Houses and properties typically need a fence to keep people out and secure the things, people and pets inside. But no fence is complete without a functional gate that allows you and your family easy access in and out while maintaining a protective barrier at all other times. For some, a simple latch and gate that opens and closes is all you’ll need to make your fencing functional. For others, gates are an opportunity to impress, or at least to enhance your home’s curb appeal in a way that flatters the design of your home or the landscaping out front.
The reality is that there are many types of gates for houses and properties, and selecting the right one is almost as important as the fence you have in the first place. After all, if a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a fence is only as protective as its gate, or where you and your family gain access to your property. With a poor choice when it comes to the types of fence gates at your disposal, you could be left with a protective barrier around your home that may not protect much at all.
The good news is that no matter what kind of fence you have or what it’s made of, you can find many types of entrance gates that can complete the look, as well as helping you get in and out of your property without leaving a gaping hole in that fencing. More than anything, a stunning gate can elevate the impression of your entire home, and the best part is that it can also help you secure your home and prevent unauthorized access in the times that you’re at home or far away from it.
Typically, when starting out with front gate design ideas, you’ll want to mimic or match the general style of your existing fence. That means largely sticking with the materials that make up your home’s fencing. Indeed, the types of gates you use for your fence may look the best when matching; a wood fence would be suited best by a wood gate in the same way that an aluminum gate would best suit an aluminum fence.
However, you may also want to consider upping your game when it comes to the types of gates used for homes. A gate is a large moving part and typically must be stronger and more robust than fencing that will likely see lower use than a gate that is opened each day to enter and exit the property. In that sense, you may be able to get away with mismatching fences and gates, though the gate design itself should suit your fencing as well as the rest of your home in some way.
With all the types of gates for houses available out there, much of the distinction between gates does come down to what the gate is made out of. And no gate material is more popular than wood. Not only does a wood gate create a classic look, but it can add a comforting feeling to those that think that there’s nothing better than a white picket fence with a matching gate out front. Wood is also easy to work with, which is great for DIYers, and it’s also easy to up the privacy with solid wood pickets that can prevent others from seeing into your property.
However, wood gates and fences are a fickle beast. They often rot and otherwise deteriorate under the weather, and that means continuous maintenance concerns, as well as a need to paint every nook and cranny of the wood in a special kind of protective paint. Wood is also very heavy if you want a gate that can add security, and that can make it difficult to obtain or to work with as your wooden gate and fence will generally only be as strong as the weight of the wood you use.
For those that want the look of wood without the weight and maintenance concerns, vinyl is one of those up and coming types of gates for houses that can give a rigid outdoor barrier. Today’s vinyl gates won’t collect water or rot, nor will they show marks like painted wood gates. That can make them a better option than wooden gates that look basically the same but are much less protective and aren’t really able to sit out in the elements. In fact, vinyl gates are often made to actually mimic the look of wood, even down to flourishes such as faux wood grain.
That said, a vinyl gate isn’t perfect, and one of the most common criticisms of vinyl gates is that they can fade under the sun’s rays, especially after a few years. That’s why most vinyl gates require sealant like a traditional wood gate, and that means a vinyl gate isn’t quite the fix when it comes to Mother Nature — though some vinyl gates will come with this protective barrier installed from the factory. When in doubt, ask the seller if such a coating is supplied with the gate you’re interested in.
Along with the uptick in usage of vinyl gates and fencing, another possible type of gate for your home is a composite gate. They can be made to mimic just about any type of building material such as wood, metal or stone, and many people won’t be able to tell the difference between a composite gate and the real thing. That can make a composite gate much more affordable than, for example, going with a real stone gate, and the savings in weight may also make some types of gates possible that wouldn’t be feasible otherwise.
However, if you’re trying to closely match an existing stone wall or another fencing material, you may find that composite gates will come up short. Sure, from faraway you may be able to get by with a composite gate that doesn’t really match up, but upon closer inspection it’ll be easy to determine if that composite gate is a facsimile. Whether that’s important is up to you, but it would be a concern to anyone that wants a perfect match between their gate and fence.
Chain Link Gates
While it won’t win any design awards, a chain link gate is one of those types of gates for houses that simply does the job. They can be rather unsightly, but they’re also strong and robust because they’re made from metal. It’s why schools, parks and other places opt for chain link gates — they’re much more affordable than other types of fencing materials and they can be erected with minimal effort in a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, chain link gates — and fences — aren’t ideal for homes not only because they’re ugly but because they can be easily climbed by anyone from kids to adults. To truly prove protection, you’d need an obscenely high fence, and that can do a number on the curb appeal of your home — and so can a more reasonable height chain link gate or fence. Furthermore, chain link fences must be washed and coated frequently to prevent rusting and other damage that can make that gate look even worse over time.
Wrought Iron Gates
As one of the original types of gates for houses and other properties where a touch of elegance and refinement is needed, a wrought iron gate is heavy and robust, and it also looks great. Having been used for hundreds of years, wrought iron can bring an old world feel to any home or property. They’re commonly painted black to complete the look and to provide a protective barrier against the world, and wrought iron designs are some of the most intricate and interesting designs you can get in a gate or fence today.
But a wrought iron gate is also incredibly heavy, which can make it difficult to work with and ship, and that can drive up prices significantly. Wrought iron gates are also not immune to the elements as they can rust or degrade over time, and that means having to constantly maintain them, reapplying the protective paint and dealing with all those paint chips. You’ll also need to sand your gate every couple years, which can dramatically drive up your maintenance concerns and costs.
For those that want a strong metal fence without all the weight and maintenance concerns, one of the best types of gates for houses is made from aluminum. Available in traditional black to mimic wrought iron fencing, white for a more modern look or bronze for a more regal impression, an aluminum gate is lighter than most metal options and is stronger than wood and other faux gates. Not only that, but aluminum is often recycled, meaning that you can do your part for Mother Nature while helping your home look and feel its best.
Aluminum also won’t rust or degrade out in the elements, which makes it an ideal gate and fencing material when it comes to maintenance. Furthermore, aluminum gates come in many styles to match just about any taste or home, with classic looks such as the Floridian, the Sierra or Appalachian style. Look for your next aluminum gate from Aluminum Fences Direct!