5 vital things to think about before installing automatic gates

Electric gates

Even if you’ve never bought an electric gate automation kit before, it doesn’t take a lot of experience or expertise to work out that it’s not a decision you can make off-the-cuff, whether buying it for your own home or for your business. Whatever the intended setting or application though, there are a couple of universal considerations you’ll have to think about before you commit to making any final decisions. We’ve summed up five of the most important below!

What type of gates do I need?

OK, so we’re starting off with quite a bit question – so big, in fact, that it probably wants a whole post in and of itself! In the spirit of keeping it brief however, we’ll just skim over some of the most crucial deciding factors that will influence your choice of gate.

Your location will be one for example – if you’re situated halfway up a hill, you’ll need to think about whether cantilever gates will be best for your purposes. And if you’re buying on behalf of a commercial business, you’ll also need to think about the number of cycles; in other words, how many times your gates will open and close per day. If you’re automating gates on an industrial site for example, then your gate motors will need to be suitably heavy-duty to keep up with the relatively high number of cycles.

If you’re not sure exactly which gates you might need, don’t worry – one of our experts can always advise accordingly.

How much will electric gate automation cost?

Like almost any new purchase, you’ll need to have a good idea of your budget going in. Obviously, that budget will need to be able to cover exactly what requirements you have in mind for your automated gates, including their size, aesthetics, and any practical features or add-ons you think they may need (such as certain types of access control, for example – but we’ll come to those in a moment).

Happily, automated gates are typically pretty cost-effective. However, you’ll need to bear in mind that they’re not “fit-and-forget” – they need regular maintenance to ensure that you’re getting the very best out of them. Crucially, regular maintenance visits can help identify developing problems before they progress into serious issues, which can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run.

Here at Gate Auto, we offer silver and gold service contracts for residential gates, which are both practical and affordable. You can give us a call on 01282 677300 to find out more!

Do I need planning permission?

Most people don’t, but it’s still worth checking in advance just in case. As we’ve detailed in a previous post, there are a couple of different factors that can affect whether or not you need planning permission.

Planning permission serves a number of important functions: it protects the integrity of historical monuments and sites of interest, preserve the local character of an area, and prevent any negative impact on the local environment or public interests. Very few automated gates fall into any of those categories, so chances are you’ll be fine.

However, it’s still worth double checking the points we’ve outlined in our previous post about planning permissions, just to be on the safe side. It’s worth doing so just for the potential headache you could be saving yourself a few weeks or months down the line!

What type of access control do I need?

Access control is a key consideration because it essentially encompasses both the aspect of security and ease-of-use. All automated gates are, almost by definition, highly secure, so it’s often just a case of balancing the aspect of security with the element of convenience. If you’re automating the gates of a commercial property, you’ll probably want it primarily weighted towards the first element, whereas if you’re automating the gates of your own home, then it might be a bit more of an even split between the two.

GSM gate intercoms are often particularly popular options amongst our customers here at Gate Auto – and it’s easy to see why, as they allow you to control your gates with your mobile phone. For commercial gates with a high number of daily cycles, you might want to consider something like induction loops, which detect approaching vehicles and open the gates automatically.

But those are just a couple of examples – we have a huge range of access control options for you to explore right here on our site!

What aesthetic do I want for my automated gates?

Of all the considerations we’ve examined so far, this is probably the least pressing, but it’s still worth thinking about before you commit to a final decision. It’s probably going to be particularly important if you’re a homeowner, as you’ll need to consider how it’s going to integrate into your home’s existing style – and to what extent you want your gates to match or contrast with the look you’ve already established for your home.

If you’re a commercial business on the other hand, one of your key concerns will be geared more towards the first impressions people form of your company – whether they’re potential customers, suppliers, partners, and so on. It might not be the most influential deciding factor, but it can be a handy tiebreaker if you can’t make up your mind between certain options.

And of course, if you ever have any questions about any of the above points, or if you need any advice, that’s where we can help here at Gate Auto.

We have over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation, we provide a wide range of electric gate kits and garage door openers alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to browse them right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300!