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Choosing the Perfect Automatic Gate for Your Home

choosing the perfect automatic gate for your home

Are you thinking about having an automatic gate installed for your home?

There are many reasons why some homeowners prefer automatic or electric gates to manual ones. Number one would be security, as electrically controlled gates offer better protection against thieves, vandals, and so on. They can also be fitted with CCTV or audio intercom for controlled access.

Another reason is convenience. If you find getting out of your car just to open and close gates annoying, then installing an automatic gate is a great idea. Plus, it’s a good way to keep pets and children safe, especially if you live in an area with busy roads.

If you’ve decided to go for an automatic gate, your next step is to consider which one is right for your needs.

Don’t worry! With this guide, you can choose the best electric gate for your home.

What’s Your House Style?

Cape Cod, country French style, Mediterranean, contemporary…these are just some of the many different house styles that you may be familiar with.

Whatever style your home, it’s best if you choose an automatic gate system that doesn’t clash with the overall look of your property.

Keep in mind that your gate is probably the first thing visitors to your home will see. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the future, an electric gate will help increase your home’s curb appeal.

And even if you never plan to sell your home and just want people to admire your “humble abode,” a great-looking gate with high-tech safety features is a worthy investment.

It’s best, of course, if you can hire a company that can custom fabricate your electric gate. That way, you can make sure it truly fits the style and design of your home.

Swing or Slide?

Do you want an automatic gate that swings or slides?

Sometimes, it’s not up to you. For example, a swinging gate isn’t the best choice if it has to swing toward an upward slope. You also have to check the length of your driveway if you’re considering a gate that swings inward.

For a gate that swings outward, you need to make sure your street doesn’t have heavy vehicle traffic. And if you’re thinking of sliding gates, you have to factor in the curvature of your boundary wall.

If you can’t quite decide, don’t panic! Your trusty gate installation company should be able to help you pick the right one for your property.

How Will You Get In (or Out)?

Since we’re talking about automatic gates here, we won’t cover manual access. Instead, we’ll focus on the different types of entry or exit methods an electric gate allows.

One access method is by code, electronic key, or swipe card. Yes, they’re kind of fancy. But they’re one of the best options if you’re keen on keeping your property secure and away from prying eyes.

Another access method to consider is a remote control, which is the same method used for opening garage doors. Remote control access is perfect if you’re okay with letting guests enter your gate even without you going out to greet them.

Last, but not least, is intercom access. It works best when combined with a security camera, in order to be able to see visitors before allowing them through your gate.

Of course, there are other features, such as retinal scans or fingerprint checks you might want to think about. It all depends on how much you value your privacy and security.

What’s Your Power Source?

How you will power your electric gate is another thing you’ll need to think over. Are you okay with running electric cables from your house to your driveway? Or is it possible for your gate to be solar-powered?

And you need to factor in how often your area experiences power outages. If it’s frequently, make sure you don’t forget about manual overrides. You don’t want to be stuck inside or outside of your home if there’s a sudden blackout.

What’s Your Budget?

Some electric gates can be costly. The type of material and design have a lot to do with how expensive an automated gate can be. Before you set your heart on a top-of-the-line electric gate, decide on your budget, so you won’t be surprised when a company gives you an estimate.

But don’t go too cheap, either. You don’t want to pay a little at first, only to spend a lot of money on maintenance and repairs. Aim for an electric gate that gives you the best value for your money.

Who Will Install Your Automatic Gate?

Choosing the right installer is just as important as choosing the right automatic gate for your home. You want to make sure you enjoy your brand new gate without worrying it will break down or not work as well as it should.

Plus, if you work with the right company, you don’t have to worry as much about choosing the perfect electric gate for your home. With their years in the business, they will be experts in the field and able to point you in the right direction.

Now, if you’re currently evaluating installers and still haven’t decided on which one to choose, there are certain things to look out for. Customer service, price, and experience are good starting points that will help your decision making easier.

If your family or friends have recommendations, don’t forget to check them out. The important thing is you choose carefully, as it’s your home’s security at stake.

Looking for the Best Automatic Gates?

Don’t stress about it! If you follow our guide, you’ll have no trouble picking the perfect automatic gate for your home.

Just remember, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics if your main concern is security. Electric gates can be custom fabricated.

If you’re worried about your budget, contact us to discuss your options. We offer high-quality residential and commercial gates at reasonable prices.

Picking the Right Automatic Gate System for You


Are you in the market for an automatic gate system for your home or business? Oh, the places you’ll go. What seems like such a straightforward process can wind up being fairly confusing if you don’t reign in the selection process.

Ideally, the first automatic gate you choose should be the last automatic gate you choose. That’s because high-quality gates, built and installed by professionals, should last a lifetime. The more detailed you are in your current selection, the more likely you are to select a one-hit wonder that you are as happy with in 30 years as you are now.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Automatic Gate System

Here are some of the things you should consider when replacing an existing gate or building an automatic gate system for the first time.

Work with an experienced installer. It’s always best to go out and get two or three quotes for your automatic gate system. However, make sure you get those quotes from a licensed, insured and experienced garage door and gate installer. You can check business licenses with your local building department or state websites using the company’s license number. That number should be provided on their website, business cards or over the phone. When comparing bids, make sure you compare apples to apples so you don’t go with the lowest bid, only to find it wasn’t as comprehensive as the honest, middle-tier bid from a more experienced fabricator and installer.

What does your HOA have to say about it? When you buy a lot or a new home in a subdivision, you are well-versed on the HOAs. Over time, however, some HOAs can seem almost non-existent – – until you do something you aren’t supposed to. The first thing we do when working with residential or commercial clients is to verify whether or not they are beholden to an HOA. If so, learning the ins-and-outs of what is allowed, and what is not, is worth it. In many cases, your gate plans, colors, materials and so on will need to be approved by the HOA or their established improvements committee, so plan for that. Take the time to figure out what the rules and restrictions are now so you aren’t surprised later. Keep in mind that most installed gates will not fall under warranty if the only reason for replacement is an unhappy HOA. You’ll have to start from scratch, and wind up paying double. That’s no fun.

Choose materials for quality as well as aesthetics. There are plenty of pretty products out there on the market, but that doesn’t mean they are durable. Choosing less durable products will result in maintenance issues, more frequent repairs and – potentially – costly replacement costs down the road. Work with your installer to find an automatic gate system that works aesthetically with your architecture and the surrounding environment, and that will stand the test of time.

What level of security makes sense? It’s easy to think you need the highest level of security available, but that comes with a price and it isn’t always necessary. For almost all residential applications, we recommend a simple access entry system with a single pass code, or perhaps two (one for family, one for guests) and remote controls. The gate itself will help to keep children and pets safe from road traffic and will prevent the average lookie-loo or solicitor from approaching your front door. A simple 4-digit passcode combined with a security alarm is all that’s needed to ensure breaking-and-entering of any kind goes instantly reported to the police. However, if you prefer a higher-level of security, you run a home business or you prefer to know exactly who is entering when, you may opt for a higher-level system that provides individual codes for better security tracking.

Think about long-term maintenance requirements. It’s a good idea to have your automatic gate inspected and serviced every year to keep it running efficiently and to proactively repair or replace parts that look worn before they break down on you. One thing worth remembering: the more moveable parts there are, the more opportunities there are for maintenance issues. Consider what you are interested in when it comes to long-term maintenance responsibilities and choose a gate that fits that vision. It is also worth it to invest in the best-quality mechanical components on the market, which will increase gate efficiency and decrease the amount of time you spend dealing with malfunctions.

The more time you take now in selecting the right design, mechanical systems and access system for your property, the more you will enjoy a lifetime of lowered maintenance as well as reliable security and operation.

Schedule a consultation with R&S and we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of automatic gate selection – no upsells, false promises or hype. We want our customers to choose a gate that makes sense for them, and we make that happen at a competitive price.

How to Choose an Automatic Gate


Automatic gate systems add a luxurious appeal to your home and business, and they are also a reminder to passersby that you and your household value safety. Not all gates are created equal so it’s important that you take your time to select the right gate for your property’s needs.

You should make your automatic gate selection based on a handful of factors including:

  • Reputability and reliability of the product manufacturer and installer
  • Quality of materials
  • Aesthetics
  • Daily wear-and-tear

Things To Consider When Selecting Your Automatic Gate System

Here are some steps to guide you as you go about selecting the best automatic gate system for your property.

Who is installing it? Your first step is to figure out who you trust to install the gate. As with any contractor or vendor, you want to hire a company that is licensed and that has a good reputation in terms of quality and customer service. While your gate should be designed to work consistently and quietly for years on end, there are bound to be hiccups from time to time. Establishing a relationship with a respected automatic gate installer now will be invaluable when it’s time to perform routine maintenance, repairs and/or parts replacement.

Are there HOA regulations? If you’ve just moved into a new neighborhood, don’t forget to check your Homeowners Association CC&R handbook. Unfortunately, we’ve had plenty of clients who installed beautiful and expensive entry gates, only to find out they are in violation of the CC&Rs – meaning they had to rip them out and reinstall one that reflects the HOA’s guidelines. Don’t let that happen to you!

Sliding or Swinging? Most of the time, residential driveway gates are of the swinging variety. Sliding gates are much more expensive and require level ground in order to work well. Swinging gates come in single-leaf and double-leaf options. If you go the swinging route, you’ll have to consider the arc. These gates swing wide. If you have a steep driveway, you’ll need to ensure the gate is placed such that the leaf swings out from the property, and without obstructing oncoming traffic.

Landscape and Architecture. We always encourage our customers to select a gate system that blends with both their existing architecture as well as the landscape design and general surroundings. There are plenty of materials that can be used to “dress up” the columns on either side of the gate if you prefer to cover up the metal posts and equipment. Just make sure the column is strong enough to support your gate system for decades to come.

Which Gate Material is Best? Most automatic gates are made from either wrought iron, steel or aluminum. Wrought iron is the most heavy-duty option. Steel and aluminum are both lighter materials. Materials selection is an important consideration because the heavier the gate, the better the machine equipment and posts will have to be in order to support the automatic gate’s infrastructure and daily operations. Make sure you design a gate that takes all of these factors into consideration and that is sealed or finished with a product that matches your environment and surroundings. Failure to design and build a gate that takes the weight, dimensions, environmental factors, and daily operation into consideration will wind up becoming a maintenance nightmare.

Wood is also available for automatic gate systems. It is popular for the higher-end market because of its classic, aesthetic appeal and its versatility. Keep in mind, however, that a wooden gate will require more maintenance and upkeep in the long run than either of the metal gate options.

How Will Your Gate Be Powered? When you choose your gate, you’ll have the options to power it using an access control panel that is activated via electricity (AC), solar panels or battery backup. Most clients choose a combination of the three – or all of the above. The goal is to conserve as much electricity as possible via the solar panels, but with the reassurance the AC or battery power supply will kick in if the weather is cloudier or if the solar panels need to be cleaned or repaired.

If all goes well, you’ll only install a single automatic gate system in your lifetime. Contact R&S to make sure you make the right choice for your home and property.

R&S Erection of Concord, CA

2424 Bates Ave. Concord , CA 94520
(925) 671-7606 Fax: (925) 671-7621
License # 667038



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