Material Matters: Wooden or metal gate – what should I choose?

When you’re searching for new residential gates, it can be tough to know whether to opt for wooden gates or metal gates. It’s also a common misconception that metal gates are better than wooden alternatives – as they both have their benefits and drawbacks.

So, how do you decide which material is appropriate for your individual needs? To help, we’ve put together this handy guide, running over the pros and cons of each material, as well as the crucial factors that may influence your decision

Material matters - gates

Wooden Gates

Appearance

Wooden gates can be created from a variety of hardwoods (such as teak, iroko and oak) or softwoods (such as scandinavian redwood or cedar). No matter what type of wood you choose to use in your design though, your gate will always look unique thanks to the natural wood markings as it grows. If you choose to have a gate made from timber, it can blend extremely well with a garden, making your gate the perfect landscaping device. Plus, you can further enhance timber with stains or paint to create a customised design, or work with the natural grains of timber to create a polished, realistic finish.

Generally speaking (though it can depend on personal preference), wooden gates are viewed as more aesthetically pleasing than their metal counterparts, particularly in rural areas.

Cost

It is difficult to pinpoint cost, as it will always depend on the type of wood you choose. Rare and high quality woods are always more expensive. If you choose a timber gate though, this should be relatively cheap as timber is readily available. As a general rule of thumb, wooden gates are often cheaper than metal gates, though there are of course exceptions.

Functionality

From a privacy standpoint, wooden gates offer more privacy than metal gates if you choose a traditional, flat closeboard gate – as you can’t see through them. However, as a drawback to the low cost and unique appearance, wooden gates do not offer high security. Small wooden gates can easily be climbed over, while wooden driveway gates do little to stop fast travelling cars. If security is a deciding factor for you over privacy, we recommend considering a metal gate.

Maintenance

Wooden gates require maintenance more frequently than metal gates. If not properly maintained, wood can warp, twist and split leading to an ugly appearance and flimsy functionality. Weather in particular can affect gate maintenance. For more information on how to protect your gates from the elements, read our weather warnings post.

 

Metal Gates

Appearance

Modern metal gates are not usually considered as attractive as wooden gates. So if you have a classic property, metal gates can of course be traditionally designed, but the clean lines mean they often fit better with modern properties.

For decoration, metal gates have far more options than you may initially realise. When creating your design, think about what ornamental elements you might want to add. What’s more, if you choose steel, you can apply a paint or powder coating to your galvanised gate to give a range of different decorative finishes. An additional bonus is that steel is naturally strong, making it ideal for more complex designs.

Cost

There are some additional factors that can make metal gates more expensive than wooden gates. If you opt for electric driveway gates, for example, there will be a higher base cost due to the installation and additional components – as well as the energy bill to think about! On top of these costs, maintenance can be pricey and often needs to be done in a controlled environment like a factory.

Functionality

Metal gates create a strong, durable barrier that undoubtedly will increase the privacy and security of your property. Additionally, that can also easily be manufactured to span double driveways if needed. What’s more, metal gates are more ergonomic, for the fact that they can be combined with technology to offer enhanced functionality such as automation. Most of the time, that simply isn’t possible with wooden gates.

Maintainability

One of the biggest added benefits to metal gates is that they are (mostly) weather resistant, though they can rust over time if not protected sufficiently. Metal gates are also stronger than wooden alternatives and generally require less maintenance – especially if they are galvanised to protect them from corrosion.

Overall, only you can decide if a wooden gate or a metal gate suits your needs and the look you want, but hopefully this guide has helped you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each material. For further information, enquiries or a detailed quote, feel free to contact us.

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