Here are a some frequently asked questions that we hope will assist you in the decision making process for your new electric gate investment- for anything that is not covered please contact us for assistance.
Q: Why do you charge for site visits?
All our prices are listed on our website. We can also price 99% of work from photos sent to us. If we are to attend site it is to carry out a detailed technical survey, risk assessment, provide visuals and discuss the work on the basis you want to go ahead.
Our prices are low as we do not employ commissioned sales people and it is not cost or time effective for us to visit people that just want a price, and never move forward with the work. You are not paying for a quote, you are paying for a competent opinion and our £99 survey fee is deducted from our final invoice once the work has been completed to your satisfaction. We do however offer a free of charge 30 min telephone consultation.
Q: Are electric gates dangerous?
A: Yes. An automated gate is a machine, and like any other, it poses potential risks to children and adults alike. It is imperative you instruct a gate installer that installs the gate to the highest safety standards.
Q: Why do you not offer Timber Gates?
A: We can automate your existing wooden gates, but we do not offer brand new timber gates for the following reasons:
Hassle: Timber is a natural product, and all wooden gates can be susceptible to warping cracking, rotting, twisting throughout season weather changes.
Finishing: It is difficult to deliver the precise colour finish clients have expectations of receiving. Customers who want there timber gates stained or painted are locking the moisture in the gates so the timber can rot from the inside out. Wooden components exposed to the elements may be subject to considerable changes in finish, colour and structure from weathering. Timber gates also get dirty very quickly from cars splashing them and day to day useage. Metal gates can simply be hosed down or wiped with soapy water.
Maintenance: Due to the above points timber gates do require more maintenance than metal gates keep the gates looking good and also to adjust as they expand and contract during seasonal changes.
Security: While closed board timber gates offer privacy, it will also afford privacy to the burglar as they are screened from the road if they decide to break in while you are not home.
Wind Load: Closed board gates are also subject to wind load so therefore they are less reliable in windy conditions.
Deforestation: We believe in protecting our environment.
Q: Do you offer Aluminium Gates?
A: No. Any product that is to be used for security gates, which can be cut open with a tin opener is not in our clients best interests.
Q: Am I legally responsible should the gates injury anyone?
A: Domestic owners of powered gates are advised to keep them in a safe condition or face the possibility of being sued for negligence should anything go wrong. This is common law (Roman law in Scotland) and means that any person who by their action or inaction causes injury to persons or damage to property may be sued in a civil action for damages. Hence, anyone with responsibilities for powered gates could be affected. There is no criminal responsibility for a domestic owner of a powered gate, they along with everyone else could face civil action for negligence should anything go wrong.
Q: Do you offer brickwork and landscaping services?
A: No. We do not undertake large multi discipline projects. If you are looking for brick piers or landscaping we may not be the best fit for you unless you are happy to source and manage your own contractors. We would be happy to work with other trades but we will not be responsible for management of third parties, buying materials for them or assume any risk if they do not do the job correctly.
Q: I already have gate support posts/ brick piers, can I reuse them?
A: Most gate-related severe injuries and fatalities occur by structural failure. We would need to undertake a full survey evaluation before this can be determined.
Q: How secure are the gates when closed?
A: This will depend on which gates you buy. Electric gates can be made more secure by adding additional security devices such as magnetic locks and drop bolts. If your gate is being purchased for security purposes, then we can recommend additional security equipment such as surveillance cameras, rising bollards and alarm system as part of the solution.
Q: How close to the gates do I need to be to make them open or close using the remote control?
A: 30 to 50 meters is standard with most automatic gate systems. However, the actual distance is controlled by your environment and atmospheric conditions. The HSE also advises that the gate should be within visual sight when operating the gate.
Q: How do we get in and out if there is a fault or a power cut?
A: All our automatic gate systems have a manual override. We can also install a battery back up for 24v systems. We would also advise installing a separate pedestrian gate where possible.
Q: Are gates affected by the wind?
A: Yes. Wind load plays a big part in the design and specification process when considering a new electric gate system especially if you are considering metal gates that are sheeted for privacy.
Q: Do I need planning permission for my gates?
A: In most cases yes. You will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to build a wall or gate if it is to be over 1 metre high and next to a highway used by vehicles. Most Councils will only permit the new gates to be at least 5 meters off the road (which is approx 1 car length)
Q: Do you repair and maintain gates they have not installed?
A: . No. In 2014, two companies associated with one of the 2010 tragic child death incidents were convicted of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Interestingly, the companies that were prosecuted were not the original installers but those who had been involved in repair and maintenance of the gate since installation. As a professional gate installer, we are very cautious about the safety of systems we repair or maintain. We have a care of duty to inform clients of potential legal ramifications so we would need to undertake a risk assessment first to determine if we can work on the gate without additional safety equipment to make the gates compliant.
Q: Do gates add value to my home?
A: Yes a recent study indicated around 5%. However, cheap looking, poorly maintained gates that clunk open, jam or scrape their way slowly across your drive will detract from the property's value. There is no doubt, however, that a beautiful gate, made to order and sympathetic to its surroundings, that opens elegantly will add value to any house. The entrance is the first and last engagement any potential buyer will have with your home.
Q: Can I buy my own equipment for you to fit?
Yes, however, we would not be able to warranty the equipment, and it might end up costing you more money if the equipment doesn’t work we would still charge you for our time. Generally, this is not something we entertain, due to warranty issues we would look at this as a case by case. If you have bought cheap made in China equipment from eBay that is not CE marked and has no UK based technical support or spare parts distributor we will not be able to help.
Q: What controls come as standard with my gate system?
All installations unless otherwise stated come with 2 x remote controls. Please think how you would like to control access in and out of your property. Items such as exit loops, keypads, intercom and push to exit buttons are all available at additional cost. We can advise you on this and can be designed into the system. Access control items can be found in the optional extras section on your proposal; please check your statement of work and invoice so we have covered all additional items you may require.
Q: What are your lead times?
A: It depends on the project- for automation only installation we currently have a lead time of 2-3 weeks. For custom metal gates our current lead time is 8-10 weeks.
Q: Can I automate my existing gates?
In most cases yes. However, we have know automation to rip poorly made timber gates to pieces (especially softwood!) within a few months so some modification might be needed. Items such as additional support framework, adjustable hinges/changes to hinge geometry or new support posts. In any case, we would not be able to warranty the life expectancy of any gates not supplied by ourselves.
Q: How much does it cost to automate my existing gates?
A: This depends on the gate, the specification of the automation equipment, amount of modification and safety equipment required. Assuming the power is in situ ready to be connected to a double underground kit, fixed to metal gates with two remotes and safety equipment prices start from only £2900.
Q: Are timber gates or metal gates more expensive?
A: This depends on the design and the species of timber used but ordinarily a high-quality timber gate in oak or iroko will be far more expensive than a metal gate which is galvanised and powder coated. This increased cost is also due to the cost of material and working hours on site to install. We do not offer timber gates but are happy to fit them for you.
Q: What is galvanising?
A: Hot Dip Galvanizing: All our metalwork finished galvanised to BS EN ISO 1461 and powder coated with a standard colour of your choice to BS EN 13438 and BS EN 15773.
All metal will first be chemically pre-treated to ensure that it is clean and free of contamination. After pre-treatment, it will then submerged in a bath of molten zinc at an approx temperature of 450°C. The reaction that takes place bonds the zinc to the product at a molecular level. This process is far superior to cold spray galvanising or priming.
The zinc coating resists oxidation and the action of moisture very successfully. When the surface layer is broken or pierced some protection is afforded since the zinc reacts with the corroding agent first. By protecting against corrosion and its costly effects, zinc extends the life of steel, thus protecting your investment. A typical hot galvanised coating can now be expected to last 50 years without maintenance in most rural and urban atmospheres.
Q: Is connecting power included in the sale and what is required?
• 230v power supply to gate location
Unless stated on the proposal, you are to arrange for a suitable power supply to be brought to the vicinity of the gate automation control box; the gate automation and access control systems require a mains voltage power supply capable of carrying a peak load of 5A which should be protected by a residual current device. This should be terminated in a triple pole isolator.
Building control ‘part P’ (electrical) requirements (BS7671:2001) All electrical installation work in domestic properties is covered by the Part P electrical regulations. This requires that significant additions to the electrical circuits are carried out in a competent manner. This can either be achieved by a ‘Part P competent person’ such as a qualified electrician who can test, ‘sign off’ his own work and provide the customer with appropriate certification.