How Much Do Electric Gates Cost?
Electric driveway gates can cost as little as £2,900 plus VAT for a single, cheap, softwood five-bar gate and simple remote control operation. At the other end of the spectrum, high quality bi-fold swing gates or concertina sliding driveway gates needing extensive groundworks could cost over £9,000 + VAT.
Electric gates make your life easier and more secure. They also give your home an air of prestige and can even increase its value. But you can’t simply go into a shop and buy electric gates. You need to hire an experienced gate installer to design the right electric gate system for your unique needs.
So, how much do electric gates cost? Each part of a gate automation system makes up part of the overall costs. So, let’s start calculating costs for electric gate systems by breaking down what’s included and involved.
The Essential Parts Of A Gate Automation System
There are a few options and extras you can go for, but the essential elements of an automatic driveway gate system are:
- A gate or gates
- Gate operators to open and close your gates
- A control panel to run everything
- Two pairs of infrared safety photocells and possibly safety edges
- A pair of transmitters to tell the gates to open and close
- A receiver for the signals sent by the transmitters
- Power to the gates
Gates can either swing open or slide open. Swing gates need to be hung on hinges mounted on pillars or posts that are strong enough to take the weight. Slide gates run on wheels along a track laid across the driveway entrance. They also need a toothed rack along the length of the gate. A gear on the gate motor output shaft meshes with the rack and moves the gate along the track as the motor operates. Sliding gates also need a support either side of the driveway entrance to keep them vertical as they open and close.
Gate Automation Prices
OK, so how much do manual gates cost to automate? Firstly, we need to decide if the gates swing or slide open and closed and what type of motor is used for swinging gates.
As with any machine, the force required to make things move goes up as the weight of the moving items increases. This means that heavier gates need stronger gate motors to move them and stronger usually means more expensive.
If you want to understand more about the costs of electric driveway gates, you can read on or fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you with answers.
Sliding Gate Automation Costs
For a sliding gate, a basic kit could cost you from around £500 up to £1500
The essential extras like the track could add another couple of hundred pounds.
Swing Gate Automation Costs
Swing gates are a bit more complicated as there are different types of motor which operate differently and are installed differently.
Articulated Arm Gate Openers
Articulated arm gate openers use a jointed arm to connect the motor to the gate.
Ram And Linear Screw Gate Motors
Rams push and pull a piston arm mounted on the gate.
Linear screw operators look similar to rams but have an internal threaded shaft with the gate mounting threaded onto the shaft. As the shaft turns it winds the gate mounting in or out to open and close the gate.
Underground Gate Operators
Underground gate operators are mounted below the gate hinges in foundation boxes buried just below the surface of your driveway. The foundation box lid and the gate motor arm mounted to the underside of the gate are all that can be seen. This makes underground openers the most discrete way to automate swing gates.
Price ranges for each type of residential swing gate motor kit are as follows:
- Articulated arm motors – £500 up to £2500
- Ram swing gate openers – under £1000 up to nearly £2000
- Linear screw gate operators – £500 up to £2500
- Underground gate motors – Just under £1000 up to nearly £5000
As with sliding gates, the essential extras could add another couple of hundred pounds.
Driveway Gate Costs
Now that we’ve looked at the equipment that moves driveway gates, it’s time to find out how much the gates themselves cost.
Sliding gates are usually just one gate although they can be built to look like a pair of closed swing gates. You can also have bi-parting sliding gates. Here two gates slide together from each side of your driveway to meet in the middle when closed.
Swing gates are more often a pair of gates. These swing open to ninety degrees or more and meet in the middle of your driveway entrance when closed.
As one of something is usually less expensive than two of something similar, a single sliding gate and single gate motor will usually be cheaper than two swing gates and two gate motors.
What Your Gates Are Made From Affects The Price
Gates can be made from a range of materials. This includes wood for a more traditional look and iron for a more ornate appearance. Aluminium and composite gates are designed to mimic wood gates or iron gates, but both have none of the issues of rot or rust.
Good quality hardwood gates and comparable aluminium gates are roughly the same price. These range from around £2000 to over £4000 depending on design, size and surface finish colours and wood-effect coatings for aluminium gates.
Iron gates will be heavier, take longer to make and cost more.
Wooden gates and iron gates will also need regular maintenance throughout their lives. This will slow down their decay, but never fully stop it. Aluminium gates are resistant to corrosion and could outlast wooden or iron gates and their replacements. This obviously represents a huge saving when looking at whole life costs.
Costs for Additional Gate Automation Components
When asking, ‘how much do electric gates cost?’, we mustn’t forget the possible extra components that some installations will need. This list isn’t exhaustive but it includes the main elements that could enhance gate safety and functionality.
- Manual gate releases should be installed on every gate automation system. They provide a way of opening the gates when the power is cut off or a gate motor stops working.
- Photocells stop gates when anything crosses their beams. This makes them perfect for defining safety zones either outside or inside your gates. These are areas you don’t want anyone or anything to enter while the gates are moving. As one pair of photocells is included in a gate automation kit, adding extra pairs allows you to make your gates safer.
- Safety edges are installed on gates, walls, gate posts or any other place where a moving gate could hit or trap someone or something while moving. When they are compressed as they hit an obstacle, they send a signal to the gate controls to stop the gates and prevent injury or damage. While safety edges add safety, they also are the last line of defence as they physically have to hit something or someone to be effective.
- Signs tell anyone who is unfamiliar with the gates that there is a potential hazard to be aware of.
- Lights flash as gates open or close and alert everyone to the potential danger of moving gates.
Other Electric Gate System Components
- Locks should always be included at the opening edges of swing gates over 2m long. As the distance from this edge of the gates to the hinges increases, less force is required to push the gates open or closed from this point. Thanks to the principle of leverage, larger gates need locks to hold them together to prevent damage, vandalism or even break-ins.
- Solar chargers charge batteries that will operate the gates for a few cycles if the power fails.
- Gate stops provide a physical stop for the gates to rest against when closed and/or open.
There are quite a few things to choose from in the list of extras and each electric gate system is different. But it makes sense to budget for another few hundred pounds to get the level of security and safety you want from additional items.
Access Control Prices
All the above is great for setting up automatic gates that are safe, give you the look you want and work as you need. But what if you have a visitor and you want to speak to them, or even see them before deciding to let them through? This is where you need some way to communicate with whoever is at your gates and a way to open your gates all from the comfort of your home.
Intercoms allow this. They typically have a module at the gates that allows a visitor to buzz or call the house module. You can then speak to them via the intercom to find out who they are and what they want. With video intercoms you can also see them. Finally, if you’re happy to let them in, you press a gate release which opens the gates.
Keypads installed outside the gates also allow anyone with the right code to open the gates. They do this without having to disturb anyone at home or for getting in when everyone else is out.
Wired or Wireless Intercoms?
Access control systems can be wired if your gates are close to your house. If the gates are further away, the communication with the house is usually wireless. This uses either radio, Wi-Fi or mobile phone-style GSM technology. Each has benefits (with GSM you could even operate your gates from your smartphone anywhere in the world where you have a mobile signal).
Typically, a top of the range colour audio and video intercom with a keypad and GSM communication technology costs up to £1500. Audio-only intercoms using other communication technologies are usually less.
How Much Do Electric Gates Cost To Install?
OK, so we’ve looked at the cost of the items that make up automatic gates. But how much does it cost to have electric gates installed by a professional electric gate installer?
As with all installation work, the time it takes to do the job and the level of skill and experience required to do it well affect the price.
Sliding gate motors all present the same installation issues. However, swing gate motors have different requirements. Rams and linear screw motors must be carefully aligned during installation. Also, underground gate motors sit in foundation boxes. These are installed in pits that need sufficient drainage. If an underground motor sits in water for a short while, it will fail.
Pillars or posts may need to be built where non exist or they’re not strong enough.
Automatic sliding gates need track laid across the driveway entrance and all systems need power to the gates.
All these groundworks add cost to the installation price. This can range from a few hundred pounds for a simple single manual driveway gate or pedestrian gate installation, up to few thousand for a full driveway gate automation system using underground motors.
Gate Automation Running Costs
Electric gates use electricity to operate. However, they don’t need to open and close very often and they don’t use a lot of electricity when they do. Running costs for residential automatic gates will usually not be more than £20 a year.
Driveway Gate Servicing Prices
To keep electric gate operating safely, efficiently and smoothly requires some degree of maintenance. An annual or bi-annual service (depending on how much the gates are used) ensures your electric gates work as they should.
An electric gate installer will also be able to spot issues and fix them before they cause breakdowns. Gate repairs are usually a lot more expensive than gate maintenance.
So, How Much Do Electric Gates Cost?
We saw the range of prices for residential domestic electric driveway gates at the start of this blog. Now you should hopefully have more understanding of what those prices include.
As with anything bespoke, the prices quoted above all cover a range or are ballpark figures. To get more idea of what your electric gates could cost, your first step is to arrange for a visit from one of our electric gate installers to talk through your project.