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Metal Gates Direct - Understanding The Anatomy Of A Metal Gate

Understanding the Anatomy of a Metal Gate

Understanding the anatomy of a metal gate and its various nuances can help you make an informed choice when it comes to buying a new gate for your property. That's why we have created this easy-to-understand customer guide that will shed light on the most common components – the framework, the hinges, metal posts, and locks/latches.

Gate Framework

1) Material & Component Sizes

The specification of a metal gate can differ significantly between designs, and so can its strength and rigidity. This is because some types are for decorative purposes, and others are designed predominantly with security in mind. 

Below are some examples of the different framework thicknesses.

Picasso gates with 20mm x 10mm framework

Bespoke double gates with 40mm x 30mm framework

For our low-priced decorative options, you should expect the gate to consist of a 20mm x 10mm flat bar outer framework and 10-12mm metal infill bars.

Examples of these include:

In comparison, if you have a higher budget, you can expect a framework with 40mm x 30mm hanging stiles, 40mm x 10mm closing styles, 40mm x 10mm cross rails and 16mm infill bars, which will be a lot more robust but is reflected in the price you will have to pay.

Examples of these include:

Ultimately, when considering which design you need against what you can afford, please pay special attention to the component sizes we detail in the product descriptions in our online shop to find a gate that best suits both these elements. 

2) Gate Design

The design you choose will determine the level of privacy you can enjoy and the amount of security it can provide.

Privacy: If you choose a design with a solid panel infill, then the amount of privacy that is achieved is very high as these have no gaps between the components. 

Examples of solid panel designs available include:

double arched metal gate design

In comparison, all our metal gate designs with open infill bars will offer a lower level of privacy.

Security: Adding finials on top of the framework is a great way to enhance the gate's security. Doing so not only increases the overall height but also gives the gate a more imposing appearance.

Examples available with imposing finials include: 

3) Paint Finish

Our metal gates are available primed (ready for painting before installation) or prefinished with powder-coated paint. It is important to consider which will suit your needs best. The first option is cheapest but will need regular refinishing, and the second option is more expensive, but the finish is far more hardwearing.

Examples of our primed products include:

Examples of our powder-coated products include:

4) Gate Hinges

The gate hinges are an essential feature that joins the framework to the support structure and must, therefore, be strong enough to provide support and move freely enough to allow smooth opening and closing. When comparing designs, please pay attention to these aspects:

  • Adjustable Hinges: This hinge type enables you to make minor adjustments when fitting the gate to ensure it sits level within the opening. 
  • Fixed Hinges: These are a simple pivot point on which the gate framework swings. They feature no adjustment, so it is essential that the walls or posts are 100% vertical. 

Below are illustrations showing the key differences between the two types.

adjustable hinge diagram

fixed hinges diagram

Gate Posts

If you are unable to fit the gate onto existing masonry, then posts are needed to provide support. When required, you must consider the following:

  • Material: Most customers like to match the post material to that of the gate they are installing. In all instances, the post must be strong enough to withstand the gate's weight and any external forces like wind without the risk of bending or sagging.
  • Size: The post diameter will play a direct part in the overall stability of the gate. For freestanding posts, as a rule of thumb, the larger or heavier the gate, the thicker the posts will need to be, and the further into the ground it will need to be set.
  • Finishing: Posts should have a paint finish applied so that they are protected against rust or corrosion.

Gate Locks

The level of security your gate can provide will be defined by the lock that is in place. Here are a few things to consider:

Type of Lock

The most common way to secure a gate is using a padlock or key-operated lock. However, there are a wide range of alternative options available on the market, including digital keypads, electromagnetic locks, or 'smart' locks that can be operated with your smartphone.

Here are some examples of the latches and locks we can include:

Examples of different lock types

You can also find out more in our Guide to Gate Locks and Additional Measures to Bolster Security.

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