Phone Number: 0191 511 82 40

Office Number: 0191 511 82 50

What To Consider Before Buying Driveway Gates UK

  • Posted by:
  • Admin
  • Tags:
  • gate, driveway, materials, motors, garden
  • Posted date:
  • 29-03-2023
What To Consider Before Buying Driveway Gates UK

This article looks at what to consider before buying driveway gates in the UK. Secure Automation provide gate automation in Newcastle Upon Tyne and the surrounding areas of Tyne and Wear. Find out more about gate construction materials, the placement of your gate and type of driveway gates. 

Most standard entry and pathway gates available in the UK are approximately 3 feet wide or 0.9 metres long. However, when taking measurements of your area, be sure to consider the height and weight you need your gate to be for safety, privacy or additional security reasons. 

Ensure you leave enough space from the gate to the ground for ground clearance and ease of movement, which is its main purpose. The standard height of a typical UK driveway gate is around 6 feet. 

What Determines the Cost of An Automatic Gate?

The placement of your gate

One of the most significant factors in gate installation is its placement, which has a knock-on effect on the design options, chosen materials and size. An example of this effect is if you're searching for a wooden gate for side access to your household building, but at the same time, you may prefer a smaller gate for your front-path garden. You may find yourself limited in size, especially if you're replacing an existing gate, as you'll have to search for gate design styles that fit the existing posts. On the other hand, if you're moving the posts and beginning from scratch, you'll find a whole host of sizes available. 

Before buying any new gates immediately, you must ensure the gap where you want it to be installed is precisely measured, making space for fittings and gate posts. 

Type of driveway gate

Driveway gates are curated from a wide range of materials and made with various manufactured designs. Whether swing, sliding or specialised gates, there are so many to choose from; however, we recommend researching to find the most suitable for your driveway or property site and its kerb appeal. 

Swing Gates

To implement swing gates into your household or property driveway, you must ensure that you have enough space in its swinging radius to fill between the midpoint of your drive and the gate pillar post. You must be able to easily fill the gap so that your front or garden gates can freely open without bumping into sturdy walls, trees or outdoor furniture. Each of your double gates must be of equal length so that they meet in the middle; however, be mindful that a pair of swing gates, instead of a single gate, will typically have one gate that is longer than half the distance between the pillars. It's generally uncommon to find equal pairs of gates unless you have a large plot of land.

Swing gates generally open inward; however, there are circumstances when outward-opening gates are required, for example, if you have a driveway that rises. Inward swinging gates on a raised driveway or terrain can be dangerous, as they risk swinging outward and hitting vehicles or pedestrians. Suppose you have a property close to a main road or particularly busy road or pavement, then outward swinging gates aren't an efficient choice, as you could obstruct the path or existing surroundings. 

Swing Gates

Sliding Gates

Sliding Gates

Sliding gates work by sliding across your driveway to open and close. At your gate opening, the doors or single gate door will move into one side's gate post; this will allow pedestrians and cars to enter your home or property. 

Gate Construction Materials

Where there is a gate required in your home or property, you'll find there are many material options at your disposal. Modern manufacturers and joiners across the UK utilise a wide range of natural and man-made materials to create the best secure, robust materials for your home, with the inclusion of bespoke designs or dog bars safe for small pets to slip through. 

Knots and Woodgrain

Often, softwood gates are constructed using a broad range of materials; many manufacturers try to use FSC-certified (Forest Management Certification) woods for their projects to benefit the lives of the local people and help preserve biological diversity. Many FSC wood materials have numerous visible knots in their grain pattern, and some have resin streaks where sap has leaked after the tree felling process. We try not to see these as faults but more so as beautiful features of timber that enhance the products. 

For those in search of a uniform appearance for your gate system, we do not suggest wooden fences or gates, as they are so wildly varied in their visual display. A sensible option would be to look into wrought iron gates or other types of metal garden gates, like steel or aluminium, which are known for being highly secure and of lower maintenance. Hardwood doesn't have as many knots; however, there will still be some grain structure variation. 


Under a microscope, you can see the grain structure of timber material; it's much like thousands of straws bound together. The hollow sections collect and soak up moisture through the tree's roots, trunk or branches, enabling it to grow tall. Once a tree has undergone the felling process, the soaking up of moisture doesn't stop, which results in timber that displays signs of mould growth. 

We recommend taking a wipe, and a mild detergent to the area will ensure it doesn't develop into something that will distort the gate's appearance even further. The inclusion of mould can make wooden gates harder to maintain and more costly in the long term, so consider this before buying gates. 

Knots and Woodgrain


Movement, Warping and Shakes

In the manufacturing process, there is every effort made to prevent problems with your gates; however, any exposed timber will be impacted by the elements, and it will cause them to move and warp. In many cases, warping can occur due to the high air moisture levels that allow the timber material to expand and contract. Such is made worse when the gate has only been stained or painted on one side or if it has been inefficiently positioned by an installer causing its paint to dry faster on one side. With this in mind, in many cases, your timber gates are likely to return to normal in good time; however, it can make your gate less durable. 

Variation in Appearance

Timber is typically used in the construction of wooden gates, and often manufacturers and carpenters use the same species of wood. Yet never from the same part of the tree, which is why you can expect to find differences in its natural colour, shade and grain structure. Professionals in the field aim to reduce the appearance of differences in each board implemented into railings and estate gates. The aim is to let the natural beauty of the wooden gate shine through and enhance your traditional property with a rustic aesthetic. 

Variation in Appearance

Gate Automation

There are numerous types of swing gate motors that are visually different from one another; however, they often have similar linear screw motors and rams. Rams can differ as they often have a rod extending from their motor that enables it to open security gates and then it retracts back into the body when the gate is to be closed. Many linear screws have a rotating shaft that is found inside the casing of the motor, and this is what helps move the gate. 

Swing gates have discrete underground motors that are located in pits that sit below the gate's hinge. The only visible aspects of the swing gate motor are the arms that are attached to the underside and the foundation box lid. Underground motors need to be installed carefully, ensuring professionals are wary of any groundwork and drainage, as this will prevent them from encountering water damage for a long period. One of the most prominent parts of this motor is its articulated arm motor. The motor rotates, and its arms follow to pull open the gate. On the reverse, the arm rotates into its previous 90-degree position.

On the other hand, sliding gate motors require a box-like motor and a track that runs throughout the driveway or pedestrian entrance, which is mounted to the gate's inside. Sliding gates often have a motor with a protruding cog attached, and the gate moves by meshing with the rack and turning the cog.  

Are you looking for driveway gate automation in Tyne and Wear? Find out more about our automatic gates throughout Northumberland, Sunderland and Newcastle.