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The Different Types of House Gates

Last modified: 2021-05-26 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Amanda Harvey

The entrance to the driveway of your home sets the first impression for guests and travellers alike. Having a handsome gate not only serves as an attractive entryway into your property, but it can also be aesthetically pleasing, greatly adding to the curb appeal of your property. Aside from the way it looks, the function of your gate is very important.

The gate you choose will directly depend on the size of your drive or walkway, single or double drive, as well as the size of your home. Consider your options wisely and do a little bit of research before moving forward with your gate installation. Luckily, we’ve done a bit of homework for you, and offer some background on the gates available for you.

Here is a look at the different types of house gates available on the market

Automated Slide Gates

Automated slide

source: Flickr, Swan Gates

Think of the automatic doors of a department store and you can understand how the mechanism in a slide gate works. The slide gate either slides on wheels from left to right or from right to left. To accommodate this type of gate, you need ample space that is equal to the width of your driveway on either side and then some. In the realm of slide gates, there are a few different types to choose from, these are: V-track, rear pipe track and cantilever.

V-track slide gates are the most common type of slide gate. They are considered quite reliable. However, these may be problematic in parts of Canada that have a lot of snow or ice, as the v-track needs to be kept clear of debris to operate.

The rear pipe track sliding gate has two wheels mounted on pipes that are mounted to the fence panels. The front end of the gate contains a wheel carriage assembly that consists of a rubber wheel and one V-track wheel.

The cantilever slide gate is preferable in areas or regions that experience a lot of snow and ice.  Cantilever gates do not operate with wheels, and therefore, slide over the driveway without being bothered by debris or buildup. Cantilever gates also come in a few different styles, these include: full cantilever gates, top hang cantilever gates and bottom track cantilever gates.

Determining which model is best for you is dependent on the style of your home, as well as the size of your driveway. Consider doing some research before going forward with a purchase.  The downfall of cantilever gates is that they require even more space than the other slide gates listed. If you have a very large driveway, this may be the choice for you. 

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Swing Gates

Swing house

source: Flickr, awans

As the name so aptly suggests, swing gates swing open inward and outward.  If you are installing this style of gate, bear in mind that if it is outward swinging it must be set back from the street or sidewalk enough so that it does not make its way into a passing car. There are two main types of swing gates, and these are single and double swing.

Single swing gates open similarly to any old door, while double swing gates open like French doors.  It is important to install swing gates on a level plane, so if you have a flat driveway, this type of gate would work well. However, if your driveway is sloped, uphill swing gates are a possibility. This style of gate presents an engineering challenge, and should only be considered if no other style of gate suits.

Automatic House Gates

Automatic house

source: Flickr, constructionsg

Swing and sliding gates are operated by motors, generally attached to a pulley or chain that works by pulling the gate open. Generally, these styles of gates are slow-moving. However, there are a few styles of automatic gates on the market that employ more high-tech systems to operate. Remote or automatic detection gates are triggered when a car approaches, working automatically to open. However, some models of these gates are partially manual, and someone may be needed to push the button for it to open.

Battery-powered gates are another style of automatic gate, and these have an advantage over electric gates. Where electric gates need to be connected to a power grid, battery-powered gates can go anywhere.

Lastly, solar-powered gates are new to the market. With many homeowners becoming environmentally conscious and turning towards green energy, they are growing in popularity. Solar panels are located close to the gate, gathering sunlight and turning it into electrical energy to store in the battery. The stored energy is then used to open and close the gate, making this option not only eco-friendly but efficient!

  types of gates features
sliding gates 1) V-track slide gate
  • the most common
  • relatively reliable
  • unsuitable for winter weather conditions
2) rear pipe track sliding gate
  • has two wheels mounted on rails
  • the rails are mounted on the gates 
3) cantilever slide gate
  • preferable in areas receiving a lot of snow
  • works by sliding
  • is available in 3 variants: full, suspended or with a rail on the ground
  • requires more space than other types of portals
swing gates 4) single swing gate
  • opens substantially like an old door
  • must be installed on flat ground
5) double swing gate
  • opens like a French door
  • must be installed on flat ground
6) remote or automatic detection gate
  • opens up by itself
  • some models are partially self-contained
automatic house gates
7) battery-powered gate
  • can be installed everywhere
8) solar power gate
  • works with energy collected by solar panels near the portal


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