The following guide helps you decide whether to select a metal or wooden gate for your garden, field, commercial property, or estate. There are pros and cons for each but whatever you opt for, you will need to make sure that the gate you choose is suitable for the task it is required to do and is in keeping with your budget. Here are the points you need to consider.

Your Choice Of Gate

Most gates are chosen for gardens, farmland, keeping livestock, and commercial properties are made from either wood or metal, and there are disadvantages as well as advantages with the use of either of these options. Ultimately you will need to make sure your selection best suits your requirements as well as your budget. 

A quality gate is a must-have for any property, as it can provide security, privacy, and aesthetic appeal. The two main types of gates are metal and wooden, both have their own benefits and can improve your home, farm, or commercial property in unique ways. So, which should you choose?   

The Pros Of Wooden gates

Firstly, timber gates have a natural, organic, and classic look. Wood is aesthetically appealing, sits particularly well within rural settings, and can bring a real sense of warmth and comfort. If you require a gate for domestic use, you might well be inclined to opt for wood as wood can be styled or decorated in many ways to sit with all different types of the domestic environment, including gardens, meadows, etc orchards. Wooden gates are also versatile in that they can always be painted to match or blend into certain color schemes or landscapes. 

Wooden gates have been used for thousands of years and are a tried and tested solution that is also very practical in terms of both privacy and security. Wooden gates are really common and come in a wide range of ‘off-shelf sizes and configurations and countless styles. Being wood and a highly versatile, workable material, it is relatively easy to source or commission bespoke gates that can be styled or sized to suit a particular domestic, agricultural, or commercial purpose.

In terms of construction, wooden gates typically feature a row of wooden panels in particular configurations, and these create a relatively solid barrier as required, to keep people or animals at bay whilst also providing a level of protection from prying eyes.

A major factor for the widespread use of wood in the construction of gates is that wood is relatively inexpensive (certainly when compared to steel or aluminum) However, you need to be aware that wooden gates are only as good as the wood that they are constructed from. Hardwoods in particular are more durable than softwoods and require less maintenance; however, gates made from these woods are obviously more expensive to purchase.

Hardwoods such as Iroko and European Oak are popular choices for wooden gates as they are denser woods with a tighter grain. They provide protection from insects as well as the elements and UV rays from the sun. Softwoods that provide good value for money include Redwood, Red Cedar, or Scots Pine. Also, don’t be put off by the term ‘softwood’ as these types of woods can actually make gates that last for many years, even decades if maintained and treated well.

The Downsides of Wooden gates

One of the major downsides of gates made from wood is that they will 

require regular maintenance to prevent mold and rot. However, the wood has been treated in construction. You will undoubtedly need to spend time and effort looking after your wooden gates to ensure it does not deteriorate. Although wood is strong, it is not as strong and durable as metal, so it can get damaged more easily in use. In addition to rot, you need to guard against splitting, warping, and twisting in addition to rot. 

The upside of metal gates

The strength and durability of metal gates add a layer of security and peace of mind. A properly hung metal gate with the right rung configuration will provide a 

strong, durable barrier for a home, farm, or commercial property. It is also easy to attach a variety of locks to metal gates as well, which increases security even further. 

Metal gates also tend to entail less ongoing maintenance than wooden gates. Metal such as galvanized steel and aluminum is strong and naturally long-lasting and won’t be affected by inclement weather. A metal gate is likely to remain both sturdy and aesthetically appealing for years on end. However, it’s worth noting that should you have to repair a metal gate, it will be a more complex procedure than fixing a wooden gate. 

Nowadays, there’s also a huge variety of styles of metal gates with different models designed for domestic or commercial use. Bespoke metal gates can also be commissioned (at a cost) and these can boast a variety of possible decorations including complex patterns. 

The downside of metal gates

Although they are strong, they are also heavy and will require affixing to a sturdy structure. It is essential that you do your homework when it comes to matching metal gates to appropriate gate posts and if replacing a gate, you may well need to consider the installation of more suitable gateposts.

If you do opt for wood, you do need to make sure you know the provenance of the wood used for your gates and you should check this with the manufacturer

Look for eco-friendly, sustainable wood registered with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

So What gate should you choose?

There’s no obvious better choice between wood or metal gates, so you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each in terms of your particular requirements and usage and also factor in your own preferences, and, of course, budget expectations! 

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