Driveway Gates – FAQs
Have questions about driveway gates? Here our professionals answer some of our most frequently asked questions!
Q: Does a driveway gate increase real estate value?
A: Absolutely, because driveway gates create an impressive entrance for a property, thus improving the curb appeal, which makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. Equipping your gate with an automatic opener has the potential of increasing your home’s value by several percent. Adding value to your property is easy when you install a driveway gate.
Q: What size driveway gate do I need?
A: The driveway gate should be at least a foot or two wider than your driveway. You have to be sure to leave room for the hinges. If there is concrete or asphalt, use a tape measure and start about a foot away from the hard driveway surface. Measure across the driveway to about a foot past the hard surface on the other side.
Q: Is there a minimum size my driveway gate should be?
A: Some jurisdictions require at least a 14′ driveway gate opening to allow their full sized emergency equipment to easily pass through in the event of an emergency. We recommend at least a 12′ wide driveway gate for all other areas. This helps avoid “close call” gate collisions with distracted delivery drivers.
Q: Which is better, a swinging driveway gate or a sliding driveway gate?
A: We’ve done both. A swinging driveway gate is much easier to install and automate than a sliding driveway gate. A sliding driveway gate requires more room to operate, and is more expensive to automate than a swinging driveway gate. It really just depends on what your particular scenario is.
Q: Do I need a single swing driveway gate or a double (dual) swing driveway gate?
A: A single swing gate is typically used for up to a 12′ wide driveway. Anything larger than 12′ wide generally will be a dual swing gate. A curved driveway may be better for a dual swing gate, depending on which side of the curve the gate hinge post will be located.
A: No, without a sufficiently charged battery the gate opener cannot open your gate even if there is 120v or solar power available.
A: The gate opener battery may need to be charged (or replaced) or the gate may be sensing an obstruction. Nuisance tripping of the obstruction sensor can happen on a windy day or if the gate hinges need maintenance.
Q: What power supply do I need for my electric gates?
A: Your electrician needs to install a 110v 15a power supply to one side of the gate entrance. This will be used to charge the batteries on your electric gate operators. The power wire should be appropriately sized to the length of the overall run to account for voltage drop.
A: If you live in a rural area then you most likely will not need to apply for a driveway gate permit if you want to install a new driveway gate on your property. City or county planning may require a permit to install or replace a residential driveway gate, but not in every instance. Consult with the local building department to confirm.
Electric driveway gates come in a wide range of sizes, designs and quality. The average cost in 2021 to install an electric gate is between $3,500 to $12,500, with average customers paying around $6,500 for a single swing 12 foot automated gate completely installed from start to finish.
Electric gates consume very little electricity at a single-family residence. The gates use practically no power while they are in standby mode. A single fully charged battery will open and close a gate 300 cycles without being charged.
A gated community will use much more power, but still not enough cost to be more than a passing concern.
A: A cheap lead-acid type gate battery only lasts 2-3 years while a quality brand name battery will easily last 5-6 years. With a solar system, it is especially important to have a quality charge controller as this will properly regulate the battery power levels.
Q: Can I install my own driveway gates?
A: Yes, with the proper planning and the right attitude (and a friend or two), anyone can install our driveway gates because the gate simply bolts to the post with two bolts. The gates can be set down on blocks laid on the ground, bolted to the gate post, and the post hole filled with concrete.
Q: Which gates are better, steel or aluminum?
It depends on our customer’s needs because steel and aluminum each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Steel is very strong and durable but is also relatively heavy and will rust if not properly coated.
Aluminum weighs 60% less than steel, is extremely corrosion resistant and exceptionally strong for it’s weight. Aluminum is also more expensive than steel and more challenging to work with.
Keeping those factors in mind is helpful when considering which material to use in the construction of your gate.
Q: How much do steel and aluminum driveway gates weigh?
A: Steel gates generally weigh approximately 25 lbs per linear foot. Therefore a 10′ steel gate panel would weigh approximately 250lbs.
Aluminum gates generally weigh approximately 8.3 lbs/ft. Therefore a 10′ aluminum gate panel would weigh approximately 83lbs.
These weights are rough estimates only, please contact us to learn more about a specific gate you may have in mind.
Q: How much does a driveway gate cost?
A: Depending on the gate design and material, from $300-600 dollars per linear foot. Therefore a 10′ gate panel would be anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.
Q: Do custom driveway gates require a down payment to get started?
A: Once the customer chooses a design we ask for a 50% down payment to begin building the driveway gates for your project. The remaining balance is due at the time of completion.
Q: How much do custom gate designs cost?
A: Our existing driveway gate designs are free. For new gate designs, depending on the complexity of the project we may require a design deposit of $30-$299.
Q: How long does it take to build a custom driveway gate?
A: Our lead time to completion is usually 6 to 8 weeks from the time a down payment is made. Larger or exceptionally intricate projects may take longer to complete.
Q: What is the best driveway gate design?
A: The best gate designs for driveways should balance function with form. A driveway gate design makes an impression as to the owner’s personality. The gate design should be created from either steel or aluminum for metal driveway gates. JDR Metal Art has over 100 high-quality driveway gate designs and creates brand new gate designs every month.
Q: How to design a ranch gate?
A: Start designing a ranch gate by first getting the measurements together, such as the width of the opening and the desired height of the gate. Then think about whether you want the top arched, flat, and with or without decorative elements such as finials (spears). A ranch gate can be old-world wrought iron style or a modern ranch gate with a stunning plasma cut artistic design of ranch animals such as horses and equine, cattle, bison, or exotics.
Q: What is a decorative fence gate?
Decorative Fence Gate Designs: A fence is not complete without a decorative fence gate at the driveway. A decorative fence gate can incorporate elements such as wrought iron spears, balusters, rings and so forth. A decorative fence gate can also incorporate any other design elements you wish to have on your gate such as a nature or modern theme.
A: What is a swinging steel gate?
The single steel swinging gate design is the most functional type of driveway gate because it only requires one gate post and can be easily installed. The double open swing gate is more complex as it requires two gate posts and takes more effort to make sure the swinging gate panels align properly when they are in the closed position. Design: Swing Steel Gate For Home, Farm, Ranch or Estate.
A: Driveway gates commonly come in sizes of 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 feet. A driveway typically is somewhere between 9 and 24 feet wide. Most are from 12 to 16′ wide. The driveway gate should be a foot or two wider than your driveway entrance. If you want dual swing gates for a 11′ wide driveway you would want to purchase two 6′ panels. For a single swing you would want to buy a 12′ gate to cover an 11′ driveway.
A: Driveway gates typically come in standard widths of 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 feet.
Q: What is the standard gate height?
A: Driveway gates typically come in standard manufactured heights of 48″, 60″ and 72″ tall. Other sizes would require a custom order to be placed. The height of the gate should match with the fencing that the gate may be connected to.
A: For a sliding driveway gate, it can be built to practically any width up to 40′ or more. The largest we’ve built is 30′ single slide gate that had to be shipped on a flatbed trailer. For a swinging driveway gate, even the best driveway gate openers can only handle up to a 16′ or 18′ single swing gate. We’ve built many 16′ single swing gates.
Q: Can electric gates open 180 degrees?
A: An electric swinging driveway gate can only open up to 110 degrees. This is due to mechanical restrictions of the opener arms. Certain types of electric gate openers, such as a pad-mounted opener only “pulls to open” i.e. if you were standing on the home side of your gates, the gate opener only opens the gate towards the house, not out towards the road.
A: For driveway gate clearance above the ground, we typically see clients going with 4″ to 6″ ground clearance. For clearance between the gate and the gate post, there should be 3.5″ to 4″ of clearance. For clearance between the gate and a latching post (single swing gates) we recommend 1″ space so hands can’t get crushed when the gate is going into the closed position.
A: For rarely used gate openings, 8′ wide is sufficient to squeeze a truck through. But not a semi-truck, which is 96″ wide (8′). For residential driveways we recommend at least 10′ wide at the very minimum. A 12′ driveway gate would work well for a lightly traveled driveway. A commercial driveway gate should be at least 14′ wide to allow larger trucks to easily pass through.
A: The average car is about 6 to 6.5 feet wide, making it just narrow enough to fit between an 8′ gate opening.
A: You want the driveway gate to be 5 inches smaller than the opening between the posts for a single swing gate and 9″ for a dual or double swing to allow for gates swing and hinge hardware.
A: There is a manual release built into electric gates in the event that power is lost to the gate opener and the backup battery loses its charge. There is usually a key that is inserted into the release so that it can’t be manually opened by random people.
A: Gate arms are fitted with keyed manual releases which should remain in the locked position except when manually being used. A magnetic lock is an accessory that activates when the gates close to latch the gate in the closed position, thus preventing anyone from being able to force the gate open. Cameras can be installed with which to monitor your gates from a remote location.
A: The general rule for setting a gate post is that the depth of the post’s hole needs to be a 1/3 to 1/2 of the height of the post above grade. 6 foot tall fence gate posts should be buried a minimum of three feet into the ground. The post hold diameter should be at least three to four times the diameter of your gate post.
A: Top 5 Best Residential Gate Openers