There are many different types of driveway gates from fairly traditional open 5 Bar Gate designs to a more private entrance design with a more solid style of driveway gate.
Gates can be manufactured from metal or timber or a mixture of both. Composite (plastic) gates are also now available which mimic timber. Driveway gates are a long term purchase and the UV resistance qualities of composite gates need to be carefully checked to ensure they do not fade over time. All of our gates at Tarmec and Croft are manufactured by us in our workshops in Essex using various types of timber with some metalwork for decoration and additional gate security if desired. We also fit and automate our entrance gates within 1 hours drive from our bespoke gate workshop – CO62ER
Many people think softwood is not a suitable material for outdoor gates but they are incorrect. If a suitable grade and species of softwood is used and the gate is well constructed, using thick timbers and mortice, tenoned and dowelled joints and then a high quality timber treatment is applied, softwood gates can last many years. Ideally the gates should be retreated annually, but if using a good quality spirit or oil based product this is a quick and easy job to do. Unlike paint (which often cracks on timber gates) a high quality gate stain will not need sanding or much preparation prior to application at all.
If the sustainability of your gates is something you would like to consider, timber is one of the most sustainable building materials around. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their growth, storing carbon in their wood. When timber is used in construction, it continues to store carbon, helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of a project. This carbon storage can contribute to mitigating climate change. All of our timber is sourced from FSC certified supplers who follow practices that ensure the long-term health and viability of forests.
Gates can also be manufactured from hardwoods. We use Sapele hardwood which is an excellent stable timber with a beautiful reliable finish offering great continuity of colour across the gates. Hardwood does not necessarily need to be retreated, but a good qulaity treatment will obviously extend the life of the timber further. Any timber whatever type, if left outside untreated will eventually fade to the silvery grey colour which you often see on old fences. Many people like the timeless elegance of this, whilst some would prefer to maintin the original timber colour which can achieved by using a suitable stain as detailed above.
Driveway gates can be manually operated or automated so that they open electronically. There are many varying qualities and prices of gate automation products on the market, selecting a good quality brand with strong internal parts will ensure your gates run smoothly with few call outs over their lifetime. Carefully choose your installer – Are they nearby if you need them to come out and deal with an issue? How much do they charge for this? How long have they been trading, and do they have good reviews? It can be difficult to find someone to service your gates if they have not been fitted correctly and inline with current safety guidelines. Ideally choose an installer who can fit and adjust your gates over time as well as fit and service your automation as the two run hand in hand for a smooth long term automated gate operation.