Electric Driveway Gates
Installing electric gates on the driveway has become increasingly popular in recent years and their lower cost now means they are within the
budget of many people.
Your driveway does not have to be large to install electric driveway gates but remember that the gates will need space to open into when the
car is parked on the drive. If your drive already has manual gates then it should be possible to install electric driveway gates in their place.
It may even be possible to utilise the gates you already have and attach electric gate openers to
Why Electric Driveway Gates?
Three major reasons are security, privacy, and convenience.
Security. A good set of electric driveway gates completes your security perimeter of a high wall or fence and can be a
significant deterrent to burglars especially the opportunist burglar. There is little point in having a high fence around your property if the
gates to the front drive are always left open. You can combine electric gates with surveillance cameras to enhance your security.
Privacy. Electric driveway gates control access to your property and keep out unwelcome callers and snoopers. These may be
door-to-door salesmen, people looking for odd jobs, potential burglars etc. Using audio or visual communications you can identify your visitors
before you let them in.
Convenience. Many properties have gates that are rarely used because it is just too much trouble to open and close them
manually. They are effectively merely a decoration for the drive entrance and of no practical benefit. A set of automatic electric gates with a
handheld remote control and other access systems makes it easy to actually use your gates and keep them closed at all times except when access to
your home is required.
There are other benefits to having electric driveway gates for your property.
Children and Pets. Automatically closing electric driveway gates will ensure that gates are kept closed and children and pets
are not allowed to wander out.
Wild animals. In rural areas an electric gate system can help protect your garden from the unwanted attention of rabbits or
Driveway abuse. Your electric driveway gate system will prevent your driveway being used for unauthorised turning (or
parking) by motorists.
Insurance. Most major insurers will offer a discount when electric gates are fitted as part of your security measures.
Appearance. A gate system can improve the appearance and status of your property i.e. impress the neighbours. It is also a
good selling point for your house.
Getting Your Electric Driveway Gates
Electric driveway gates can be self-installed or be installed by professionals.
It is possible to install electric driveway gates yourself if you have DIY skills and the time to do
it. Many electric gate companies sell the parts that you need and complete sets of electric driveway gates can be purchased in kit form. Once you
get your automatic electric gates up and working they will need regular maintenance to keep them working reliably.
A good professional installation will cost at least £3000 when everything is taken into
consideration. The growth of the electric driveway gate market in recent years led to an explosive growth in the number of companies in the
business and this has unfortunately led to poor practice by inexperienced people and the installation of gates with poor long-term
A good electric driveway gate installation company will take you through all the stages of designing a gate system and the installation
process, including fitting safety devices and arranging maintenance.
If you are hiring professional installers make sure they are from an experienced company and have a maintenance and repairs service available.
Cutting corners by using the cheapest products you can find may well result in having an electric driveway gate system that breaks down after
only 12 to 18 months.
Gate Operator / Gate Opener
A crucial component of an electric driveway gate is the gate opener. An gate opener is the mechanism that opens and closes the gate and is
powered by an electric gate motor. When the gate opener receives a signal from an access control e.g. a
remote control or keypad, it opens or closes the gate.
The type of gate opener that is used depends upon a number of factors that an experienced installer will take into account. These include the
size and weight of the electric driveway gate, the number of times the gate will be opened and closed each day, the local environment etc.
Safety With Electric Gates
There are many factors to be considered when installing electric driveway gates, some of which may not be obvious at first glance e.g.
It is important to have devices and measures in place to prevent accidents i.e. to prevent the gate from closing and make it reverse direction
if someone (or something) is in its path.
There are two main types of safety device. Contact devices respond to physical contact with an obstruction. Non-contact devices such as photo
eyes detect a vehicle or person's presence and prevent the electric gate closing. The gate will also reverse if there is an obstacle in its path.
At least one of each sort of device should be used.