How to choose Driveway Gates

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How to choose Driveway Gates

Driveway gates are both practical and can form part of a beautiful and impressive entrance to your home. Driveway gates can be wooden or metal. For a Victorian or period property, black cast iron driveway gates are the obvious choice for many reasons, although if you are restricted on budget, wooden gates can also look attractive.

Although wooden gates can look smart, they tend to give the home a feel of being more rustic in appearance. Their main advantage however is that they can consist of closed panels so that they make the driveway very private. The cheapest form of driveway gate however is a 5 bar gate with hinges, a drop bolt and a loop over latch which holds the gate closed. These tend to look similar to gates used on a farmers field.

5 bar gate

Closed panel gates give a secluded feel to a driveway and can be purchased in many different dimensions and shapes.

Cast iron driveway gates by comparison are usually quite decorative in nature and extremely hard wearing and long lasting. Most people choose to have them painted in black and many impressive and ornate examples can be seen in Stately homes and historic houses throughout the world

Winchester driveway gate with stone piers

Driveway gates can be attached to matching gate posts or to brick or stone piers. You may wish to build the brick or stone piers on which to hang the gates or these may already exist. Even if you wish to install railings  along your boundary, there is no reason why both the railings and gates cannot hang off either side of the piers.

Cast iron driveway gates can be purchased in off the shelf sizes or indeed fabricated to any design or size specification. However the off the shelf option is much more attractive in terms of cost. A good pair of cast iron driveway gates 10 ft wide can be purchased for around £1500. A bespoke set would probably cost in the region of double that. Try to choose a design in a style that matches your house. If your house is Victorian, choose a Victorian design. If it’s 1920s, look for 1920s style gates (think Great Gatsby). New houses can be made to look more grand with old style gates. However using a modern style of gate for an old house could be a costly mistake. Think like the Victorians – the approach to a house is where you gain your first impression of both the house and the good (or bad) taste of the inhabitants. If you have stunned them with the approach, they will be less critical of the inside!

Colchester driveway gate with stone piers

The advantages of purchasing new driveway gates rather than reclaimed are mainly encapsulated in terms of ease of installation and maintenance. A reclaimed set of driveway gates are likely to suffer from rust and may need to have all paint and undercoat removed and be fully sanded with all flaking paint removed and de-rusted before the painting process is started again. With reclaimed driveway gates, fixings and accessories such as gate stops, latches, handles, gate posts, matching railings, matching pedestrian gates etc may be missing and not be available. With new gates, accessories will be easily available.

it is useful to also have a pedestrian gate as well as a driveway gate. When walking in and out of your driveway it is much more convenient to have a pedestrian gate that you can open and close by hand without having to operate an automated system and wait for the large gates to open or push a large heavy gate open.

Dumfries driveway gate with pedestrian gate

Most gates will work with automated gate opening systems. These can be purchased off the shelf but would need to be installed by a specialist company that have expertise in installing gates and automation systems.

The Victorian Emporium sells a wide range of Driveway Gates, Railings, Pedestrian Gates and Accessories


Categories: Exterior & garden, Ironmongery  

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