Gated Driveways for Security and Curb Appeal
Security and privacy are the main forces behind driveway gate installations. In fact, it’s somewhat amazing the way one gate (in addition to the surrounding fence) can add such a high degree of personal sanctuary to a property.
In addition to privacy and security, gated driveways offer the chance to install an elegant and stylistic entryway to an estate or residence. Styles range from the quaint, country drive to the Gothic majesty of medieval Europe.
Materials used to create driveway gates are much the same as those used to make the fences attached to them. Posts for these wide and often heavy gates must be significantly stronger than most and are typically made from steel, stone or concrete. Most gates are made from wood, wrought iron, aluminum or steel.
- Wood - With less potential for manipulation during fabrication, wood is usually the simplest design. A good many homes with wooden fences and country- or cottage-like designs look amazing with wooden driveway gates. Such gates will maintain and accentuate the home, landscape and homeowner’s overall style.
- Wrought iron - This one’s a popular choice for driveway gates because of the wide array of elegant designs and the air of affluence it creates. A wrought iron gate evokes the feeling of estate living while also providing security. Though often tall and not easy to traverse, wrought iron gates will nevertheless allow passersby to gaze upon your home.
- Steel - Steel gates are the epitome of security and privacy. They are usually opaque and heavy, preventing intruding persons and wandering eyes. Steel gates, due to their weight, are often mounted on tracks with electronic controls. Upon opening, the gate will quietly slide behind the fence wall and re-close after vehicles have passed through.
- Aluminum - These gates are somewhat rare in residential settings today. They are lightweight and therefore require less support structure, but do not offer the stylistic qualities of wrought iron or wood. They’re also not as strong as steel. Aluminum driveway gates are much more common on farms, ranches, or in other rural, “back 40” settings.
Coming and Going
Driveway gates may be manually opened and closed (as with rural farm or ranch gates built more for function than style). Still, most modern gates open automatically via an electronic keypad located on either side of the gate. Control pads are usually accessible without stepping out of the vehicle.
For visitors, a call button and speaker are often a part of the exterior keypad so that guests can connect with the owner’s phone line or other communication device. Therefore, some wiring is needed during gate installation. Combinations or key codes are usually available so that family and friends can access the property easily and save you a lot of trips to the phone or intercom. Remote controls, similar to those used for automatic garage doors, are also available.
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