When it comes to installing automated gates for your driveway, there are several decisions to make.

One is whether you are going to opt for a single or double gate configuration.

Finding the appropriate solution is about more than the size of opening a gate is required to span, although that is of course important.

However, much depends on your property.

Here, we examine the factors should like to consider before you make a choice.

What is a single gate?

A single gate design is made up of one gate leaf.

The gate is attached using hinges that fit to the side of an opening.

It’s the most straightforward gate design, and there are a variety of reasons why it is preferred.

What advantages does a single gate have?

Single gates have a simplicity which many people find appealing, making them an obvious choice because of:

  • The ease of installation – single gates are easier to fit and, for many people, this is a big attraction. Only one set of hinges is required to mount the gate onto the supporting structure, along with any other fixtures you might need to complete the installation. The installation takes less time because it is uncomplicated, and therefore is likely to cost less. There are also fewer fixtures to maintain or replace.
  • A single gate motor – perhaps the biggest attraction of the single gate option is that it only requires a single gate motor to work. That means that it’s cheaper when it comes to installation. It also means there’s only one motor to look after.
  • An easier locking mechanism – single gates are generally easier to lock because they close onto a solid pillar or wall rather than another gate leaf. This makes them an attractive option if you’re concerned about security.

What disadvantages does a single gate have?

Despite winning out when it comes to cost and simplicity, single gates do have drawbacks too, including:

  • Swing radius – the design of single gates means they have a large swing radius. It’s typically equivalent to the width of the opening. This means that if you wanted to fit a gate to cover a 10ft opening, it would also swing back by 10ft when opened. This may not be an issue if you have a large enough drive, but it can present problems where parking space is limited.
  • Weight bearing – all the weight of a single gate must be carried by a single pillar or post. This means that you will need a more expensive, heavy-duty post to be confident it will be able to bear that weight over the long term.
  • More cumbersome – the additional weight of a single gate can make it heavier, and more cumbersome to use. This might mean it’s more difficult for pedestrians to access.
  • Larger components – to prevent the gate from sagging, it will require a larger set of components. These can result in an increase in price.

What is a double gate?

A double design is made up of two gates that include hinges on both sides of the opening.

The gates latch in the middle, and can be held in place by a drop bolt.

What advantages does a double gate have?

  • Swing radius – a big benefit compared to a single gate is the reduction in swing radius required when opening and closing. A 10ft opening would only require a 5ft swing radius. This means less of your driveway needs to be kept clear, making parking easier.
  • Weight bearing – the weight of the gates is shared between pillars or posts on each side of the opening. A 10ft gate would not need to be supported by just one post. Instead, two posts would each bear the weight of a 5ft gate.
  • Standardised sizes and designs – as double gates are the most commonly-used option, a greater range of sizes and designs are available. There’s less chance you’ll need to have gates made to order, which reduces costs.
  • Smaller components – with both gates only needing to span half the opening, they can be fitted with smaller components. This also helps to reduce the overall cost.
  • Ease of access – both gates may have the capacity to be opened independently of each other, making it easier for pedestrians to use. Their small size also means they are generally lighter than a single gate.
  • Vehicle access – because each gate is lighter, there’s no demand for bulky supporting posts. This means that less of the opening is lost, allowing for easier vehicle access.

What disadvantages does a double gate have?

Despite being a practical option for most people, double gates do have a couple of disadvantages:

  • More components – double gates might require smaller components than single gates, but there are twice the number. This increases the amount of time that it takes to install them.
  • Two gate motors – perhaps the biggest disadvantage of double gates is that they require two motors to operate. These will not need to be as powerful as the motor needed to move the weight of a single gate, but will mean more maintenance and longer installation.

Expert know-how

If you’re still unsure about which option might be best for you, the experienced team at Stargate will be happy to advise.

We have many years’ experience supplying gates of all shapes and sizes, and can provide the expertise that you need.