Choosing a Chain Link Gate
With more creative and decorative styles being introduced, chain link fencing is finally beginning to overcome its reputation for being industrial-looking and unattractive. More and more people are using decorative vinyl-coated chain link fencing to surround yards, gardens and property lines. This fencing material is durable, inexpensive and requires very little maintenance, so it’s no surprise sales are on the rise.
If you’re considering installing a new chain link fence, you should also consider the different gate options available. As with cedar and vinyl fences, chain link fencing manufacturers offer a number of different gate styles to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular chain link gate options:
Walk-Through Chain Link Gates
The easiest and most obvious type of chain link gate is the single walk-through style. This gate is exactly what it sounds like: a small entrance, usually about 36 to 48 inches wide, that fits one person at a time. This gate often has a simple latch that can be opened from either side. Walk-through gates aren’t meant to provide much security, but they do work well if you’re main concern is containing wandering dogs or small children.
Drive-Through Chain Link Gates
These chain link gates are perfect for those with big vehicles or large animals. Drive-through gates are made of two panels that connect at the center by latch or lock and are usually around 10-12 feet wide. The two panels can either slide or swing open, depending on your preference. Useful for farms, ranches or homes with a lot of vehicles, drive-through gates are generally placed at the edge of the property, most often at the front of the driveway.
Sliding Chain Link Gates
Sliding or rolling gates are similar to drive-through gates in that they slide open parallel to the fence. The difference between the two is that sliding gates are attached to wheels that run along a track laid on the ground. This variation on the drive-through gate is perfect for people who don’t have enough room for large swing gates, such as those whose property lines are right next to a sidewalk or street.
For homeowners who want to keep their vehicles secure behind a chain link gate, automatic gates allow for convenient access. They can be triggered in a number of ways, including:
Remote. Similar to an automatic garage door opener, the remote entry method requires you to have the device in the vehicle each time you want the gate opened.
Weight activated. Perfect for those with long driveways or who make frequent trips, the weight-activated method senses the weight of your car on a pad 10 or 15 feet from the gate and opens it accordingly.
Intercom. If security is your main concern, an intercom entrance system might work best. This requires guests to request access via a dedicated point in your house.
Keypad. If you have many people that need to come and go through the gate, consider a keypad entry system. You can program the code and give it only to those you trust. Changing access codes on a regular basis is a good way to keep your gate secure.
Another important chain link gate feature to consider is the lock. If your fence is short or purely decorative, you may not need a lock. If security is a major concern, however, you will definitely want to invest in a strong, durable gate lock. Some of the more popular lock options are:
Key lock. This tried-and-true method is an oldie but a goodie. The downside of key locks, of course, is that you need to remember the key. They can also be difficult to open in the dark, especially if you’re away from a light source.
Slide bolt. Another popular lock option, this style features a bolt you manually slide into place to lock the gate. Because it is relatively easy to open, the slide bolt shouldn’t be used in areas where security is a major risk.
Keypad entry. Keypad locks, the most advanced and secure locking method, require the user to enter a security code in order to open the gate. The problem here is that they usually require professional installation and maintenance.
Yes, gates are just as important a feature as anything else on your fence. Now that you know a bit more about the different styles of chain link gates available, go talk to a professional and get that fencing project started!