Fencing a property protects it, and the right gate can increase security and curb appeal. However, traditional swing gates don’t work for every property, and sliding gates are often the best choice when space is limited or the land slopes. Automatic gate openers add an extra layer of protection, and there are models for all gate types. Suppliers sell a range of gate and opener models, making it easy for buyers to find the best sliding gates and gate openers for their needs.
How Sliding Gates Work
Choosing the right fence for a residential or commercial property includes selecting the best type of gate. There are two choices: swing or sliding gates. Swing gates work well in many situations, but you may choose a sliding gate for design reasons or because your property lacks the space for a swing gate to open.
Fortunately, suppliers offer a wide range of sliding gates that help solve space problems and offer solutions when an outwardly swinging gate might be unsafe. Property owners can find a range of sliding gates and openers that match their design choices and space requirements.
Sliding gates may have a track or be trackless. They open and close from one side to the other, and gates look tucked away when they are in the open position. In contrast, traditional swing gates occupy space whether they swing inward or outward. However, swing gates are easily automated, so they are popular for residential and commercial fences.
Sliding Gate Benefits
While sliding gates are problem solvers, many property owners choose them because they give fencing sleeker looks. Because they are space-saving and ideal for irregularly shaped and smaller driveways.
Design Idea professionals believe sliding gates are more durable for sloped locations. Swing gates bear a lot of tension each time they are opened, and gravity pulls them downward. In windy areas, they get even more wear and tear. As a result, swing gates on sloping properties tend to have shorter lives than sliding gates.
Because sliding gates open from one side to the other, there is no swinging motion to cause damage. They are more durable for sloping areas and are simple to install. Many homeowners like the premium look of sliding gates. They give property entrances an elegant feel. That can add increase curb appeal and property values. Gates can also be customized to suit owners’ tastes.
Types of Sliding Gates
There are various types of sliding gates designed for different needs and tastes. Some are best suited to commercial use, while others work better for residential properties.
- Sliding Garden Gate: Installing a sliding garden gate is a wise choice that offers convenience. It’s an ergonomic option that makes it easier to maximize available space, and there are no worries about a gate hitting pots or furniture. With swing gates, there’s always the danger of damaging something in the garden. A space-efficient sliding garden gate lets you showcase your property’s inner beauty. It provides a layer of security because the yard is not entirely exposed from the outside. A sliding garden gate is attractive but solid enough to deter intruders.
- Sliding fence gate: This variation on the sliding gate is a good choice for properties with entryways exceeding 20 feet. Gates are easily customized and can be automated. The style is commonly used for commercial properties.
- Cantilevered sliding gate: This style is also known as a trackless or hanging gate. It has concealed mechanical bearings instead of the wheels used in the track versions of many gates. The gate’s weight is balanced on two hangars, so it doesn’t need a track. The trackless operation generates no friction, which reduces pull force on gates. That translates to less wear and tear, less maintenance, and longer lifespans.
- Telescopic sliding gate: A gate that works on a track and is ideal for small parking spaces and driveways. Installing a telescopic sliding gate can save 40% more space than alternatives. Its design features a single panel that splits into multiple panels. The gate got its name because the unfolding panels occur in a telescopic pattern. There are three gate types with varying numbers of panels, which are also called Leafs. Suppliers offer two, three, and four-leaf styles.
- Sliding folding gate: Considered one of the most secure sliding gates, the folding model is sometimes called a crash-rated gate. That is because it is engineered to withstand the impact if vehicles crash into it. Because it offers exceptional security, this model is often chosen for high-value properties or properties with valuable assets. Features can include a magnetic lock and corrosion resistance. Gates are required to pass certifications to ensure they meet industry standards.
Automatic Gate Openers
Most gates add an extra layer of security to properties, but manually opening and closing them can become cumbersome. It could also be a safety issue. Gates that are not re-closed could allow intruders in. Fortunately, manufacturers offer a variety of automatic gate openers for both swinging and sliding gates.
There are openers designed for any budget and every gate style and size. Per Bob Vila, openers make it simple for authorized users to control gates using garage-door-style remotes, keychain remotes, and smart devices.
Comparing Automatic Openers
Several factors must be weighed when selecting an automatic opener. They include remote controls, power sources, and the gate’s size and weight.
There are automatic openers for swing and sliding gates. Swinging gates may have single or dual panels, and dual-panel openers allow users to open a single panel or both. Because double panel openers need a mechanism for each panel, they cost more. Automatic openers for sliding gates are simple. They include a system that opens the gate by sliding the fence panel along a track.
A gate’s size and weight are a consideration when selecting an opener. Electric openers are typically rated for specific lengths and loads. For instance, an opener might handle weight as high as 900 pounds for a gate that is five feet long and up to 300 pounds for gates as long as 20 feet. Manufacturers usually include information about each opener’s weight capacity compared to gate length.
A gate opener’s power source is another essential consideration because they can vary. Sliding gate openers with larger motors are frequently used in commercial settings with wide metal gates. These motors usually need a hardwired 115-volt electrical connection to power them.
Swinging gates are much more common in residential settings and rural areas. Most are not close to power sources. As a result, swinging gates include a rechargeable deep-cycle 12-volt battery and solar panel charger. Batteries provide about 100 uses on one charge and have the added benefit of working during power outages.
When comparing models, shoppers should also consider how often they use their openers. The devices have a formidable job and bear heavy stress since they constantly open heavy metal gates in all conditions. If a gate is opened once or twice daily, there is much less wear than one continuously in use. Consider usage needs when evaluating openers.
Automatic gate openers can also offer a range of interfaces. Some models are controlled locally using a nearby keypad that opens with the correct code input. Property owners can hardwire openers so they may be controlled inside the home.
Suppliers offer various models that connect to smart hubs or devices. Users can open their gates from a smartphone or even use voice control. However, hardwired models using independent controls offer the most security.
Gate Opener Extras
You can find automatic gate openers with unique features. The technology can provide additional reliability, versatility, and convenience. Available extras include:
- Remote functions: Automatic gate openers use various remote controls, from keychain remotes to garage-door-style remotes. Some models are even controllable from smart device apps.
- Stop-and-reverse: This safety feature causes the gate opener to stop and reverse if it senses resistance while closing. The mechanism prevents injuries to people or animals that get in the path of closing gates.
- Infrared photo beams: Infrared photo beams detect approaching vehicles and open the gate. They also close the gate once a car passes through. Stop-and-reverse technology also uses this technology.
- Loop detectors: Loop detectors consist of wire placed in the driveway or ground to detect vehicles driving over them. Loop detectors can be used to open gates automatically when cars are exiting. If a loop senses an auto, it sends a signal to the gate opener. Safety loops will signal the gate to close or stop when a car is so close that the gate might hit it.
- Auto-close: Automatic gate openers can also be set to close automatically using a timer. Owners can set the length of time they want to pass before the gate should close after a vehicle has passed through. It’s a security measure that allows enough time for drivers to pass while ensuring the property remains secure.
Various types of sliding gates and gate openers on the market offer varying features and benefits, so there is something for everyone. When selecting a gate, it’s essential to evaluate the various models to determine which offers the best functional and aesthetic fit. There are automatic gate openers for both swing and sliding gates, including styles with extra features offering safety and convenience.