Fence Gate Design for the Home or Business

Fence Gate Design for the Home or Business

Fences add privacy, security, and beauty to your properties. But when it comes to choosing a fence gate design, there's a whole new slew of questions you need to ask. Choosing the wrong gate can undo all the hard work put in by the rest of the fence.

Whether you’re buying a fence gate for a home or business, you need to ask the same basic questions before you start your project.

4 Questions for Fence Gate Design

How Hard Is It To Get Through?

A fence gate represents the point of minimum security. It is, after all, a spot in your fence that's meant to be breached. So you need to ask how hard the gate is to get through, and how secure you need it to be.

For example, if you fenced your yard to keep in dogs and small children, then a gate doesn't have to be particularly hard to open. A simple thumb latch located too high for the little ones to reach should be more than enough to maintain your fence's security. However, if you're trying to keep out trespassers, then you might want something a little harder to bypass. A locked gate, one with a keypad or even an automated sensor, might be a better investment in that case.

Form, Function, or Both?

A gate can be either the center of attention, or something that's meant to fade into the background. A fence's front gate, for example, can make a statement about who lives there. If you have a wrought iron fence, say, then the front gate might have a symbols worked into it. The initials of the homeowner, say, or a fantastical creature. A rear or side gate, though, isn't meant to draw that kind of notice. In those instances it's a better idea to pick a subtle gate that blends in with the rest of the fence. The camouflage can make the gate harder to notice, which will add to its security.

How Many Gates Will You Have?

Even the most secure fences tend to have a few gates. For example, do you have a side gate that leads from the driveway to your front walk? Do you have a rear gate that lets you leave your home from the backyard, walking down a path into the woods? Will all your gates be the same, or will you have main gates and secondary gates? Lastly, though, you need to decide if all your gates will have the same level of security, or if certain gates are more important than others.

Will it fit the natural flow?

When you choose a gate, as when you choose a fence, you need to keep in mind that nature is not a static thing. If you have small trees, or tamed bushes, you need to ask what's going to happen years down the road when those plants have grown. This is particularly true for gates that are set in hedges, for homeowners who prefer to have natural greenery protecting their yards instead of chain link or wooden slats. Unless the homeowner is going to take specific care, it's possible that the hedge might swallow the gate, and need to be trimmed back with extreme prejudice.

Fence Gate Design for Businesses

Although I'm sure Area 51 and top-secret government facilities have some of the strongest, most durable, and resilient fences and gates money can buy, your facility doesn't have to be a highly classified military compound to benefit from high-quality commercial fence gate design. A variety of businesses including parking garages, public transportation facilities, construction companies, police stations, manufacturing plants, shopping malls, airports, and more can all make good use of good fence gate design.

Your business could be in the market for better security, or you could be trying to crash proof it. Maybe you're just trying to mark off clear boundaries to your property line to separate yourself from intrusive neighborhood surroundings. Once you determine the reason for the gate system you want to install that reasonably complements your commercial fencing, then you can choose the right style. Plenty of options exist.

Swing Gate

This is one of the more aesthetically appealing gate styles. It's a good choice to provide visual appeal to your business, as well as an excellent choice to make life a little more difficult for would-be intruders to luxury private residences as well. A swing gate stays stationary at one end and uses a hinged system to open. It's the most popular choice for a lot of locations because of its look and function, but it does have some limitations. For instance, you need to make sure you have the proper clearance to safely operate a swing gate.

Cantilever Slide Gate

Sometimes tricky sloped landscaping or inconvenient locations of other natural obstructions can make a swing gate impossible. If that happens, a slide gate is a good replacement option. This gate style can also be motorized and controlled from a remote location, which provides a further element of convenience.

Overhead Track Gate

Similar in operation to the slide gate, an overhead track style can be constructed to suit any opening for height and width. This is also an excellent choice when swing gates just aren't possible due to landscaping issues.

Vertical Lift Gate

These are used just about exclusively for industrial applications. They're an impressive sight to behold when the gate rises up from the ground allowing entry to your property. It's also made from a very durable construction, which can include ornamental iron, aluminum, or chain link materials.

Barrier Arm Gate

The perfect choice for commercial parking lots and garages. It features an arm that stretches across the traffic lane and is lifted safely out of the way when the operator or parking attendant operates it to allow a vehicle to pass through. A variety of widths are available for barrier arms, depending on the individual needs of your commercial parking situation.

Anti-Crash Gate

Just in case you're fearful of a Hollywood-style bad guy like Gary Oldman loading up a minivan and trying to crash through your gate to either evade pursuit or gain unlawful entry, the anti-crash gate could be just what you need. They're made with the highest quality and most durable materials and constructed with expert craftsmanship to produce perhaps, the most physically secure entry point you can buy.

Fence Gate Design for Homes

If you've ever taken a drive through Texas, you've probably noticed all the different decorative elements ranchers put on their gates to make their ranch stand out above their neighbors'. Sometimes it's their initials. Sometimes it's a replica of the brand they use on their cattle. Sometimes it's part of a '65 Caddy.

In a vast, flat expanse where properties are large and until recent years didn't include road names or addresses to identify them, owners had to find creative ways to direct friends or business associates to their property.

Back here on the East Coast, we don't need to flag our homes in order for friends to find them, but why not have some fun and find creative ways to make your home stand out with fun fence gate design?

Of course, how you personalize your fence gate will depend first upon what type of fence you own or are installing and whether you want a personal symbol or would prefer a design distinctive and distinguished.

Wooden Gates

If you have a wood fence surrounding the front of your property, you should consider gate options that will complement your fence and still add appeal. For example, if you have a white picket fence, you could consider a white trellis to arch over the entry or a pair of simple lighted posts to frame the gate. You don't want an entrance so grand and elaborate that it would dwarf the picket fence and make it seem insignificant beside the gate structure.

If you have a 6-foot wooden privacy fence encircling your yard, you could craft a more elaborate feature such as a stone structure to enclose the gate. Or you could create an art element in the gate with exotic woods. You still can have your initials or a family crest inserted into the face of the gate to truly personalize your home.

Wrought Iron Gates

If your property is bounded by a wrought iron fence, you have many creative options to making the gate unique. The simplest idea is to make a more elaborate design with the wrought iron to make the personalized gate fit your family's personality. Again, you could frame the gate with a stone structure and create an arch that would span the gate. Or maybe you'd prefer to create a weathered wood gate crossed with wrought iron to give an older feel to the entrance.

Stone Personalized Gate

If a stone fence sets apart your front lawn, mixing wrought iron and/or weathered wood can continue that earthy appeal while making your entrance uniquely elegant. Traditional lampposts also can be added to make a warm, appealing entrance.

Driveway Entrances

In our example to open this article of the Texas ranches, of course, what we were referring to were the driveway entrances, as traditional ranches include a house set far back from the main road, away from the dust and the noise. Still, in this part of the country you may want to gate your driveway for privacy or security reasons.

These personalized gates can be created in a variety of ways to enhance the beauty of your property while still providing protection. You can easily label your property with an elegant representation of your family name, your house number or a favorite art element.

Our professional designers will enjoy the opportunity to work with you to create and implement the perfect design elements to make your home distinctive in your neighborhood. You may not have the acreage of a Texas ranch, but you value your castle and want to make it reflect your family's values and personality.

Long Fence is an expert installer of residential and commercial fencing and gates with several locations. We pride ourselves on providing prompt and courteous service and professional installations to all of our customers. Please contact us today for a FREE estimate!

About the Author

Brett Crouse