Automatic vs Manual Gates: Which option is better?

Choosing the right gate can be challenging as there are many factors that should be taken into consideration. Whether you are seeking commercial gates or residential gates, one of the biggest decisions you will need to make is whether you need an automatic gate or a manual gate. Let’s take a look at the two options and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Gate
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Cost
If you are restricted by budget then a manual gate is likely to be the best option. Automatic gates are more costly as they require power and therefore will raise elevate your overall electricity bill! Additionally, the incorporation of technological features in automatic gates such as remote controls and keypads, bump up the price. Generally though, manual gates are much cheaper.

Security
It may go without saying, but automatic gates offer increased security over manual gates owing to the increase in technology. With manual gates, once the lock is broken there is no barrier between your property and the outside world. With automatic gates, security features can be added such as key operated switches, sensors to detect cars or digital keypads that require input before opening. If budget isn’t a concern, then you can even make use of advanced technology such as voice or fingerprint recognition however, these will of course be much pricier than standard options.

Convenience
With manual gates, a drawback is the lack of convenience. Of course, very small garden gates can be opened easily however, industrial gates will often require somebody to unlock them which can be troublesome. Automatic gates are beneficial in the fact that you can quickly allow somebody to enter or leave your premises while maintaining a high level of security adding to their convenience. On the flipside, automatic gates require a constant power supply and this can be particularly inconvenient for occurrences such as power cuts which could leave you locked in your own property!

Maintainability
The most obvious maintenance consideration is of course electricity supply. Automatic gates use motors to allow movement, therefore a consistent source of energy is required (this also impinges on the cost of these types of gates.) Be sure to regularly check the safety of your electric supply as well if you are using automatic gates, faulty wires or blown fuses all can inhibit the smooth operation of your gates and you don’t want to find yourself locked out or injured!

Other maintainability concerns are affected by the materials used. Wooden and metal gates can be affected by sun, rain and wind so will require constant nurturing – you can read about this in our recent post on how to protect your gates in different weather conditions.

Installation
We always recommend using a professional to install your gates but manual gates are easier than automatic gates which can be significantly difficult to install. Automatic gates need to be hooked up to the power supply but even an electrician should not install an automatic gate unless they have had specific gate training.

These factors should all be taken into account when deciding between an automatic or manual gate but if you are still uncertain, why not contact a Portcullis representative who can advise you further?

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