If you’re looking to update or upgrade your property and driveway, then installing a driveway gate is the perfect way to do it. With just a simple addition to your exterior, you can add a touch of elegance to your property easily, all whilst upping your security. It all comes down to choosing the right driveway gate for your property. But what do you need to think about?
Read on to find out how to choose the right driveway gate for your home, plus tips on the types of driveway gate materials, gate automation, planning permission considerations and more.
Before looking at driveway gate styles and designs, you need to know about planning permission for gates. You don’t need any planning permission if you want to install a new gate or alter an existing one, as long as you meet the following conditions:
- Height: If the gate will be next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway), it can’t exceed one metre in height (from ground level). Anywhere else, the height can’t exceed two metres in height (from ground level). If an existing gate already exceeds these limits, as long as you don’t increase the height of it, you also don’t need planning permission
- Listed buildings: As long as no part of the site is a listed building or within the curtilage of a listed building
- Boundary: As long as the gate doesn’t form a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage
- Article four direction: As long as the right to put up or alter the gates has not been removed by an article four direction or a planning condition
If your driveway gate meets these conditions, then you won’t need to apply for planning permission. You’re also free to install as long as it doesn’t interfere with or obstruct a neighbour’s property.
Worried if your driveway gate plans aren’t permitted? Speak to The Expert Gate Company who can help guide you through driveway gate requirements.
When picking the right driveway gate for your property, you need to work out the exact space you have – especially if you have a driveway gate that opens outwards. If you don’t have a lot of space on your driveway, a sliding gate will work better. Or, if you do have a more spacious driveway, a swing gate can work brilliantly. Whatever the space of your driveway, you just need to make sure the gate is measured slightly wider than the driveway entrance for fitting and installation.
Which driveway gates do I need for curved, sloped or straight driveways?
Different driveway gates will work for different driveway set-ups. For instance, flat and straight driveways will, of course, be suitable for any kind of driveway gate, putting aside the factor of space. But, for curved and sloped driveways, double gates work better that are constructed with accommodating angles.
If your driveway is curved, swing gates may be the right choice for you. Just keep in mind you’ll need a decent amount of space on either side of the driveway to accommodate the gate’s full swing arc. That’s why we believe in custom-made gates for every property so that they can be crafted to precisely match the curvature of a driveway.
Does your driveway have quite the slope? You’ll need a driveway gate that can accommodate the incline. Sliding gates are particularly useful in this case, as they move horizontally along a track, making them adept at accommodating changes in elevation.
Straight driveways are a lot more versatile for a range of different driveway gates. However, we like to opt for classic swing gates. Whether single or double, they’re suitable for straight driveways as they’re functional and don’t require that much room.
What styles and colours can driveway gates come in?
A driveway gate doesn’t have to be just iron bars, you can pick from an eclectic range of styles to suit your artistic preferences. Whatever the style or aesthetic, there’s a driveway gate out there somewhere that complements your property.
From traditional and classic designs to patterned, modern ones, driveway gates can be completely bespoke. Whatever era your home belongs to, a gate can be designed and fitted to match elegantly.
For instance, if you live in a country cottage, on a farm or in a more rural area, there are beautifully designed wooden driveway gates that can decorate a range of properties – with curved, opaque and double-swing designs – whilst providing better security.
Timber gates don’t have to look wooden either, as you can have wooden driveway gates come in a range of colours to give a shinier effect with unique designs, like curved tops.
Like the look of these driveway gate styles? There’s plenty more to see, just check out our wide and stunning collection of driveway gates. Call our gate experts on 0161 797 7370 or contact us here to discuss our designs and customisation.
Single or double driveway gates?
Should you pick single or double driveway gates? The answer really depends on your preference. Single and double driveway gates have pros and cons, such as swing radius, parts needed (less for a single gate), ease of installation, design options and aesthetics.
What materials can driveway gates be made from?
When looking for inspiration for driveway gates, you’ll need to keep the following driveway gate materials in mind:
Steel driveway gates are made from robust steel with complete flexibility in design. Driveway gates can be crafted intricately from bespoke requirements.
With iroko, sepele, idigbo, European Oak and cedar wood finishes, a wooden driveway gate can be constructed from a range of hardwoods, with options to be installed unfinished (where you can paint or varnish them with any colour yourself) or you can have them stained already from a range of high-quality paints and colours.
Made from one of the toughest yet lightweight materials, aluminium driveway gates offer robust and stylish driveway security that is so versatile and customisable. With textured, smooth, matte or gloss finishes, aluminium gates can also be made with a wooden effect and can come in a range of colours to suit your property.
Combining materials together to create a unique and robust one, a composite driveway gate is not only a secure and stable one, but one that is eco-friendly. With a versatile material like this, gates can also look wooden to give a more rustic and natural aesthetic. Plus, some of the many benefits of composite driveway gates include durability and low maintenance to name a few!
Gate opening styles
There are two main types of opening styles for driveway gates, and it all depends on how much space you have.
For driveways where space is a bit tighter, a sliding gate works perfectly; just make sure there is enough room on the sides for the gate to open. If you have a lot of parked cars that need to use the driveway, a sliding gate is also ideal here, as you can optimise parking space more efficiently.
If space is no problem and you have a larger driveway, then a swing gate is no problem. With double and single designs, you can have them fitted in intricate custom designs. If you have curved or sloped driveways, double-swing gates can also work well because of the balances and angles they can be constructed and installed in.
Privacy and security
Another question to consider when choosing the right driveway gate for your property is how private would you like your driveway to be?
Driveway gates can come completely opaque or with steel designs, which can allow passersby to see your property. It all depends on how important privacy is to you or whether you’re more house-proud than others. If you don’t want to compromise on showing off your beautiful gardens, cars or home, driveway gates can be designed with just this in mind.
Alternatively, if you value privacy and wish to create a visual barrier as well as a security barrier, driveway gates can also be opaque yet stylish.
What’s more, if you have animals or pets, particularly dogs, dog bars can also be constructed at the bottom of the more transparent steel gates to prevent them from running off.
Maintenance of driveway gates
For steel or iron gates, maintenance is incredibly low; a clean down with warm, soapy water will keep them looking good as new. However with wooden gates, some maintenance is required, typically annually. Hardwood gates can be treated with UV protective varnish to help keep the wood safe from the elements. You just need to clean them each year and lightly sand then down, followed by another coat to keep them refreshed and to increase longevity.
If you’d like the wooden effect with as little maintenance as possible, aluminium gates are a good choice. They can look just as identical as wood, but you don’t need to treat them.
Frequently asked questions about choosing the right driveway gate
Do I need automation for my driveway gates?
Deciding between manual vs automatic driveway gates? If you want a driveway gate with minimal human interference, an automated driveway gate is your best option. Smart, safe and time-saving, driving in and out of your property is smooth and efficient, thanks to easy-to-use keys and fobs.
Automatic driveway gates are particularly suited for properties with a larger household or a large range of vehicles in use. Even if you already have driveway gates installed, you can help make your life so much easier by updating them with automation. A range of motors can be designed to suit any type of gate, so you don’t always have to get a whole new one installed.
If you live on or near a busy road, gate automation is also suitable, so you don’t have to wait longer than you need to before getting onto your driveway or risk your safety by stepping out to open your gates.
All that’s needed is an initial assessment of your current gate by an expert and professional team of driveway gate specialists to analyse weight, size and hinge position. From there, they can make sure the right automation is fitted to your gate safely, with all the necessary safety checks in place.
Should I get driveway gates with access control?
Complementing automation for driveway gates perfectly is gate access control. Not only can you speed up times getting in and out of your driveway on a daily basis, you can also improve your overall security tenfold with intelligent access control technology.
If you value your privacy and have qualms about who can access your land, access control can allow you to view and communicate with whoever wants to enter, before they ever get to your door. With keypads, GSM and video intercoms, you have total control over who can access your property.
You can give a passcode to friends and family, as well as gardeners, cleaners and delivery drivers, making sure only trusted people can gain access. It’s also good for allowing your deliveries to be stored in a safer place, on the other side of opaque driveway gates, without having a delivery driver take it back if you’re not in.
Gate access control is also great for helping you to spot a door-to-door scammer or conman. Before they even get a chance to knock on your door or see that you’re in, you can take a good look to find out who is approaching, to see if they look official or suspicious. Then, it’s up to you to communicate with them by asking all the relevant questions. Scammers are also easily deterred by properties with good surveillance and access control.
Whatever your style, decor or needs, there’s a driveway gate that can accommodate. Just contact The Expert Gate Company to discuss which kind of gate could work for you and your household.