right). This results in a more substantial gate.  We recommend this design if you are automating your 5 Bar Gates. We fit CAME automation a high quality reliable brand and this would be also be fitted by our qualified in house team. Please click here for more details of our gate automation services.

5 Bar gate Softwood Tarmec and Croft fencing and gates 01787 224848
Hardwood 5 Bar Gate solid bottom rail Tarmec and Croft 01787 224848


We can add engraving to the top rail of your 5-bar gates for an extra charge. Contact us for prices 01787 224848

tarmec and croft routered private
tarmec and croft routered private
Engraved Driveway Suffolk Gate

Pedestrian side gates 

Pedestrian gates can be combined with a throw over loop so that the whole gate width can be opened if required but most of the time the main gate is shut and the pedestrian gate used for regular access (left).


Or with a post separating to make a permanent separate pedestrian access (right).

5 Bar Gates Picketed Tarmec and Croft 01787 224848
Hardwood Driveway Gates BespokeTarmec and Croft Fencing and Gates Ltd




We can build wire into your 5 Bar gates to prevent small dogs or other animals getting out (see right).




We can also make much higher gates for equestrian uses (image right showing manufacture of bespoke equestrian 5-bar gates). 




Again, please contact us if you require any modifications or bespoke features to your gates 01787 224848 or

5 bar gate with wire insert tarmec and croft fencign and gates ltd 01787 224848
Equestrian 5 Bar Gate

Side gate fixings advice 


Side Gate Iron fixtures

For all side gates, any size pad bolts and cays locks are suitable fixtures to add to your gates to keep them secure.

Hinges for Gates Less than 4 ft wide (<4ft) 

For any of our side gates that are less than 4 foot wide a T-hinge would be recommended to secure your gate to its post or wall plate.

Hinges for Gates more than 4 ft wide (>4ft) 

For any of our side gates that are wider than 4 foot an adjustable hook and band would be necessary to secure your gate to its post or wall plate.

(PICTURES: left shows galvanized adjustable hook and bands. right shows black T-hinge (both available are available here in both black and galvanized. Below image shows our hardwood driveway gates hung on adjustable hook and bands along side a matching side gate hung on T-hinges – both black)

Galvanised hook and band fixtures tarmec and croft fencing and gates 01787 224848
Black T-hinge side gate fixtures tarmec and croft fencing and gates 01787 224848 (2)
Driveway gates set on adjustable hook and band and matching side gate hung on T-hinge - tarmec and croft fencing and gates ltd 01787 224848

Wall fixings? 

SIde-gate-with-posts Tarmec and croft fencing and gates

For gates attached to a wall (eg. Side of house)


Wall plates are required to secure your gates if they are to be attached to a wall. For example on the side of a house.

Gates that attached to a wall via a wall plate require a smaller 5 inch ring latch

For gates attached to a fence

side gates attached to a fence require a 8ft 4×4 post to secure them.

Gates attached to a post such as this would require a larger 6 inch ring latch

For a gate that is one side attached to a wall and one side a fence

These types of gates will require 1 X wall plate for the wall side of the gate and 1 X post (8ft 4 x 4) for the fence side of the gate.

A ring latch would need to be sized to fit either wall plate or post depending on side of the ring latch – both sizes are available in both black and galvanized.