What Is The Best Driveway Gate Style For Your Home?

Now that you have decided that you want to have an automatic gate installed, you need to figure out what kind of mechanism will open and close the gate. Depending on space, budget, and maintenance requirements, there are several different options to choose from. Knowing the strengths of each style will help you make a decision that is right for your home.


Swinging gates are the most popular choice for homeowners, because they are inexpensive and easy to maintain. The hardware for the opener consists simply of an arm that swings the gate open and closed. The only moving parts that are exposed to the elements are a few hinges. Even with long term neglect, the gate will still be able to open and close. The only real disadvantage of this system is space. You will need a relatively large driveway to ensure there is space for the gate to open and close without hitting your car.

While these gates will open and close if you don't maintain them, your opener will not be quite so forgiving. Expect to remove the cover on the electronics at least once a year. During this time you will be checking for moisture or corrosion, as well as removing any debris that has worked under the lid. Because the space inside the control housing is safe and warm, it is a very attractive home for small critters. It is not unusual to need to take pest control measures, as rodents chew their way through the housing or bugs become attracted to the constant electrical current. Since the controller is too far away for you to smell regularly, mothballs make the perfect deterrent.


Sliding gates are the perfect way to have your automatic gates without losing any driveway space. There are two types of sliding gates available. The first runs along a track that is attached to or hung from a nearby fence. This is much easier to install, but you need to maintain the track as well as the rest of the gate. The second style pulls the gate along a track that is actually set into the ground. Since there is no way to get anything under this type of gate, it is far more secure. The problem is that this style can become problematic in northern climates, where water and ice can get into the track and prevent the gate from moving.

This type of gate has a lot more moving parts, so expect your annual maintenance to be more involved. In addition to keeping the roller or chain system that moves the gate in good working order, you need to make sure that the tracks for the gate remain in prime condition. If these become rusty or bent, the motor will have to work harder to open and close the gate, resulting in damage to it as well. 

Vertical Lift

Vertical gates are almost never used in residential installations because of the expense. However, if you have the money, they take no space, are the most secure option, and are the most visually impressive choice. They work just like sliding gates, but the gate is pulled upwards and out of the way, instead of off to the side. Make sure you are ready for the expense of maintaining this type of gate before you make your purchase.

Automatic gates are a great way to upgrade the appearance and security of your home. By getting the type of gate that works best for your space and budget, you can ensure that the investment will give you positive returns for many, many years. Be sure to talk with an installation professional from a company like Automated Gate Services Inc to ensure that you have considered all the possibilities before making your final decision.