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Design Guide For An Automatic Gate

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Your fence is only as good as its gate. If you want an automatic gate for your driveway, then you need to weigh all of your options so that you choose the right one for your needs.

What Are Your Gate Options?

Automatic gates come in many designs, but when it comes to the opening mechanism there are two main options to decide between.

Swing Gates

Swing gates tend to be the least expensive option, as well as one of the quickest to install. For the average home, a swing gate consists of only one swinging arm that is large enough to allow one car to pass. The main drawback with this design is that you must have the clearance on one side of the gate to ensure that there is room for it to swing open.

Cantilever Gates

Cantilever gates are also known as rolling gates. These gates roll open sideways, which means you don't need the clearance room for the gate to swing open. You will need to have space to install the rolling track, and this are will need to be maintained so that debris doesn't get into the track and interfere with the gate. If you don't have room for a track for the gate, there are "free floating" designs that don't require a track.

What Is Your Main Concern With an Automatic Gate?

Once you decide which opening mechanism to purchase, you need to make a decision on the gates design.


If you mainly want a gate for security, such as to keep intruders from accessing your property, look for either a solid gate or one with the pickets spaced closely enough together to prevent someone from squeezing through. The gate must also be tall enough and difficult enough to prevent climbing. Rolling gates on tracks are also a better option since they reach to the ground so no one can crawl underneath the gate.


Designs for safety are typically desired when you are containing children or pets to the yard, or if you are keeping them away from a dangerous area like a pool. Generally, solid gates are the best option since many children and pets can squeeze through even the closest set of pickets. You can also opt for a picket style metal gate that has a screen attached to cover the spaces between the bars. Much like a security gate, make sure it reaches to the ground and that it is tall enough to prevent climbing.


When you want an automatic gate but don't want to give up privacy, look to a solid gate design. Much like your fence, these gates are created from solid panels. Usually, they use a lightweight material like vinyl or aluminum so that there is no added stress placed on the opening mechanism.

Contact an automatic gate opener installation service for more help.