How to Pick the Right Gate for Your Chain Link Fence

Chain Link Fence near Construction Site

Deciding to build a fence on your property is more than merely standing up a few barriers. A chain link fence and the chain link fence gate should be a cohesive unit, one that is both aesthetically pleasing and useful. Choosing the right design should be based on three important factors: purpose, maintenance, and regulations. Figure out the why and then add in the how much time you’re willing to spend on upkeep.


When you decide to build a chain link fence, understanding the primary reason behind its installation is crucial. This reasoning not only influences the fence’s height, thickness, and overall design but also plays a significant role in determining the type of gate you need. Here’s a guide to help you match your gate selection with the purpose of your chain link fence.

1. Security and Privacy

If your chain link fence is primarily for security, you’ll need a gate that complements this purpose. Security gates are typically more robust and may include additional locking mechanisms. Options like sliding gates or automated gates with keypads or remote access can enhance security further. Consider gates with added height and minimal gaps to deter intruders effectively.

Recommended Gate Type: Heavy-duty sliding gate with a secure locking system.

2. Pet Containment

For homeowners looking to keep pets safely within the yard, a gate that prevents escape is essential. The gate should be secure enough to keep pets in and sturdy enough to withstand attempts to push through. Self-closing and self-latching gates are particularly useful for pet containment to ensure the gate doesn’t accidentally remain open.

Recommended Gate Type: Self-closing and self-latching gate with no gaps.

3. Child Safety

If the primary reason for your fence is to keep children safe while playing outside, choose a gate that provides easy adult access but is challenging for children to open. Gates with child-proof latches and additional safety features can prevent accidental openings.

Recommended Gate Type: Gate with a child-proof latch and smooth edges to prevent injuries.

4. Access Control

For properties where controlled access is crucial, such as commercial premises or community areas, gates with advanced access control systems are necessary. Automated gates with card readers, intercom systems, or remote access capabilities ensure that only authorized individuals can enter.

Recommended Gate Type: Automated gate with advanced access control features.

5. Aesthetic Appeal

Sometimes, the chain link fence is installed to demarcate property boundaries while maintaining an open, welcoming feel. In such cases, the gate should be functional yet aesthetically pleasing, possibly with decorative elements that match the overall landscape design.

Recommended Gate Type: Ornamental gate with a focus on aesthetics and durability.

6. Vehicle Access

If your chain link fence needs to accommodate vehicle entry, a wider gate is essential. Driveway gates, either swinging or sliding, should be easy to operate and wide enough to allow smooth vehicle passage without compromising security.

Recommended Gate Type: Wide, robust driveway gate with smooth operation features.


Different types of gates demand varying levels of upkeep, and understanding this aspect can save you time, effort, and money in the long run. Here’s how maintenance needs should influence your gate decision:

1. Material Durability

The material of your gate plays a significant role in its maintenance needs. Galvanized steel gates are resistant to rust and corrosion, making them low-maintenance and long-lasting. Aluminum gates are also a great option as they are lightweight, rust-resistant, and require minimal upkeep. On the other hand, gates with wooden elements might need regular treatments to prevent rot and weather damage.

Recommended Materials: Galvanized steel or aluminum for low maintenance.

2. Frequency of Use

Consider how often the gate will be used. High-traffic gates, such as those in commercial properties or busy residential driveways, will require more frequent maintenance to ensure smooth operation. Lubricating hinges, checking for alignment, and inspecting locking mechanisms are essential to keep these gates functioning properly. For gates used less frequently, maintenance tasks can be scheduled less often.

Maintenance Tip: Regularly lubricate moving parts and inspect for wear and tear.

3. Weather Conditions

The local climate can significantly impact the maintenance requirements of your gate. In areas with harsh winters, gates might need more frequent checks to ensure they don’t freeze or suffer damage from ice and snow. Similarly, in humid or coastal regions, gates should be inspected for signs of rust and corrosion more regularly.

Maintenance Tip: Apply weather-resistant coatings and perform seasonal inspections.

4. Automated Gates

If you opt for an automated gate, be prepared for additional maintenance. Automated systems, whether they use remote controls, keypads, or sensors, require regular checks to ensure they are working correctly. Electrical components might need professional servicing periodically to maintain optimal performance.

Maintenance Tip: Schedule professional maintenance for automated systems at least once a year.

5. Gate Hardware

The hardware used in your gate, such as hinges, latches, and locks, also affects maintenance needs. Heavy-duty hardware can withstand frequent use and adverse weather conditions better than standard options. Investing in high-quality hardware reduces the frequency of repairs and replacements.

Maintenance Tip: Choose high-quality, durable hardware to minimize upkeep.

6. Cleaning Requirements

Some gates require regular cleaning to maintain their appearance and functionality. For example, decorative gates with intricate designs might need more attention to keep them looking pristine. Simpler designs or gates with finishes that repel dirt and debris will be easier to maintain.

Maintenance Tip: Opt for designs that are easy to clean or have self-cleaning coatings.

Neighborhood Regulations

Aesthetics are important. You want the chain link fence gate design to go with your house design. But it is also important to check if the desired design is permitted within the Homeowner’s Association, if an HOA is where you reside.

Purpose and maintenance only go so far if a particular security or privacy option is not allowed. Placement of the chain link fence gate may also need to be adjusted per the HOA. Consult your governing board prior to installation to avoid problems and avoid delay.

Find Your Perfect Look for Your Chain Link Fence Gate

The perfect chain link fence gate you desire is waiting at Long® Fence. We provide professional installation that is tailored to your specifications. Whether budget, design, longevity, or replacement is your prime concern, our wide selection of fence choices offer you a variety of possibilities to choose from. Contact us today and make your dream yard a reality! We are the best fence company around.

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