Many people love the traditional look of Stargates wooden gates. While they have undoubted aesthetic appeal, they are not always the most practical gates to install at your premises. They take considerable maintenance to keep them looking their best and free of rot. Because of their weight they require a powerful motor to keep them operating. When they get wet they become even heavier, with the wood expanding and then contracting as it dries out. This can place a strain on hinges and other component parts which, over time, can cause considerable wear and tear. All in all, expect to have to do a lot more maintenance with wooden gates than you would with some of the alternatives.
Even with all that taken into consideration, nothing matches the attractiveness of real wood as a gate material, does it?
Well, we think there’s a better alternative…
Contemporary wood-effect aluminium gates are as good as the real thing
One of the most practical materials when it comes to automated gates is aluminium. It’s light as well as hard wearing and can be finished with a range of different designs and effects. Over recent years, wood-effect aluminium gates have developed to look almost identical to the real thing. Unless you’re taking a very close look, and perhaps touching the gate itself you will be unlikely to know that you’re not looking at a wooden gate.
Open and boarded options
It’s often mistakenly believed that although you can make aluminium gates look like wood, the only real option is fully-boarded gates with a wooden appearance. This isn’t the case, because of their modular construction they can also be made into open and semi-open designs.
Aluminium is light and easy to work, making it an ideal material to craft into different styles, designs and uses. This means that any kind of design you see on wooden gates is also possible with aluminium gates. From traditional wooden five bar gates, to wrought iron, to contemporary wooden style designs, all of them are possible with aluminium.
How long will wood-effect aluminium gates last?
Where aluminium gates really do have the upper hand over wooden gates is their longevity. They are the perfect long lived alternative, yet only need a fraction of the maintenance that’s needed for wood. With an occasional wipe with a damp cloth, wood-effect aluminium gates will remain looking good for a couple of decades. Even with the most careful attention and maintenance, wooden gates are likely to need replacing before that time.
Aluminium naturally forms a thin layer of oxidation on its surface. This effectively seals the material and helps to protect the aluminium extending its life span. Unlike wooden gates, aluminium gates will not absorb water, one of the main causes of deterioration of wooden gates.
How does the cost compare?
It used to be that aluminium gates were significantly more expensive than wooden gates. Over recent years, advances in technology have reduced the cost of aluminium gates, with the price now being comparable to hardwood wooden gates. When the cost of ongoing maintenance and likely lifespan of each material is taken into account, aluminium is now the more cost-effective option.
Because they’re lightweight and have a modular design, aluminium gates are easy to install. Due to their low weight, they require less force to open, close and stop them. This makes them straightforward to automate. 24v dc systems fitted with obstacle detection are ideal for aluminium gates. This may not be sufficient for a similar wooden gate, meaning you will usually have to invest in a more powerful and expensive automation system.
Another advantage of wood-effect aluminium compared to the real thing is the impact the comparative weight of the gates has on safety. Should safety features on an automated gate fail, the impact of an aluminium gate is considerably less than that of wood. This makes wood-effect aluminium the safety conscious choice.
Wood-effect aluminium is the perfect choice for driveway gates
With great looks, high functionality, a huge choice of designs and cost benefits, wood-effect aluminium is the perfect choice for driveway gates. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, lightweight and practical choice without compromising on your design preferences, then the smart choice is wood-effect aluminium gates.