If you are a homeowner who is concerned about the aesthetic appeal of your home, but are also worried about security, one of the best home improvement projects you can undertake is to install some gates to the pedestrian and vehicle access points of the home.
With this in mind, the following article will take a look at what are the most popular options available, how to choose the right design for a given space and why they can be so effective.
Forming a large part of the front elevation of the property, it is important that the driveway entrance is secured from trespassers and vandals. For this reason the best design to select is a simple pair of double gates in a design appropriate to the style of your home.
Normally capable of spanning openings up to 6m, they are easy to operate, require little maintenance and when automated can prove really beneficial to the homeowner in terms of added convenience (especially if the property fronts onto a busy road).
One point worth mentioning in relation to double gates is that it is important to check the wall or pillar you are fixing the hinges to is capable of taking the additional weight otherwise they may pull the wall over, which would lead to expensive repair work being required.
If the supporting structure is found to be unsuitable, the best solution would be to add some metal posts to provide support.
Side Access Gates
If your home features an access point that is concealed from view or is located towards the rear of the property (for example down a back alleyway), it’s a good idea to try and restrict access by using a tall metal side gate. Generally around 6ft in height they are difficult to climb over, making them a great first line of defence.
As the name suggest this style of gate is designed to be used for pedestrian access points such as pathways and front entrances, where a low level of security is required but a high level of aesthetic appeal is a requirement.
Manufactured from solid metal components, there are thousands of design possibilities available to choose from in no end of modern, simple, ornate and traditional styles, ensuring the look is available to suit the design of any outdoor space.
Available from many online stores and major DIY warehouses you can find metal garden gates for sale from around £50, meaning they are very affordable for the average homeowner.
Choosing the Right Design
As with any part of the home’s design, it is essential that several factors are taken into consideration when looking to purchase a new set of gates for the home.
To achieve the best results consider the following aspects:
- Style of Property: Modern or traditional, period or cottage? The type of property you have will influence the styles you should be looking at.
- Age of Property: Certain gates are designed to match a particular period of architecture so if the home is a Georgian or art deco design try to find a style to match.
- Existing Features: Matching a gate to any existing features such as doors and architectural features will help create a harmonious look.
- Material of Choice: Do you prefer the clean lines of a wrought iron gate or would prefer the warmth and character of timber?
- Method of Operation: Is there room for the gate to swing open? If there are no space restrictions the main consideration is whether to automate the gates. If space is restricted you may want to look at other options including bi-folding or sliding designs.
Once the above factors have been taken into consideration choosing the most appropriate design will be far easier.
What Makes a Gate An Effective Security Deterrent?
Depending upon the style of gate the level of security that can be achieved will fall into 2 main categories:
- Visual Deterrent
- Physical Barrier
Regardless of whether you select a 3ft or 6ft high gate, the simple fact that a visual barrier is in place will go a long way toward perturbing the opportunist criminal. This is because it creates a clearly defined boundary between one person’s space and the surrounding area.
By placing a physical barrier across the entrance this will restrict any unauthorised access making it more difficult for someone to quietly sneak around the back of the home or gain access to your car.
In conclusion, the addition of a simple gate to any residential entrance can prove a cost effective and worthwhile home improvement project that will not only help to secure the home, but will also improve the visual appearance of the entrance, making for a more aesthetically pleasing overall look to your property.
This article has been contributed by Metal Gates Direct, a leading UK retailer of gates, fencing and railings designed for any residential environment.