There are many factors to consider when designing a gate and its accompanying operator/system. Below is a list of questions our project managers and estimators ask clients first and foremost. Your answers provide them with the details they need to design the best gate system for your needs.
Things to Consider
Keep these questions in mind when thinking about the automated gate you’d like to install:
- Why do you want the gate to be automated?
- Are you trying to keep a dog in or keep traffic out? Is this gate meant to function primarily as an added security measure, or are you looking to add an aesthetic asset to your home? All of these needs and expectations must be clear prior to installation to ensure your satisfaction.
- What do you want the system to do?
- Are your needs simple or complex? Is remote access adequate, or are you looking for a more highly guarded barrier? Outline your access and security expectations to your project manager. Unsure of what your options are? Your project manager can assist you during your free estimate appointment.
- Where do you plan to post the gate?
- Be aware that your ideal location may not coincide with UL-325 standards. These are standards that prevent pedestrian injury (i.e., pinch points where a person can be crushed or trapped). Typical logistical and safety considerations include:If the gate is to be installed next to the house, typically in an in-town setting, your project manager will be looking for potential pinch points. If there are existing pillars where the gate will be installed, the gates will need to be hinged off posts adjacent to the pillars. If the gate will hinge off new columns, there are certain construction requirements that must be fulfilled. I-beams are installed to further secure the gate as well as a small baffle, which protects the gate operator units and will prevent a person from being potentially crushed by the gate.All decisions for final placement of the gate are made keeping both aesthetic and safety in mind. We strictly follow UL-325 and ASTM F-2200, which establishes standards for gate construction and operator installation. By following these standards, we help to ensure that you will have an operator system free of pedestrian and vehicular hazards.
- Are other contractors needed?
- We provide only the gate system and the gate itself. If any other services or repairs are needed, they will have to be performed by another contractor and are your responsibility. Important details to keep in mind: Does the driveway need repair? The vehicle loop sensors need to be installed beneath the driveway. If the asphalt or concrete are crumbling or breaking apart and it continues to do so, the loops may become exposed and be damaged by vehicle traffic and direct exposure to the elements.
- Does the gate need an electrical or phone line? Depending on what type of gate entry system you purchase, installation may include working with an electrician or extending your phone line to the end of your driveway. You can use any contractor you prefer for these services, if you are unsure of whom to use, we can provide references.
- What will your gate look like?
- Once the location is determined, specifics about the look of the gate are discussed. A determining factor in the final gate design is the slope of the driveway where it will be located. The slope, both into and along the property, will affect the bottom height of the gate as well as the direction it swings, either in or out. A lot of what your gate looks like also depends on its purpose. For instance, if you’re keeping in a small dog, there can’t be much space between the ground and the bottom of the gate or between the pickets. Details like these can be easily forgotten in the midst of design decisions, so it’s important to keep the gate’s purpose in mind at all times.
- Will the gate opening be large enough for the traffic it may see?
- Don’t account for only your own vehicles. Keep in mind, delivery trucks, fire trucks, landscaping trailers and any number of other vehicles may need to access your property through this entrance.
- Do I need to account for vehicle emergency access?
- You will need to check with your local fire and police departments in regards to this issue. We will design a system to do whatever it is that the local requirements dictate. Some municipalities may not have any requirements while others may have ones that are very elaborate.
- What is your budget?
- Let your project manager know if you’re working within a budget and know that this may limit the product type and system we are able to install.