5 things to consider when converting your manual gates to automatic


It’s probably no surprise that automatic gates are becoming quite so popular in both residential and commercial properties alike. They offer numerous benefits like safety, security and convenience, and no one knows that better than us here at Gate Auto. We’re one of the UK’s leading providers of automatic gates, which means that we understand exactly why so many people are choosing to convert to the automatic side.

If you’ve had enough of opening and closing your gate manually every time you enter and leave your home, then an automatic gate is the upgrade for you. You don’t even necessarily have to buy a new gate to enjoy the benefits of an automatic gate – you can convert your manual gate easily into an automatic gate with one of our electric gate kits! Before you can get started with doing this though, there are a few things to consider.

Are the gate and posts robust enough to handle automation?

This is one of the first things any professional will look at when assessing to see if your gate can be automated: how structurally sound are your gate and posts? Gates have to be in good condition (or structurally modified if there is any damage) to be able to be automated. Sometimes however, gates just might not be strong enough to handle the automation process. This is often the case for old gates, or gates made out of wood that have become weakened as a result of years being exposed to the elements. If this is the case for your gate and you’re looking to get it automated, it’s worth considering whether you want to replace it with one that is slightly more robust, and fairs slightly better within the UK climate – like a metal gate for example.

Consider if your current gate has enough longevity

It’s also important to consider how long your gate is going to hold up before automating it. Even if your gate is currently strong enough to handle automation, is it likely to stay robust for the next couple years? Our gate motors can last over 10 years, so if there’s a good chance your gate won’t last that long, it’s probably better to replace the gate now to save the trouble of having to repeat the whole process again in a few years’ time. If you’re unsure on the life expectancy of your gate, one of our professionals can advise on what they think is the best course of action.

Assess the areas in which your gate is situated

To install an electric gate kit, your gate must be able to fully open and close without obstruction, so it is important to keep the path free from any kind of debris, plants or rocks. If you live in a particularly wooded area or an area with a lot of plants or trees, it’s worth noting that overgrown branches, falling leaves, dirt and bugs can all pose their own issues to your electric gate. If debris gets into the gate track on an automatic gate, it can cause it to become stuck and fail to open or close, much like it can impede the functionality of a manual gate.

Leaves and insects can sometimes block the sensors of automated gates too, as we’ve detailed in a previous post. This can result in them staying stuck open with no obvious cause – which can obviously negate their security benefits, and it can be quite annoying to boot. That alone is a good enough reason to ensure it’s easy enough to keep the area properly clean and free from any obstructions that could potentially pose an obstruction to the gate’s sensors (or the gate itself).

Does your location have the power supply necessary?

Another thing that may come up when considering automating your gate is whether you have access to a suitable power supply. Under most normal circumstances, we ask our customers to provide access to their mains power supply so we can run the gates at 230V and 10A. If this isn’t possible for your home, maybe due to a rural location, then we do have solar options available. These can cost slightly more than a standard electric gate kit, but they are very cost-effective in the long run!

What type of gate you have and how much it weighs

Is your current gate a swinging or sliding gate? The type of gate you have will ultimately dictate the type of electric gate kit we recommend for you (happily, we have gate kits for both). For swing gates, you have the option of an underground gate motor, which effectively makes it almost invisible to the naked eye. Alternatively, you could opt for arm actuators which are mounted to the back of your gates. If your gate is particularly wide or heavy (if it’s made out of solid timber for example) it will need a much more powerful motor to run it than the standard gate, so it’s worth mentioning all this when you go to invest in a gate kit.

And of course, if you’re interested in converting your gate from manual to automatic, then you’re in exactly the right place. With over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation here at Gate Auto, we provide a wide range of electric gate kits alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to check them out right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300 and we’ll be happy to help you make the right choice for your home!