Garden gates are the entrance to your property. They can be large or small, tall or short, artistic, original, spectacular, modern, romantic, rustic – as you can see, the options are, practically, limitless. We shall look at different types of gates and will see their main characteristics, the requirements that they need to meet as well as the most popular material choices.
Garden gates – functions and characteristics
The main functions of garden gates are to ensure the security and very often, the privacy of a property. The structure must be stable. In contrast to interior doors, in most cases garden openings have no frames. On both sides of the garden door are arranged columns or pillars made of wood, concrete, bricks, stone, etc., which mark the opening in the fence. Sometimes you can use a U-shaped structure or frame to which the door is attached or it can be attached directly to the fence or garden wall with hinges.
When choosing a model for your home you need to keep some considerations in mind. Think of the height of the gate as its dimensions need to be relevant to the fence. For example – a huge gate will look out of place when installed on a picket fence. An important condition for the reliability and durability of the gate is the strength of the pillars. They must withstand the weight of the garden fence, wind and other elements. The aesthetic appearance and compliance with the landscape design of the garden and the house style is another important consideration. The maintenance requirements also should be considered. Some materials (wood) require regular care – repainting, sealing, etc., while other materials like wrought iron are not that demanding. The cost, of course, is a main factor determining the choice of material, design, etc. It is not a good idea to buy the cheapest garden gates but when you are on a budget, it does not make sense to opt for the highest price models. A qualified specialist in landscape design will help you decide on the best option.
By the type of opening garden gates are divided into two groups – swinging and folding. The most popular option is the swinging opening, this model is considered classical and has a number of significant advantages:
- Simplicity of construction and reliability;
- Ease of operation and maintenance;
- Attractive appearance;
- Affordable cost
When choosing a garden gate, one must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different models. All gates are classified according to two main features: design and material.
In some cases, the gate acts as the main element of protection against penetration into the site. Such structures are high, very durable, equipped with a strong lock but they can be aesthetically attractive. Usually such designs are decorated with forged elements, adding lightness and airiness to a massive construction. In most cases, however, the gate performs a more decorative function, while the property protection function is entrusted to the garage gates and the entrance door of the house. The height of such designs is lower – no more than two meters – and typically the locking system are simpler.
Gates can be made of metal or wood, often in combination with supports made of stone or concrete. Wrought iron models are usually handmade and have a unique charm and sophistication. Sometimes we see beautiful designs of the entrance area which combine a gate with a pergola or an arch for plants and climbing flowers which add to the visual appeal of the home. Nowadays the choice on the market is very rich, many different types of garden doors are offered according to their construction – single, double, with wings or sliding opening. Depending on your personal needs, you can install a garden door in the yard as a barrier between two different zones and separate them. This happens very often between the vegetable garden and the flower garden.
Garden gates – choosing the type, style and material
Garden gates are manufactured from wood, wood composite, plastic or metal – stainless steel, wrought iron, aluminum are the most popular materials. The choice of material depends on the personal taste of every homeowner, but it should be complementary to the overall exterior and landscape design. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages and is suitable for certain decorative styles.
Electronics and automatic systems are already an inseparable part of the modern house. They are suitable for any door or gate, regardless of model and size. If you want to be up to date, you can install a remote control or install a special lock.
Color plays an important role. Homeowners have a wide selection of colors and can choose the one depending on the effect they want to achieve. For example, a striking, bright, vivid color will be noticed from afar. The other way is to make the gate discreet and to paint it in appropriate color. For example, green can be easily disguised in the natural vegetation and can be hidden from the eye. If you want to create a sense of simplicity, leave the natural color of wood which works in a great way with fences made of stone or brick. A dark color creates a visual contrast with a white fence and underlines the role of the gate.
The garden gate can be solid or provide a view at the front yard, depending on your privacy requirements. Grid gates are very popular as they protect the entrance but do not block the view and passers-by can take a look at the beautiful garden and admire the landscape. Lattice gates can be made of metal, wood or plastic. They blend harmoniously with the landscape and are a great choice when you want to set an accent.
Solid garden gates are a good option for those who would like to protect their privacy. They create a closed space which is hidden from strangers. Thick masonry and a solid gate make the exterior appear narrower so this option is suitable for larger sites.
Wooden doors are inexpensive and have great decorative properties. Wood offers many advantages but has some drawbacks and you should keep them in mind. The most popular wood species used for manufacturing exterior garden doors are pine, spruce, larch, alder, birch, maple, oak, walnut, chestnut and other varieties which have a beautiful texture and grain, better resistance to decay and are more durable. You should choose a material which is resistant to rain, snow, cold and heat, rotting, moisture and fungi, shrinking and expanding.
The advantages of wooden gates include light weight, affordable cost, beautiful appearance and environmental friendliness but on the downside one can point out the need of regular maintenance, low fire resistance, insufficient mechanical strength, etc.
Metal doors are a long-term solution and that is their main advantage. You can buy or order a finished door when you order or buy your fence. Custom designed doors are the best way to show individuality and have a unique look. Metal doors can be perforated or solid. It can even be a true work of art – the possibilities for decoration are great – small rosettes, winding leaves and twigs, spirals, elegant arrows, etc.
Aluminum has excellent performance characteristics. Aluminum gates are resistant to temperature changes, rain, wind, sun. It is environmentally safe, resistant to mold and fungi and is not prone to rot and rust as it is covered with anti-corrosive coating. Aluminum is not very demanding and does not require special maintenance. One of the disadvantages of aluminum is that it can be damaged by chlorine, so it is not a good option when you wish to install in near a swimming pool.
The main advantage of wrought iron gates is their beauty and nobility. They are always original due to their durability will serve you for many years. A disadvantage is their heavy weight and the high price, as usually, such models are custom made. In general, a wrought iron gate will fit any fence, no matter what material it is made of. But if your house has a modern exterior such a gate will look a bit ridiculous.
Plastic gates have all the properties that are necessary for modern structures – aesthetics, durability, functionality and reliability. They are not susceptible to corrosion and rotting like wood and metal products. The manufacturing process includes special stabilizers and additives into the PVC composition to improve the resistance to sunlight and temperature changes. The material is resistant to moisture, mold and fungi, it does not corrode and is not affected by insects. The maintenance is significantly lower and it is enough to wash the gate with a watering hose. The market offers a wide choice of models in a variety of colors and every homeowner can find the best option for his home.