All you need to know about the installation of electric gates, including costs of installation, materials, labour and time frames.
Home owners install electric gates for reasons of convenience, comfort, security, prestige and resale value. Security is a big concern in the UK with more and more home owners looking to increase security to deter or defeat criminals and vandals. Electrically controlled security gates, often in conjunction with video or audio intercom, can help to establish a cost effective and secure perimeter. Convenience also plays a major part in the decision to install electric gates. There are thousands of properties in the UK that already have sturdy wooden or iron gates installed, but they are left open much of the time, as it's too much bother to go out and close them at night once you have settled down in front of the TV or to keep getting in and out of the car every time you go through them. Safety and comfort is another reason why electric gates are becoming so popular. With increasing road traffic, homeowners are concerned about the safety of their children and pets and electric gates can help to stop them wondering out onto busy roads. Automatic electric driveway gates will often increase the resale value too, or at least increase kerbside appeal.
When considering having a gate installed you should think carefully about which type of gate would best suit your property and your needs. For example, do you intend to walk through the gates much more than driving through them? If so, then it would probably be better to have separate pedestrian access gate rather than opening the main gates every time you walk through to avoid excessive wear and tear on the control mechanism. Electric gate installations are rarely completely trouble-free, so it is recommended that you buy a better-quality motor and professional installation to make it less likely that something will go wrong and to save money in the long run on engineer call-outs. Cheap motors and poor-quality installation may cost less initially, but will usually result in multiple return visits to fix things.
There are a number of different types of gate automation available which depend on the way the gates open. You can choose from swing gates where both gates swing out. These are the most common and the cheapest, working well on a flat road surface. Sliding gates look great, but can only be used if you have enough space to the side. If there is not enough space for one sliding gate to either side, then you can have two sliding gates sliding in opposite directions but that will mean two complete opening kits and greater expense. You can also have ram and swing arm openers which push open or close the gate (imagine a big robot arm working the gate for you). Underground systems are the most discreet type of automation, but also the most expensive. Electric gates typically do not need planning permission unless the gate is close to a public road or footpath, or your gate is one metre tall or higher, in which case there may be a requirement for planning. Gates higher than two metres tall will need planning permission regardless, but you do not require permission to replace an existing gate or add automation provided you do not increase its height.
In terms of costs, the key factors are the size of the gate, the type of material and the overall quality. Replacing a gate will obviously be cheaper than having to build new brick/steel pillars and hanging a gate for the first-time. However, if there is a need to change the existing pillars for a new gate (of a considerably different size/type), this would incur the additional cost of removing existing pillars and replacing them.
Typically the largest cost will be for the gate itself, which can cost between £700-£2000 depending on the type/size of gate. For additional features, this can increase the cost considerably too; an automation mechanism can cost as little as £300 or as much as £1800, varying on the specifications (in some cases, some gates would require a minimum specification for any automation), intercom systems can cost between £250 to £1200 (likely to vary in terms of quality and functionality).
For a tradesperson, the installation of an electric gate system will be around 1 week's work, depending on the installation. Due to the specialism of electric gate installation, some tradespeople may charge a higher daily rate for their labour. Their rate could be as little as £250, but for more specialist work, this could increase considerably. It would be advised to know the tradesperson's daily rate in advance to have an idea of the overall cost of their labour and, if possible, the quality of their work.
Below are some estimated costs of installing electric gates.
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Electric Double Gate Plus Intercom Supplied And Fitted||£5000||1-4 Days|
|Custom Made Swing Metal Gates Automated 24V||£7000||1-4 Days|
|Hardwood Timber Swing Metal Gates Fully Automated||£8000||1-4 Days|
Individual costs of installing electric gates (custom-made, automated metal gates, supplied and fitted) - Total Cost: £5000