At one time automated gate opening systems consisted of a couple of minimum waged footmen operated by a handy whip. Today automated gate openers are a common sights or home improvement projects in both business and domestic premises. From corporate headquarters to gated communities, it’s not just the average stately home that can benefit from the convenience and security that they offer. Automated gates have a number of advantages, some self-evident and some less so, over the traditional gate and there are several different types and a number of factors when fitting them that you should consider.
The biggest advantage which should be obvious to most people is the sheer convenience that gate openers offer. Whether it’s a business premises or a domestic property, gate automation takes a lot of the hard work out of entering and leaving a property and of course avoids dealing with the vagaries of the weather more than is absolutely necessary.
There’s a safety and security aspect to gate automation that is also of great benefit. Gate automation is common at sensitive premises such as military, government, power generation, scientific and industrial premises. Where public safety and security issues combine, creating a secure access is essential. For domestic properties the safety and security aspect has two elements. Restricting access to your property will have obvious advantages in terms of security from unwanted and possibly ill-meaning “visitors”, whilst they can also offer a safe environment for children, ensuring that they cannot exit the secured area without your permission or knowledge.
For domestic premises, automated gates can add a touch of elegance too. Automatic gates don’t have to be industrial looking edifices but can be created to suit just about any property. The gates themselves can be created from most materials normally used for gate construction and other home renovation projects, from humble wooden gates to elegant wrought iron concoctions.
When it comes to choosing your automatic gate openers there are some practical considerations to take into account as well as the aesthetics! There are a range of different types of opening mechanisms and power options which need to be considered. Common favourites include gates using wireless transmitters which are fitted to your vehicles; these open as you approach without the need for any manual intervention. Another popular option is the keypad operated version with a customisable code or codes. Many modern systems operate on a hybrid version of these types with the wireless activation for family and a keypad for guests and visitors. The alternative is an intercom system with a push button entry and intercom fitted in the property. Power systems in most domestic properties will be linked to the mains supply, although a solar back-up system may be added to guard against power cuts. The latter can also be useful if you have a distant entry gate and mains power (or footmen) options aren’t available.
Planning permission is a final issue which you’ll need to consider if you are fitting automatic gates. The automated nature of the gates in itself should not be a planning issue; however, gates and walls do fall under planning regulations. A full guide can be found on the UK government’s Planning Portal but as a basic guide you’ll not need further permission if replacing existing gates (whatever the height of the existing gates). For new gates over one meter tall you may need permission and if the property is listed or in a conservation area, permission is normally required. If permission is required careful selection of both design and style should ensure that any planning concerns should be easily satisfied.
About the Author
Nick Thorping is a writer who understands that gate openers are important in offering property owners an umbrella of benefits. He believes that they can add not only security but a touch of elegance to any property.