An automatic gate can be a good safety feature for any property as it's more secure than a gate with a small lock that can be easily broken, or a gate that doesn't lock at all. An automatic gate allows you to monitor potential visitors and stop them before they ever reach your porch, keeping your home and family secure. When you're ready to purchase and install an automatic gate for your home, note a few considerations to keep in mind so you know you opt for the right one for your property.

Size of clearance

A gate that swings open is often preferred for a residential property as it seems more welcoming than a gate that slides to one side; sliding gates may seem more industrial and may be louder than a swinging gate. Note the needed size of clearance for a gate—if your driveway curves or is hilly, you may not have clearance for a full swinging gate. Consider if a bi-parting gate is feasible, since these are actually two gate panels that open down the middle, so each panel itself is a bit smaller. This can mean not having the gate scrape against a hilly slope and also means needing less clearance for one large gate panel.

Opening mechanism

You may assume it's good to have an opening mechanism that controls the gate when a vehicle approaches; this often means a control under the driveway that senses the weight of a vehicle. However, if your driveway is already paved, this might mean breaking up the concrete to install the controller. This also means there is no ability to manually control the gate when visitors arrive. Consider a remote opener that you keep on your keychain, like a garage door opener, or a coded keypad for maximum control over the workings of the gate instead.


You may assume that automatic gates are only available in wrought-iron designs, but typically, you can find many other options available for residential properties. Consider what matches your property's fence, but look for a cedar gate, for something less industrial than iron bars, or a three-post wood gate with the posts that are set horizontally; this can create a rural or country look for your home. Vinyl gates are very easy to maintain and very lightweight so they put less stress on the chains and pulleys when they work, making them more durable overall.