Forethought for Your Gate Placement
Getting ready to put in a new
fence? You may be pretty sure where you want the fence to go, but what about
the gate? A gate can have a great positive or negative impact, depending on its
placement. Like a door,
gates are the entrances through a wall, fence, or hedge into a home and its
grounds. These doorways make a strong first impression on visitors, announcing they
are about to enter a very special place.
The right gate, properly placed, will serve as an architectural and garden feature, so it must stand out. Whether designed for a grand entrance or a quick exit, a good gate requires forethought. Will your gate be a high-profile, high-traffic main entrance or a private entrance? A main gate should make a strong impression and extend a warm welcome, without surrendering a sense of security.
If you want the gate to provide privacy or protection for children or pets, solid wood and self-locking latches along with strong hinges would be a must. Do you want security with open views? Consider wrought iron. Convenient access to your garden’s thoroughfare is important, but gate openings also can visually frame the beauty of your garden area.
When carefully weighing a gate’s placement, also consider these usage issues:
- Latching method, locking method, and visibility will impact privacy, security, and safety issues.
- The size of the gate should be proportioned and styled to fit the environment it is placed in, whether it is a gate for a house, landscaping, or fencing.
- Pass through clearance requirements, along with ease of access, access methods, multiple entrance methods, and closing methods, are determined by what needs to pass through the gate and how often, such as people, gardening equipment, trash barrels, toys, lawn furniture, etc.
- Hinged sides and gate panels can impact the design, number of gate panels, and the construction of the gate.
also want to consider the maintenance of
the gate. Excessive moisture from rain, sprinklers or deep shaded areas will
affect the life expectancy and even the security and safety of a gate. The gate
should be placed so it can dry out well after raining or watering lawns and
plants. Provide good drainage away from gate post bottoms.
Before starting any large yard project, be sure to obtain the necessary zoning and building permits as there may be restrictions pertaining to height and type of fencing or gate installations. Always “call before you dig” by notifying your local utilities service to locate potential buried utilities. The cost in repairing damaged lines and the potential safety hazard is not worth ignoring this advice.
The proper placement of a gate can make a statement that reflects openness to share the beauty of a garden or indicate a desire for privacy and security. It can provide the focal point that will bring the landscape design and definition together that reflects your style and needs, be it for the garden or driveway entrances.
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