Automatic sliding driveway gates are great if you have limited space or an inclined installation site. They are convenient and offer optimal security to your property. They also improve the curb appeal and increase the property’s value.
Although they are more common in commercial properties, you can install them in residential properties. There are many sliding gate styles, including cantilever sliding driveway gates, retractable sliding gates, and telescopic sliding gates, among others.
Below are the main considerations when choosing an automatic sliding gate for your driveway.
The overall cost of an automatic gate opener ranges from $1000 up to $10,000 on more. The exact cost depends on the type of automatic sliding gate, the material of the gate, typical installation cost, installation site, length, height, and weight of the gate, and additional features, among other factors.
Start by doing extensive market research to find a reputable supplier and installation professional. Request quotes from different suppliers to establish a fair market price for the gate, motor, and other components.
Vinyl sliding gates are the cheapest option: 10” to 18” vinyl gates cost $2200 to $3000. In comparison, the same size of aluminum or steel gates costs $2000 to $4500. A hardwood sliding gate costs $2,600 to $6,500, while wrought iron gates cost $2,200 to $4,900
A single automatic sliding gate is cheaper to buy, install, and maintain than double sliding gates. If the side of the gate is attached to a stone or brick wall, it is more expensive to install than if it is installed on a metallic frame.
Generally, it is cheaper to install the sliding gate during driveway or fence installation. You can hire the same contractor for multiple projects, which gives you a break in materials and labor costs.
Factor in permits and inspection costs. The permit will depend on your state requirements and the extent of the work. For instance, if you add a new electric panel for the entry gate, the permit will be more expensive than using an existing one. Average permit costs are $100 to $300.
Installation costs also vary with the extent of work, accessories, and average labor costs in your areas. Expect to pay about $50 to $200 per hour, equating to $800 to over $5000 in installation costs.
You may also need to hire multiple professionals. For instance, if you are installing a solar-powered sliding gate on a brick wall, you will need to hire a masonry, solar system specialist, and a sliding gate specialist.
Accessories such as cameras, intercom communication systems, openers, and remote controls add to the overall cost of an automatic sliding driveway gate. Solar-powered automatic driveway gates are more expensive to install but have no running costs. However, only lightweight automatic sliding driveway gates can be powered by a solar panel.
Aside from the cost implications, consider the qualities of different materials and whether they suit you. Wood gates offer a classic feel. You can choose from other types of wood, including fir, pine, spruce, cypress, cedar, and redwood. Wooden gates are heavy and require regular maintenance to maintain the wood finish and prevent rotting.
On the other hand, vinyl gates provide a sleek, modern look. There are unlimited color and design options to choose from. However, vinyl gates are less durable than metallic and wooden gates.
The most common metallic sliding gates include aluminum, steel, and wrought iron. Steel gates are the most popular type as they are more durable than iron gates. They have better resistance to rust and corrosion.
Aluminum is lightweight, malleable, and offers rust and corrosion resistance. On the downside, it is prone to denting. Wrought iron has better durability than cast iron. It is heat treated and processed to make it more malleable and durable. Its primary disadvantage is that it is difficult to install.
The right size of a sliding gate is whatever dimensions that fit your driveway. The best way of determining the exact dimensions is by hiring a professional gate installer to survey your property and take accurate measurements for your preferred entry gate design.
The standard sliding gate width is 8 to 18 feet. On the other hand, the standard sliding gate height options are 6 to 10 feet. Most manufacturers can custom-build wider gates on request. Keep in mind some local governments have restrictions on the height of gates and fences. Confirm if there are any that you should adhere to.
Sliding driveway gates require regular maintenance to keep them operating optimally. Maintenance includes visually inspecting the gate and its components for tear and wear. The earlier you catch any issues, the easier it is to repair or replace them before they cause a total breakdown of the gate.
Look for signs of rust, corrosion in metallic gates, and loss of finish in wooden gates. If you notice rust, scrub it off with sandpaper and powder coat the entire gate or affected areas. Lubricate moving parts and clean the gate regularly. Also, control pests as they can damage the electric circuit boards.
Ready for Your Sliding Driveway Gate?
Installing an automatic sliding electric driveway gate is an expensive undertaking. Therefore, you want to be well-prepared for it and get it right.
There is a wide range of automatic driveway sliding gate style options and sizes on the market. Start by hiring a sliding gate expert to survey your property and advice on the most suitable type and size of gate. Then conduct thorough market research to find high-quality sliding gate kits and accessories and a reputable sliding gate installer that fits your budget. Maintain the automatic slide gate properly to keep it operating optimally and to extend its lifespan.
We hope this article has given you a better idea of what to expect if you're thinking about getting an automatic sliding driveway gate. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll be happy to help you make a decision that's right for your home and budget.