With so many different gate designs available for different sectors, McVeigh Parker talk us through your best gate options in 2021
Whether you require a gate for domestic, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes, convenience and security are your primary concerns. Gates often serve as entrances or exits and therefore in many ways need to be even more secure and durable than a fence, as any damage to a gate could compromise your access security and make your property more susceptible to intrusion. Then there’s the issue of the appropriateness of the gate’s design and construction and the importance of determining the best material for your particular requirements – with, no doubt, all your wishes evaluated on a cost versus benefits basis.
Whatever purpose you need a gate for, selecting the right one for the right purpose at the right price can be a complex business which is why McVeigh Parker have put together this handy guide to making the right choice.
H2 Wood or metal
One of the first decisions you need to make is should your new gate be made from wood or metal? And there’s no easy answer to this as both wood and metal have their strengths and weaknesses. However, if security is your most important concern, you will probably opt for metal gates fitted with either standard or automated locks. However, when it comes to looks and aesthetics you can’t beat wood so, for example, in a domestic setting, you would most likely prefer to invest in wooden gates that compliment your property.
H2 The pros and cons of metal gates
Firstly, let’s explore the benefits of metal gates.
Security – metal is a very strong, durable material and it is very easy to attach locks to metal gates. Compromising properly fitted, locked metal gates is difficult and metal gates can therefor act as a strong deterrent, especially if properly fitted with manual or automated locking mechanisms.
Durability & Low Maintenance – metal gates tend to be very long lasting if maintained properly and aren’t adversely affected by terrible weather or strong winds. Maintenance requirements are minimal and metal gates tend to remain both sturdy and maintain their looks over time. You should be looking at many years of trouble-free usage.
Flexibility – depending on the type of gate chosen, metal gates can be made to your bespoke requirements – built to the exact size and dimensions required to best protect your property. What’s more, these gates can often be styled to best suit the aesthetic of your property and the surroundings.
But there are negatives as well as positives:
Heavy – metal is a strong substance, but its strength comes at a price and this is its weight. And this weight factor means even modest-sized metal gates need to be hung on a sturdy structure. Special attention will need to be paid to the posts you use and other supporting infrastructure and fittings.
Less privacy – Because of their weight metal gates are rarely solid in format. Which means that they provide little or no privacy shielding, and you can always see through to the property you are protecting.
H2 The pros and cons of wooden gates
More sustainable – many wooden gate products are now made from wood from sustainable sources which makes them much more environmentally friendly than metal gates, the manufacture of which entails use of a huge amount of energy.
Price – standard wooden gates tend to cost less than metal gates, which can be a major consideration especially if you have a large property and have a requirement for several gates.
Aesthetics – Wooden gates have that attractive natural look that blends in well with a variety of landscapes and properties. For this reason, they tend to be first choice for domestic purposes. They are also relatively easy to repaint, manage and customise if required.
And the negatives:
Maintenance and longevity – softwood gates (generally cheaper) require regular maintenance including wood protection treatments and ultimately are unlikely to last as long as hardwood (which also require maintenance) or metal gates.
Security - Whilst being lighter than metal gates, wooden gates are not as robust as metal and tend to be more difficult to make secure.
H2 Popular wooden gate styles
Let’s explore some of the more popular commercial and domestic wooden gate options:
Closeboard is a traditional method of construction with thick overlapping vertical boards, mounted in a surrounding frame. Closeboarding is used for fencing and gates.
Closeboard gates are hugely popular mainly for domestic purposes and are ideal for residential access, as they provide a good deal of security and privacy whilst also being pleasing to the eye.
Strong and durable, they are available in a number of size options, but always ensure the closeboard gate option you choose is manufactured from responsibly sourced timber from well-managed forests such as the ones sold at McVeigh Parker
Universal Hard and Softwood gates
These types of gate are what you generally think about when you imagine wooden gates. They are the go-to if you have a large area of land, a farm, or maybe even a larger home with a decent sized drive. These gates are usually supplied made from either treated softwood or hardwood. If you go with softwood you need to check it has been treated to protect it from the weather. If not, you will need to factor in this work and cost. Hardwood gates will obviously be a lot more expensive, but you are paying for the superior quality and natural durability of this type of wood. Make sure your gates feature a double cross-brace which maximises gate strength and that the wood used is responsibly sourced.
At McVeigh Parker many gates are sold as kits which include everything you will need to install the gate properly. A typical kit includes two different types of four-way weathered timber posts, a hanging kit and catch set. Buying as a kit also saves you money which is a bonus.
Wooden palisade gates
Palisade gates are often used with palisade or picket fencing around a garden. Attractive and distinctive, this type of gate also provides some privacy as the palisades are positioned fairly close together. As these are used for mainly domestic purposes the timbers usually feature a smooth planed finish and the tips of the timbers can be round or pointed depending on which style you prefer.
They are usually quick and easy to install and made from pressure treated softwood – again, ideally from responsibly sourced timber from well managed forests like the ones stocked at McVeigh Parker
Yeoman Wooden Gates
Sometimes called a Raised Helve Gate, the Yeoman Wooden Gate is based on an ancient style of gate that is also really stylish and makes a statement about any property, be it domestic or commercial. The first thing you notice is that the curved hanging stile is extended, and it also has a long diagonal brace. It’s different. It’s smart. It’s traditional.
It’s also versatile. You can opt to use it as a single gate, team it up with a smaller counterpart gate or hang it in any combination that suits your preference (for example, a 3000cm for car access, with a 1200cm pedestrian access). You can also choose whether to hang left or right-handed. These gates are typically made to order, so you also have an added element of creative freedom and the opportunity to develop a truly unique entrance to your land or property.
Yeoman gates can be sourced in softwood or hardwood options. As a premium product it is important to ensure, if you opt for softwood, that the wood has been pressure treated for a maintenance free life. Top suppliers such as McVeigh Parker opt for wood that is pressure treated in high quality Tanalith E in a natural wood green, but additional stains can be added to this gate to style it up in keeping for its particular surroundings. As for the hardwood option, this incorporates teak and has the added bonus of requiring very low maintenance aside from annual teak oiling. This oil not only boosts the natural protection of the hardwood but also invigorates the wood and keeps it looking premium.
H2 Metal gates
From long-serving superior quality gates that continuously provide good security and durability, to smaller, especially designed gates for certain types of animal control; here are a few types of metal gates that are popular choices for a number of different, mainly commercial and farming uses.
Ashbourne field gate
A typical field gate, the Ashbourne gate is simple, strong and effective and continues to be a highly popular option, especially when it comes to providing an entrance to fields or commercial properties. It is a high-quality steel construction with box section ends, hole punched bracing and sleeved gate eye collars for added strength.
The gate has an exceptional strength to weight ratio which makes it especially popular with farmers and livery stables where animal control is important. Quality features include seven bars and the fact that all the joints have been robotically welded. The gate has also been hot dip galvanised for a long maintenance free life. The easy-to-use bolt fastening is also spring loaded.
Suppliers like McVeigh Parker (www.mcveighparker.com) offer several variations of the Ashbourne gate. So, research what version you think you might need before you order. You can do this by visiting specialist supplier websites and contacting their sales staff to ask for their advice on what gate best suits your project.
Continental 5 rail heavy yard gate
Another hugely popular farm gate, the continental 5 tail heavy yard gate is a heavy-duty steel gate designed for handling and penning tasks.
As the requirements for these gates can vary depending on the livestock in question, these gates are normally made to order and come in lots of heights and rail numbers.
Half mesh field gate
Five rail gates are perfect for larger animals; however, you may encounter a few problems with smaller animals which might be able to easily pass through the rails. Half meshed gates prevent this from happening due to the bottom two rails being filled with mesh, making it more or less impossible for smaller animals to get through.
These gates normally have welded joints and are hot dipped galvanised, which makes for a long lifespan. This is another reason why they’re so popular amongst farmers.
H2 Speciality Metal Gates
Some metal gates have been specially designed to serve a particular animal or pest control purpose. These are particularly used on farmland where invasive species often pose dilemmas and threats to the farm’s effective operation. Here we explore a couple of the more popular of these niche metal gates.
Deer can prove a real pest for farmers and landowners, often invading yards, ponds and private areas. Indeed, in some parts of the country deer stocks have grown out of control and are proving a growing threat to the livelihood of farmers. Deer gates are an efficient, ethical way of protecting land from wild deer.
On the other hand, for those keeping deer, these gates serve equally well when it comes to deer containment.
Deer gates have a meshed cladding outlook and ideally feature a lockable sliding bolt. For extra protection from the elements and the threat of corrosion look for gates that have been hot dip galvanised. An all steel box construction means the gates are very strong and can be added anywhere in the fence line to provide an effective entry/exit point without compromising the fence line. Multiple deer can create high pressure areas and it is important to source a gate that can effectively deal with this type of pressure.
Deer gates are often sold as part of a kit by suppliers like McVeigh Parker. This kit makes the whole process easy for the customer – delivering through one click everything they need to effectively install a deer gate.
Whether they’re damaging crops, or undermining fences by digging underneath or breaking through, badgers can be a real and persistent pest for farmers to deal with. Not dealt with, badger issues can end up costing a considerable amount of money in land and livestock protection measures.
A badger gate is a specially designed gate that allows badgers to pass through freely without damaging fencing. Giving badgers an alternative (easier!), route to get from A to B, prevents unnecessary damage to your fencing, prevents them burrowing and also make it less likely for your livestock to escape via badger-damage on your fence lines!
Good quality Badger Gates feature a strong pre-drilled angle frame to tie off badger net, rabbit netting or line wires. A fully meshed door gives visible access which encourages the badgers to push through.
H2 Your gate solution
This is just a small selection of the types of gate you might need to choose from and whether you are just looking for a simple solution to a single entranceway, a multi-gate solution for an extensive property or need more specific gates for animal control, you can be assured that there is a gate for your need. Obviously, before making a selection you will need to carefully balance important factors such as usability, longevity, strength and cost and there’s no harm in seeking specialist advice from trusted gate retailers such as McVeigh Parker.
When you are making your selection don’t forget a gate is only as good as what you are hanging it from. So also remember to check out what specific gate posts, accessories and fittings are appropriate and available. In addition, if you do get stuck, the availability of bespoke gate options means that you’ll never be limited on the resources to solve your access or containment issues.