Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Choose the Correct Gate Size

4' black vinyl chain link gate - 4' chain link

Everyone has a great reason as to just why they would like to have a fence installed. It is likely that you are either trying to keep something in or something out, right? All types and styles of fence will do this for you. Believe it or not, many folks simply envision this "barrier" when deciding on a fence. They simply forget that they will still need a way to access either side of the fence...they need a gate!

I meet with property owners on a daily basis to discuss upcoming fence projects. Some simple, basic information is needed before we can develop a quote for a potential customer. First, where they would like the fence to be located, second is the style and third is how many gates and finally how large of gate openings they need. Often times customers do not have a good answer when asked the final 2 parts to my basic questions.

6' double gate - vinyl privacy fence

You called a fence professional like Custom Fence Co. to help you answer every one of the questions that I listed above. To determine the width of gate a customer needs I ask them questions like:
  • What do you need to fit through the gate?
  • Do you anticipate the need to get a vehicle into your back yard?
  • How wide is your mower deck?
  • What do you expect to use the gates for?
  • Do you have a utility easement?
Thinking about points like the basics listed above will give you a pretty good idea of how wide of a gate you will need. You may also want to think about what you may need to use the gate for in the future. Ask yourself:
  • Do I plan on getting a riding lawn mower in the future?
  • Will I need to use the gates to access a door that I may move furniture through?
  • What if I need to have work done to something like a septic in my yard? How will I get a truck back there?
  • Will I ever be building anything within the fenced area, such as a garage or barn?
Answering these questions will ensure that you will not have to have adjustments made to your gate and fence line in the future. If you have all 4' gates, then decide to build a garage in your back yard you will accrue the cost of having fence and gates removed and replaced with larger gates that you can drive through. Make sure you are aware of your land plot and that you are not building fence across a utility easement that may need to be accessed by a utility truck. During an emergence a utility company will be forced to remove the fence so that they can get through. Long story short, you can save money and stress by thinking about the sizes of gates you will need.

4' walk gate - 6' shadowbox fence

Here are some standard sizes of gates and their purposes:

3' - smallest opening that is usually installed, good for a gate that will not be used often and will only be walked through

4' - standard opening, good for walking through and fitting most push mowers

5' and 6' - Good for getting most riding mowers through, a 6' gate can be made as a single swing gate or as a double drive gate made of 2 - 3' gates

10' - will fit most standard vehicles - i.e., cars, pickup trucks, jeeps, etc.

12' and larger - will fit large vehicles, farm equipment, trailers, etc.

Think about these points and you should be good to go with your gate openings and will save yourself the stress of having to make costly adjustments to your new, beautiful fence. Always make sure that the representative asks you the size of your gates. If they do not ask this simple question, then they likely do not care about your well being!

Good Luck!!