How an Automatic Gate Works

A Sliding Gate Wheel and Checkered Ground Design

Convenient Entry & Home Security

Nothing says “fancy” like an automatic gate system greeting you as return home for the day. Nowadays, these clever systems can sync with smartphones and other devices for even more convenient access. With plenty of styles, materials, and shades to choose from, discovering an alluring design for your home is easier than ever before.

Today, we’re going to dive into these entry solutions for your home. If you’re considering an automatic gate for driveway or general property access, you’ll learn more about your various options. Let’s get started!

What is Gate Automation?

We’re all familiar with the classic picket and wrought-iron designs that so many homeowners rely on. These often utilize gates that rely on manual opening and closing, a process that can feel very inconvenient when you’re eager to get inside. An automatic gate system takes sensory input from a fob or another device inside your vehicle and tells your gate to open.

Depending on the scale of your gate, the gate may open wide enough for one or two vehicles. Some homeowners also utilize automatic gates for personal on-foot entry and exiting from the house and onto the sidewalk. Equipped with basic security features, these gates greatly enhance your family’s privacy.


How Does an Automatic Gate Work?

While there are many moving parts involved in the function of an automatic gate, the system relies on two basic segments: the gate itself (wood, wrought iron, etc.) and the gate operator.

There are six primary categories of automatic gates, three of which account for the majority of home designs. These three include swing gates, sliding gates, and cantilever gates. Sliding varieties use wheels to support the weight of the barrier, while cantilever versions rely on special rails and counterbalances. Swinging gates are pretty self-explanatory; their design is quite simple, but they require more open space to swing open.

The equipment that enables gate movement is called the operator. Powered by electricity, the operator opens and closes the gate via special gears, a chain, or even hydraulics.

Estimated Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Install an Automatic Driveway Gate?

The wide variety of gate materials on the market causes gate automation costs to vary wildly. The gate itself may run anywhere from $2000 to $12,000. According to Cost Owl, you can expect automatic gate function to run between $750 to $5000 (again, depending on the material and style). Price will also vary based on your region; don’t expect your Tulsa, OK gate installation to be priced the same as it is in Dallas, TX.

Extra automatic gate accessories will also cause the end total to rise. Some of the most popular additions include:

  • Solar Panel Kits (to power the gate opener)
  • Wired Sensors
  • Wireless Keypads (with or without mounting post)
  • Driveway Alarms
  • Metal Post Inserts
  • Beam Sensors

Automatic vs Manual

Are Automatic Gates Worthwhile?

So, are automatic gates worth the investment? Apart from the convenience, there are a few key benefits to consider as you think about installing a driveway gate.

Benefits of an Automatic Gate

  • Security Improvements
  • Potential Insurance Benefits
  • Potential Tax Credit (consult your local tax laws)
  • Enhanced Privacy
  • Increased Property Value

Open driveways sometimes encourage passing salesmen and other unwanted guests to waltz up to the front door. A quality driveway gate not only discourages these passerbys, it also blocks off eyesight into your property. Potential thieves will be discourages from charging into a property they can’t see into.

Your insurance company will love the additional security for your home! Many agencies offer incentives for installing driveway gates, including reduced premiums. You may also be able to earn a tax credit for your home, although this may be restricted to solar powered gate openers. Finally, automatic driveway gates also create higher perceived value for properties, making them more likely to sell at higher rates than similar homes without.

Designing Your Automatic Gate

Unlike other home investments (residential roofing, plumbing, etc.), there’s no clearly superior type of automatic gate system. As you research potential solutions available on the residential market, you’ll come across several different types of gate openers. You may be wondering, “What is the best automatic gate opener?” As far as brands go, some of the highest rated products come from Aleko, Sentry, and Mule. Choosing your ideal solution however, will depend heavily on space constraints and gate material. No matter what design you ultimately choose, make sure you consult with a professional before diving into installation!

The strength and overall appeal of the gate hinge on the material you choose. Many property developers with existing wooden fencing prefer to maintain a matching gate, so cedar is a highly-sought after choice. Ideally, the wood should be stained, painted, or pressure-treated for longevity. Wooden gates also block visual sight into the property. Wrought iron fences trade a little privacy for more ornate design and enhanced durability.

As you design that dream gate, make sure you account for all the space you’ll need for the system to operate safely. If you don’t have much free space available in the yard, you will probably want to stay clear of a swinging fence.

A Large Wooden Automatic Gate

Get Your Estimate for an Automatic Gate!

Interested in your own automatic driveway gate? Our team at T-Town Fence & Gate would love to help you design and install your perfect automatic gate in Tulsa, OK! To learn more about our local services, simply give us a call at 918-221-0048.