Saturday, May 25

Things to Know About Choosing Automatic Gate Openers and Accessories

Sliding and swinging gates and gate openers can be installed as a do-it-yourself project by residential property owners. Most commonly, gates are installed in the driveway as part of a yard’s fencing system. A pedestrian gate can be placed there as well. The features boost security by preventing easy access to the home and property.

Design Types

Two types of swing designs are available: single and dual models. If space is limited, a sliding device typically is the best option and may be the only possibility. The main consideration is the extra maintenance required because the gate slides on a track. The owners must make sure the track stays free of debris, or the gate may become stuck. Another design is known as vertical pivot, but that typically is not used in a single-family residential setting.

Installation on Existing Gates

Some homeowners already have a fence and gate and now want to add an automatic opener. They’ll appreciate not having to get out of the car and open the gate manually. Motorized openers can be installed on most gates constructed of any kind of material. Household residents and their guests appreciate the convenience, especially during inclement weather.

Capacity Differences

When customers first begin shopping for these products, they’ll likely wonder why the price range is so broad. Most of the difference is related to the gate’s weight and length. An opener’s capacity is rated from light-duty to heavy-duty, with dual models generally costing the most.


Customers also can choose accessories with their order. At least one remote control will be necessary, and many households need two or three. Other features aren’t required but provide additional advantages.

A keypad also can be handy for anyone who doesn’t have a remote control. Kids coming home on foot or on a bicycle can use this device. Family members and close friends who frequently visit might be provided with the code. In addition, the keypad will work if somebody forgets to replace batteries in the remote. Wireless intercoms also may be appealing for households having guests drop by occasionally who won’t be given the keypad code.

Solar panels for sun-powered operation may be appealing. If the household doesn’t have a charger for the size of batteries the gate requires, an order can be placed for this as well. If the property has wiring near the gate, customers can choose an electric model that runs on alternating current instead of direct current. Extending wiring far beyond the existing limits is expensive, and most homeowners will need an electrician to do this project.

An Important Consideration

Some individuals wonder whether a garage door opener would work with a gate. Although the purpose is similar, the equipment is not interchangeable. One main consideration is that garage door openers are built for installation inside a building instead of being exposed to the elements. In addition, all electrical equipment must meet standards issued by the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) for specific uses. Garage door openers and devices for opening gates have different standards.