Adding driveway gates to your property is a fantastic way to boost its value, privacy, security and overall appearance. But with so many different types of driveway gates to choose from, it can be hard to find the perfect driveway gate for your home.
One of the main choices you’ll need to make is deciding between single driveways gates and double driveway gates. Both options have a lot to offer, so your final decision should mostly just come down to preference. To help you start thinking about what to choose, here are the main pros and cons for single and double driveway gates.
Differences between single & double driveway gates?
Double driveway gates are made up of two gate halves that meet in the middle. Both sides are secured by posts or walls, with each half of the gate being attached to its pillar using a number of hinges. The gate is then secured in the middle with a bolt or latch.
Single driveway gates consist of one single gate that’s attached to a pillar at one end and swings open at the other end. This means that there are only hinges on one side, and there’s no opening in the middle.
Double driveway gates: pros and cons
In general, double driveway gates tend to be more popular than single ones. This is because they’re seen as more sophisticated and elegant, making them more desired among homeowners trying to boost the value of their properties.
But what other benefits are there to installing these gates? Let’s find out!
1. Smaller swinging radius
One of the main benefits of double driveway gates is that they have half the swinging radius of an equivalent single driveway gate. For example, if you had a 12 ft gap where you wanted to install a gate, a single driveway gate would have to be 12 ft long and would therefore need a 12 ft radius of clear space to operate. But with double driveway gates, each driveway gate would only need to be 6 ft long, which means you would only need half the swing distance.
As a result, double driveway gates are a great solution for those with shorter driveways or a lack of clear space. Plus, if you want to install driveway gates that open outwards, this would be more possible with double gates because they wouldn’t limit access as much due to the smaller swing radius. However, you’d still need to double check you wouldn’t be obstructing any public paths with outward-opening gates.
2. Easier to operate
Having two halves to the gate means that the weight is spread across both sides, making double driveway gates much lighter and easier to operate. Plus, since you can open either both or just one of the gates, you can make things even easier for yourself and only open one half of the gate if only pedestrians need access.
3. Less stress on the pillars
Another benefit of the lighter weight of these gates is that they won’t put as much stress on the posts or walls on either side. With single driveway gates, the weight of the entire gate rests on one pillar at the side, whereas with double gates, the weight is spread equally on the pillars on both sides. This can reduce the risk of damage to the posts or walls and make your driveway gate maintenance easier.
4. More design options
Since double driveway gates tend to be more popular, it’s easier to find a wide variety of double gate design options, including wooden driveway gates, aluminium driveway gates and composite driveway gates. There are also a lot more size options, which can sometimes make these gates cheaper as you won’t have to opt for a bespoke design if you have an average driveway.
5. More aesthetically pleasing
Although it’s all down to personal taste, a lot of people prefer the appearance of double driveway gates. These gates can lend an air of elegance and sophistication to the exterior of your home, and they could even add value to your property if you’re hoping to sell it.
Of course, double driveway gates aren’t the right choice for absolutely everyone. Here are some reasons why you might not want to go for double gates:
1. More parts needed
Since double driveway gates are secured to pillars on both sides, this means you’ll need more hinges to complete the installation. Plus, if you opt for automatic driveway gates, you’ll need to buy and install two separate motors. The cost of these parts can add up and make double driveway gates more expensive.
2. Longer installation time
Due to the larger number of parts needed, installing double driveway gates can take longer than installing single ones. Not only is this inconvenient, but it could also increase the cost of professional installation due to the greater amount of time and effort required.
Single driveway gates: pros and cons
Even though double driveway gates are more popular, single driveway gates can be a great solution for some customers. Not sure if this applies to you? Have a look at some of the main advantages of installing single driveway gates.
1. Fewer parts needed
As single driveway gates are only attached to a pillar on one side, fewer hinges are needed to install them. This may reduce the cost of installation.
2. Easier to install
In addition to reducing the cost of installation, having fewer parts will also make the installation process quicker and easier. This is especially true for automatic single driveway gates, as only one motor will need to be installed.
3. Easier to lock
If security is extremely important to you, the easier locking mechanism of single driveway gates could give you peace of mind. With these gates, there’s no need for a drop bolt in the middle of the gate. Instead, you can rely on a more discreet lock at the side.
Like with double driveway gates, there are a few downsides you need to consider too with single gates. Here are the main ones:
1. Larger swinging radius
As explained earlier, single driveway gates need double the swinging space of double gates. This can be a problem if you have a shorter driveway or multiple cars. If there isn’t enough space after you’ve parked your cars, you may not be able to swing your gate closed again, which can compromise your garden security.
2. More stress on the supports
Since single driveway gates are only secured at one side, this will put a lot of stress on this post or wall. If you decide to get single gates, you need to make sure you have a robust pillar to hold the gate and good knowledge of driveway gate maintenance to keep everything in working order.
3. Harder to operate
Single driveway gates are much heavier, making them harder to open and close. This is particularly inconvenient if a single person needs to enter your property.
4. Fewer design options
Because single gates are less popular, you’ll often find that there are fewer design options available on the market, which is annoying if you have a specific idea of what you want or awkward driveway dimensions. Many customers will end up having to make a bespoke order, which is more expensive and will take longer.
Sliding driveway gates
As we’ve already established, double driveway gates are a great option if you lack driveway space, but what if you’re still struggling to fit your cars on the driveway and swing the gates shut?
If this sounds like you, you may prefer sliding or bi-folding gates. As long as you have enough space at the sides of the gate, sliding driveway gates are brilliant for short or sloping driveways where there’s not enough space for a swinging gate.
Should I get a single driveway gate or a double driveway gate?
For most people, double driveway gates are the clear favourite. This is because they’re easier to operate, more convenient for smaller driveways and more aesthetically pleasing (according to popular tastes).
However, if you prefer the look of single driveway gates and want something that’s potentially quicker to install, there’s nothing wrong with opting for single gates instead. Ultimately, it’s entirely down to your personal preferences, so write a list of your most essential gate features and make your choice based on that.
What are the most durable driveway gates?
Both double driveway gates and single driveway gates offer a lot of security for your property for many years to come. So, if you want to prioritise durability, it’s best to focus on the construction material of your gate. Metal gates, including aluminium gates and steel gates, are extremely strong and long-lasting, making them the best options for those looking for the most durable driveway gates.
Do I need planning permission to put in a gate?
In most cases, UK homeowners won’t need to apply for planning permission to install new double or single driveway gates. However, there are some conditions that would make planning permission necessary, including:
- Your new gate is over 2 metres tall, or 1 metre tall if fronting a road used by vehicles (or its footpath).
- You live in a listed building.
- Your new gate would form a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its grounds.
- Your right to put up or alter driveway gates has been removed by an article 4 direction or planning condition.
Need help finding the perfect gate for your driveway? Here at The Expert Gate Company, we have a wide range of driveway gates to choose from, including wooden gates, steel gates, aluminium gates and more. Contact us today to discuss your bespoke driveway gate installation.