Garden gates and railings serve a dual purpose: keeping your property that little bit more secure while improving its external appearance. In our abridged article, taken from Garden Oasis’s full installation guide, we’ll cover what you should think about when choosing and installing garden gates and railings.
Your choices are typically either wood or metal – but which one is best? Naturally, there are the aesthetic considerations, so your preferences do play a big part in your decision. Metal is clearly stronger than wood and it can be more easily bent into ornate shapes, meaning it can suit older or listed properties. With regard to maintenance, some metal gates come ready-primed to prevent the formation of rust, or it’s easy to paint them yourselves, so that the gate remains in good condition for years to come.
Wood is no less durable than metal when cared for properly and is the natural choice, blending in with existing fences. Available in solid panels, the wooden option can provide greater privacy than metal. Wooden gates and posts can be pressure treated, giving them 15 years of protection. You can stain them, repaint them or varnish them for the finish of your choice.
It’s important you determine whether your structure is strong enough, too. If your gates/railings will be affixed to existing brickwork, you’ll need to check it isn’t crumbling and can bear the weight. Otherwise, you may need to concrete in some gate posts or metal posts to shore up brickwork.
Another point to bear in mind is whether you need planning permission. The Gov.uk planning portal lists the scenarios in which permission is required, such as installing a gate or railing which is over two metres tall.
When it comes to the physical installation, it’s possible to do this yourself with just a little know-how. Just remember to take into account clearing distances when measuring for your gate and/or railings. Naturally, you can arrange for a skilled specialist to do this for you.
Depending on where your gate will be located and what it’s for, you might want to consider automatic operation, especially if yours is a gate to a driveway. Automated gates are safe, complying with strict guidelines and often configured with sensors which detect if the family pet or a child runs in the way of the closing gates. You can set the closing speed, too.
There’s nothing wrong with gates you need to open manually, of course, but if you fancy changing yours or automating the ones you’ve chosen, you can buy an automation kit which comprises a motor, remote control and wall-mounted detection cells.
Adding gates and railings to your home can really increase its appeal, its security and your family’s privacy. For more information on choosing, installing and maintaining your gates and railings, see the full Gates and Railings: A guide to installation.