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Are you considering having electric gates fitted to your property, but are worried about how much they will cost? This short article provides all the information you need.
The most significant effect on the price of gates is down to how they look and what they’re made of. Ornate gate designs will always be more expensive than simpler designs.
The material used to make the gates also affects the cost. Timber gates using softwood are cheaper than hardwood gates but require significantly more maintenance and don’t nearly last as long. This means that not only do they cost more to own but they will almost certainly need replacing sooner than an equivalent hardwood gate.
Unfortunately, even hardwood gates will eventually deteriorate even if carefully maintained. They shrink when they dry out and expand as they soak up water. This causes bolts and screws to work loose and joints to open up. Eventually, water penetrates the wood thus allowing rot to develop.
The cost of aluminium gates is close to hardwood ones and they don’t require any maintenance other than occasional cleaning. They don’t absorb water and are protected from the elements by the surface coating that gives them their wood-effect finish or colour. As aluminium gates are designed to look like wooden gates, they provide the perfect alternative to wood without any of the drawbacks.
Ornate iron gates are usually the most expensive. As they are constructed from a material that oxidises when exposed to water and oxygen (they rust), iron gates also need careful maintenance.
The more ornate the style, the more expensive your gates will be, and non-standard finishes and colours will add to the cost of new gates.
One of the questions we are asked most frequently is, ‘How much do electric gates cost?’ There’s no doubt that this is a perfectly reasonable question for anyone considering installing an automatic gate system.
Any supplier of electric gates can give you prices of a complete system or the component parts like switches, rails, actuators. However, with a gate opening kit, just like any complex system of machine components assembled into a bespoke, new ‘machine’, there are many variables.
So, because every electronic gate system is different, even a rough price can be difficult to come up with without a site survey. This is normally carried out by a professional electric gate installer and answers all the questions needed to give you a quote for your gate opening system.
If you need a gate installer, call Gate Automation Supplies on 03300 883 890.
What we can do here is go through the various elements that make up gate automation systems and break down each one to give a range of typical electric gates prices.
But first, we should consider the different types of gates:-
Before you can start pricing the system, we should delve a little deeper into how the costs of an electric gate system are built up. The following is the basic list:
The largest physical components of any electric gate system are the gates themselves. A single sliding gate or two swing gates is the norm. You might think that using one gate to cover the opening would be cheaper than two, but in many instances, this is not the case as the single larger gate requires stronger components. Thus in practice there are not much saving to be had. Best to get the gate system you think looks the best for your property. However, if you use two swing gates to cover the same width as a single sliding gate, the swing gates will be more expensive because they are more expensive to manufacture.
Swing gates can be more expensive than sliding gates because there are two of them instead of a single sliding gate, however the sliding gates require more groundwork, so in the end the difference can be minimal. As ever, it is best to purchase the system that you like the most. By the way, as a variation, you could have two swing gates joined in the middle to make a single sliding gate. This still looks like two swing gates but slides open across the driveway entrance.
Aluminium gates we supply range in cost from a few hundred pounds for pedestrian gates up to a £2000 to £4000 for bespoke, contemporary or classically designed driveway gates.
Gate motors physically open and close gates and can be called external gate closers or gate openers, electric gate operators or gate automation motors.
Generally speaking, gate automation motors increase in costs in the following order:
A sliding gate (also known as rolling gates) only uses a single motor, and one external gate closer nearly always costs less than two. The type and size of the motor will be determined by the size and weight of the gate and how often it will be opened and closed. A heavier gate operated frequently will need a more expensive motor than one used to operate a lighter gate a few times a day.
The cost of swing gate motors as also affected by their duty or work cycle and the weight of the gates they will operate. But, unlike sliding gate motors, there is a variety of swing gate motors and the different designs and mechanisms used also affects gate motor prices.
These gate operators use a jointed arm between the motor and gate. They are relatively simple and don’t need expert installation so can be one of the least expensive swing gate options.
Ram and linear screw gate motors require careful installation and, although fairly simple design, may cost more than comparable articulated arm gate motors.
Underground gate automation requires careful installation and groundworks to provide adequate drainage for these submerged motors. Added to their initial cost, which includes foundation boxes, and underground motors are one of the most expensive options in gate automation.
In-post motors have a highly compact design that allows them to be mounted inside specially made gate posts. They are another expensive gate automation option.
Gate motors range in price from a few hundred pounds for low intensity articulated arm motors for lightweight gates up to an average of £1000 for a pair of domestic underground motors and their foundation boxes. Commercials gate motors for high work cycle gates big enough to allow commercial vehicles including articulated lorries to pass through will cost substantially more.
Of course, if the type of gate is very different from the norm, or the installation of the gate is more problematical for some reason, the gate company are going to charge you more.
Electric gates don’t cost much to operate, and their running costs will depend on how much they are used. In standby, an electric gate system will use about 100 watts per day. With electricity costing around 15p per KWh this translates to 1.5p per day.
When the gates are operating, they will use up to about 700W, but this is only for about 20 seconds in each direction. This adds up to about 0.2p for each complete opening and closing cycle of the gates. An average set of domestic gates operates to 15 times a day which works out to be about 3p per day based on the above prices.
So, over an entire year the electricity cost for gates operating up to 15 times a day (which is quite a lot) will be in the region of £15.
Electric gate installation costs are largely determined by groundworks and type of gates. Groundworks include pillars, posts and underground motor installation and drainage provision, plus of course the cost of providing a certified electrical supply to the gate.
As described above, some gate motors are more expensive than others, but the level of groundworks plays a significant part in the total cost. Installing sliding gates sounds like it should be the cheapest as there is only one gate and one motor. However, track needs to be laid for the gate to move along and this can require digging up the driveway. Subsequently, the groundworks can make these simpler systems just as expensive to install as swing gates.
With swing gates, underground motors require careful alignment as the motor forms the bottom gate hinge. They also require holes in the ground for mounting and drainage. Without provision for sufficient water drainage, underground motors can remain submerged in water which will cause them to fail.
The cost to install electric gates is determined in some respect by the quality of the installation company chosen. As the gate engineer you choose will be responsible for the creation and installation of a safe electric gate system tailored to your unique needs, cutting corners to save money is not recommended.
If you need a gate installer, call Gate Automation Supplies on 03300 883 890.
Larger costs will be incurred from maintenance visits. These will vary depending on your gate system and how far away your chosen gate engineer / technicians are. Sufficient maintenance to ensure reliable operation and a long life for your electric gates is likely to be around £150 - £300 per year.
Some companies will offer just a basic cost for a maintenance visit to check the system and then quote for any remedial works as required. Other companies may offer a comprehensive maintenance/guarantee contract which would include replacement parts, but these will be substantially more expensive.
Most electric gate system manufacturers offer a guarantee on their equipment from new. This encourages you to use installers who buy from reputable sources in the UK so that these guarantees are honoured. When you check this with your gate engineer, also check that their labour is included as part of the guarantee they give you.
If you have any questions about electric gates prices, call Gate Automation Supplies on 03300 883 890.
As with any home improvement, planning the whole thing is key. Most of these can be avoided by getting a gate installation expert involved as they will ensure that basic errors, like ordering a gate that is not the same width as the space between the posts, are not made. (When you do this you are forgetting to allow for the gate posts and gate fittings).
The issue here is not so much whether the components of your preferred gate are in stock, but rather how busy the gate installation company is likely to be. The best thing is to allow around 12 weeks for the overall process (this time span will vary, the biggest factor being the nature of the gates themselves, as the fabrication process itself can take up to 10 weeks). Of course, normal gates can be installed by experienced DIYers. Fully automated gate systems are best left to the experts however.
The situation everyone using wooden gates dreads is ending up with a warped gate. Of course, you can reduce the risk by choosing hardwood, but whatever you do, nothing can be considered as a fit-and-forget option.
Basically, there are no quick fixes, the key being regular and thorough maintenance.
It is always worth checking with your local planning officer BEFORE you purchase your gates. They will be happy to give you free advice, and if you proceed without their advice and they do not like what you have done, they can make you remove the gates altogether.
The basic rule is that if the gate is over 1 metre high and next to a highway used by vehicles, or over 2 metres elsewhere, you will need permission. Click here for full details.
If you want more information on the costs of automatic gates, call us on 03300 883 890 or click her to send us an enquiry from our contact page.