Times have changed with technology. Not so many years ago automatic gates were considered a luxury item, affordable by only the wealthiest and suitable only for mansion type properties. Not so any more! Security and convenience has become such a major concern people need to look at all options to effectively protect their homes and family - an automatic gate system provides a practical solution plus of course it is a lifestyle product that enhances any property and provides a convenience that we all can enjoy.
However, having an automatic gate system installed is quite a major investment and there are many questions that should be asked before proceeding. If you are considering having an automatic gate system installed read our 10-point guide to help you make the optimum purchase.
1) Why should you consider having gates at all?
Closed gates provide an effective deterrent to casual trespasser and, indeed, determined intruders. As well as keeping unwanted visitors out, remote control gates are an effective way of preventing animals and young children straying from the safe confines of home boundaries onto busy roads and of course increasing privacy.
2) Why have automatic gates instead of manual gates?
Bear in mind that 90% of manual gates are never closed (simply because of the inconvenience of having to open and close them especially in inclement weather conditions) therefore most of the benefits of having gates at all disappear. Personal security is maximised as the gate can be operated remotely so you do not have to leave the safety of a locked vehicle before accessing and securing your property. Plus – it certainly is nice to stay in the warm when it is raining or snowing!
A further point to remember is that automatic gates lock when in the closed position unlike most manual gates.
3) What will be needed in terms of a power supply?
The standard domestic power supply is more than adequate to operate the vast majority of gate systems. The power supply will be required to be in the vicinity of the gates and installed by a competent person with the latest regulations adhered to.
4) Do you want to swing or slide!!!
The layout of your property will pretty well determine your choice of gates to either slide on tracks or swing on side hinges. If your drive slopes upwards towards your house this would prevent the installation of side-hinged gates that swing inwards, therefore a sliding gate would be the practical option. Sliding gates offer the highest level of security – swing gates can be vulnerable to determined ramming. The sliding gate system also takes up less room when operating and gives full driveway access even if approaching at an angle.
5) What style of gate will suit both your property and individual requirements?
Ask yourself what your main priorities are? If privacy is high on your list then you would probably choose a closed face timber gate. If aesthetical appeal majors highly, look at ornate steel gates. For a thoroughly rustic effect consider the multi bar timber range. When choosing between steel or timber, take into account that timber gates will need regular treatment, although modern woodstains are very effective indeed.
6) What type of operating system will be the most suitable?
There are two types of operating systems - Electro Mechanical or Hydraulic.
Whilst hydraulic systems are quieter, offer greater resistance to wind force and generally tend to have a longer life they are more costly. If wind force or the particular need for quiet operation is not a priority then look at the more economical electro mechanical systems available.
7) What access control systems will be appropriate for you?
Now the fun starts… the choice is so wide! Voice and/or video intercommunications from the gate to your house lets you speak to your visitors and see them at the same time before you decide to allow them in - handy in many ways! Further options include key operated switches, digital pads to tap in your personal code, standard push buttons, hand held transmitters and even fingerprint recognition! But check out the prices because the different access control options vary considerably in cost.
8) What contingency will be available in the event of power failure or system failure?
Manual overrides should always be fitted as standard to allow the gates to be easily released in the event of failure. Make sure that you are shown how to use the overrides and how to connect the electric operation back up when power is restored.
9) Should safety features be installed?
All automatic gates require a safety system – in the simplest form this will be the user visually checking that the entrance is clear before operating the gate. More sophisticated is the use of automatic safety devices. Photo beams detect vehicles and people and will not allow the gates to be operated until the area is clear, alternatively an underground loop detector will just detect vehicles. When the area is clear the gates can be opened and will close automatically. Safety is very important where children are concerned as automatic gates never seem to lose their fascination to most children.
10) What you should look for when selecting a company to supply and install your gates?
Recommendation is always favourite – but tips … Find a company that is well established – if you have problems afterwards you don’t want to find the company has disappeared. Any reputable company that knows its products should tell you everything and more than is printed here… if they don’t point out pitfalls as well as benefits be suspicious. Find out if they employ their own installation engineers or use subcontractors. And ask them if they have any customers that would let you view their installations – if they are as good as they tell you they are they will have plenty of customers who will be happy to oblige. And remember – local companies will normally offer superior after sales service and you get to see the people you are dealing with.
And one extra point thrown in – Make sure that you maintain your gates.
A remote controlled gate is a large moving machine and needs to be treated accordingly! If your gate system is not lovingly cared for it may let you down or worse still become a danger to you or others!
AGD Systems are our sister company and part of the Dovegroup of companies. AGD Systems have been established since 1985 and supply and install electric gate systems across the country as well as offering a comprehensive maintenance service to existing electric gates.
For further details of all their products and services telephone (01933) 229123 Alternatively go directly to their website at www.agdsystems.co.uk
Electric gates and equipment stockists of FAAC, BPT, CAME, Stargate and many other leading manufacturers. Automation of existing garage doors with electric operators from Hormann, Seip, Cardale, Marantec, Garador and Somfy.
Protection of Your Home When You’re Not There - Protection for Your Family When You Are