Gate buying guide
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield63 guides
A brief introduction to gates
Aesthetics, practicality and safety
There are multiple gate models on the market and each is adapted to the configuration of your entry. A gate should meet several requirements at once. Make sure that your choice meets the following criteria:
- Aesthetics: your gate should complement your entry. Whatever gate you choose, it should look good.
- Practicality: operating the gate should be easy but also should not obstruct other residents, the road, or pedestrian traffic.
- Safety: a gate is first and foremost a barrier. Whatever gate you choose, it should satisfy this basic criterion.
How to choose a gate
The characteristics of a sliding gate
Strictly speaking, a side entrance is not a necessary addition as pedestrians could partially open the gate just enough to pass but they can be a nice addition and an aesthetic choice.
The characteristics of a swinging gate
The various gate materials
You can find a wide variety of gate materials. The choice of material is heavily influenced by cost, but you should also keep in mind whether or not you intend to motorize your gate when selecting the materials.
Steel or Iron
What are the different shapes of gates?
Besides type and material, you also have your choice of gate shape:
- Straight: The straight shape is the best-selling model and is preferred for sliding gates. It's available in all types of materials.
- Biased: The biased cut, also called a trapezoidal, or "V-shaped" gate, slopes either up or down.
- Concave or Curved: The curved or concave cut does not fit into a rectangular space but does offer an artful choice to your gate installation.
No matter what shape gate you end up choosing, it will likely be available in openwork, partially openwork, or solid. There is no wrong choice here. As long as you have the proper measurements the decision is just a matter of personal taste.
How to choose a side entrance
The style is matched to the gate and the installation is quite similar. In short, it's essentially a small, single swinging gate. If you are adding a side entrance to an existing gate, you should match the style and material of the new entrance to the existing construction.
If you are only installing a side entrance and want it to match your gate, then you are free to choose the model that suits you best. Simply remember the best choice brings a balance of aesthetics, ergonomics, and safety.
Tips for choosing your gate
For DIY enthusiasts interested in knowing how to choose the accessories related to gates, follow the advice of our editors and discover their Guides:
- How to choose a fence
- How to choose a gate operator
- How to choose finishing tools
- How to choose a ladder, stepladder, or scaffold
- How to choose video surveillance cameras
- How to choose an intercom and doorbell
- How to choose paint, primer, and undercoat
And to work safely:
Michael, Professional and passionate welder, Sheffield 63 guides écrits
I was trained as a pipe worker and welder and worked in the industry for 15 years, going all over the UK for large-scale projects. When I decided it was time to stay closer to home - to have time for my own DIY - I took over a local metal shop and eventually went on to become head of a professional engineering firm.
I'm retired now, but I haven't stopped working with my hands. I recently built my own metalwork studio at home - a lifelong dream! I use my welding skills to make sculptures and bespoke furniture. With my studio, I managed to find a piece of paradise where I can let my imagination run wild.
I also love going around to local auctions and boot sales. I always find some interesting old object or tools that I can add to my collection or transform into works of art.
Now that I have the time, I've turned my hand to decorating, painting on canvas and gardening. I'm always developing new technologies and tools to bring my ideas to life. And I'm always happy to give others advice on how they can make their dreams a reality, too!