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A set of hidden mechanical arms automatically opens this bi-parting wooden driveway gate.

Since it is likely the first thing guests will see and interact with when arriving at your home your driveway gate must be functional and beautiful. At first choosing a gate for your driveway may seem overwhelming, but it really boils down to five choices. It is important to match the architecture of your home when selecting a gate for your driveway. Gates with curved tops and intricate metal work tend to be more formal, while gates with flat tops and simple designs feel more informal.

Choice 1: Gate Type

  • Single-swing - up to 16' wide, requires plenty of flat space to open inwards
  • Bi-parting swing - up to 32' wide, swing clearance is only half of the entire gate width
  • Sliding - great for steep driveways where swing gates aren't an option, single and bi-parting available

A drawing showing the typical dimensions of a bi-parting driveway gate.

Choice 2: Gate Material

  • Wood - rustic look, can be solid for privacy, may weather, can be manual or automatic
  • Metal - classic look, open for visibility, lasts for years, can be manual or automatic

A drawing showing the dimensions of a sliding driveway gate.

Choice 3: Construction

  • Prefabricated - many designs, styles and finishes to choose from
  • Custom - you can order the exact size and look that you want

Choice 4: Attachment

  • Piers or columns - square supports made of stone, brick or stucco and often topped with a lantern
  • Posts - made of metal, sometimes wood, posts are slimmer and make less of a statement than piers

Choice 5: Automatic Opening Mechanism

  • Remote entry - works the same as a garage door, visitors will need another way to gain entry
  • Keypad entry - open upon inputting a code, visitors can easily be given the code
  • Telephone entry - allows you to make a call from your home that will open or close the gate
  • Sensors - commonly used for exiting a gate, otherwise they would pose a security problem

Driveway Gate Tips

"Cantilever gates are sliding gates usually for vehicles. The special sliding design of a cantilever gate allows the movement of the gate to slide immediately behind and parallel to a chain link fence line. These gates are advantageous for tight spaces where a swing gate has no room to open fully. It is also common to use cantilever slide gates for larger gateways because they are actually easier to open and close. Slide gates are also better to automate in my opinion, as it is easier to install safety equipment on a gate which slides back and forth within about 1 foot of space versus a larger swing gate with at least 180 degrees of swing," says Chad Hoover of Hoover Fence.

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