Your home is your castle, which is why it’s so important to feel safe and in control in your space. Driveway gates will give you the privacy and security you need by deterring intruders and nosy neighbours, whilst also adding charm, beauty and character to the exterior of your home.
There are so many different factors to consider when choosing new driveway gates, including the design, the material, the installation and the operating mechanism. Traditionally, most driveway gates that don’t have a sliding mechanism will open inwards, as this is seen as more welcoming to your guests and less obstructive to passers-by.
But is it possible to install driveway gates that open outwards? Read on to learn more about the laws on driveway gate installation in the UK and how to ensure that your gates are well-maintained, properly positioned and visually appealing.
Can my gate open outwards in the UK?
In most cases, the answer is no. According to the Highways Act 1980, a gate cannot open outwards onto a public pavement or road. At best, pedestrians, motorists and cyclists could all be inconvenienced by a gate obstructing the street, and at worst, this could cause accidents and injuries.
Therefore, for most houses and driveways, having gates that open outwards is impossible because the street would be obstructed. If you have a longer driveway and still want gates that open outwards, you could solve this issue by installing your gate further up the drive. Otherwise, you may have to opt for sliding driveway gates or ones that open inwards if space is a problem.
Another issue to consider is the appearance of your driveway gate if it opens outwards. The hinges would have to be positioned on the outside of the gate, facing guests and passers-by.
Although this isn’t the end of the world, it could spoil the overall appearance of your gate and interrupt your carefully selected gate design. It’s always important to consider kerb appeal when making changes to the exterior of your property, so don’t forget to look at these smaller details too. Ultimately, the right driveway gates will add value to your home and enhance its aesthetic.
What if I have a sloping driveway?
One situation where an outward-opening gate might be preferable is if you have a long driveway that slopes upwards. In this case, your driveway gates would hit the ground or fail to open if they were trying to open inwards on rising terrain.
As long as your driveway is long enough to be at a safe distance from the street, you could install driveway gates that open outwards to solve this issue. Alternatively, you could find a better location along your driveway for an inward-opening gate, look for hinges that open at an angle, or consider sliding driveway gates instead.
Sliding driveway gates
If you’re struggling for space, the best solution is to install sliding driveway gates. These gates won’t take up any space in the area directly in front of or behind them, although they will require some clear space at the sides for the doors to slide into.
Overall, sliding driveway gates are excellent for people with short driveways who are worried about obstructing the street or running out of space to park their cars. Similarly, a bi-folding gate can help you save space if you’re worried about installing a swinging gate.
Metal driveway gates
In addition to causing an obstruction, another issue you could run into with swinging driveway gates is being unable to swing the gate open due to strong winds. No matter which way your driveway gate opens, it could become impossible to move if the wind forces it in the opposite direction.
If you live in an area with strong winds, the best solution is to opt for metal driveway gates. The wind will be able to easily pass through the metal bars, preventing the gate from being forced shut. This will allow you to use both inward-opening gates and outward-opening gates.
Making space for your driveway gates
No matter which type of driveway gate you choose to get, it’s essential that you clear away any obstructions in the area to ensure that your gate can open easily and remain damage-free. This will involve removing any obstacles and maintaining your driveway to keep it clean and tidy, such as by sweeping it regularly and removing weeds.
In addition to removing obstacles, you need to ensure that your driveway gates don’t become an obstacle for others. If you’re considering having a gate that opens outwards, check that your driveway is long enough to accommodate the gates without causing an obstruction on the street when they open.
Do you need a new driveway gate to keep your home safe and secure? At The Expert Gate Company, we supply a wide range of high-quality, made-to-measure driveway gates, including aluminium driveway gates, wooden driveway gates and more. Contact us today to find the perfect gate and arrange an installation.