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Installing Driveway Gates

Whether you’re interested in a little added security or a touch of class to your driveway, there’s a growing interest in installing driveway gates. There are lots of decisions to make regarding your gate—should it swing or slide open? Will it have simple latch or a lock? Should it match the architecture in your home? Once you’ve decided on all the specs for your perfect driveway gate, you’re ready to install it. Whether you decide to install the driveway gate yourself or hire a professional, here are a few tips from the experts.

The first thing to consider is what kinds of building codes in your community might relate to the installation of driveway gates. Often, a city has bylaws in regards to how far away a structure must be from the road or another residence. Do they have specifications regarding how high can it be? Also find out whether there are any utility lines where you’ll be digging for post installation.

Another logistical consideration before you install: will your gate block a neighbor’s view of the street? Also think about where the opening for the gate should be in relation to the road and the rest of your driveway. If there’s a car waiting outside for the gate to be opened, will there enough space for the car to wait safely without disrupting traffic or getting hit? What about delivery trucks or UPS vehicles? Is there room for larger vehicles to wait for entry? Finally, you’ll need to know whether or not there are bylaws regarding access for firefighters and other officials to your property and how you’ll handle that.  

Once those considerations are out of the way you can begin the installation process. First, check to make sure your ground is level. If the ground around your driveway is uneven or if it’s on a slope you could have difficulty opening the doors. Do you live in a cold climate? Beware of the fact that pillars can shift as the ground freezes and then thaws. Some experienced gate installers recommend setting pillars in a block of concrete as a foundation. Let the pillars sit in the concrete and dry a day or two before installing the rest of the gate – this will help to alleviate any possibility of ground shifting or settling.

Another thing to consider – whether it’s winter plowing or summer landscaping, how will you grant companies entry to your driveway or yard when you’re not home? Will you give them a code, or will you be there to let them in? Some people choose to grant delivery trucks access to their home while they are not home via a special gate code, while other people are uncomfortable with this idea. Your gate company will likely have several options to discuss with you. Also, another logistic to consider in regards to driveway gates and snow removal companies: keep in mind that you’ll want to let the snow removal company know where is the best location to move the snow – if they block your gate you may have difficulty opening it after they have plowed.

Driveway gates can make an attractive addition to your home while also improving home security. With these installation tips, you’ll have a strong gate and a great improvement on your home.

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