Manual vs Automatic Gate Design

Choosing the Right Features & Functions


Making the decision to install a driveway gate gets the ball rolling on planning a worthwhile project. The next decision to make is whether you want a manual or automatic gate design. This decision is easier when you take several factors into consideration.

What’s the Purpose of the Gate

What made you want to install a driveway gate?

Safety and security?
Curb appeal?

If these are your top three reasons for choosing a gate, you’ll want to go with an automatic gate design. Being able to set your gate to open with a code or sensor creates a level of security. Not having to get out of your car to open the gate offers convenience. Designing an attractive gate to function the way you want still provides curb appeal.

While manual gates can still be locked for safety, you’ll have to physically unlock and open the gate to gain access then go back to close and lock it to keep it secure. This is not as convenient, especially when having to get in and out of a vehicle. The same issues will arise for any visitors, and then you’ll have to decide who gets keys to unlock the gate.

Automatic Gate Function

After choosing to install an automatic gate, the fun planning continues! Now you get to decide how the gate will function.

  • Sensors. The gate opens automatically as a car with the right remote sensor approaches.
  • Keypad. The correct access code is entered on a keypad to open the gate.
  • Manual Systems. Still more secure than a manual gate. A visitor must push a button at the gate for someone inside to let them in.

Different audio and video systems may be connected to the gate to allow for added convenience and security.

While automatic gates have many attractive features, there are some downsides:

  • Cost. The more features you add, the more expensive it gets.
  • Maintenance. Not only does the gate itself need to be in working order, so does the electronic system it runs on.
  • Power. If you lose power, you lose access. Having a battery backup or solar solution can help.

If these downsides are too much to handle, a less expensive manual gate that doesn’t require a power source may be a better choice for you.

Automatic Gate Design

After considering the pros and cons, if an automatic gate is still a consideration, there are more design choices to think about.

  • Swing Gates. Swing open and closed like a door.
  • Sliding Gate. Slide either from left to right, or right to left, to open or close.
  • Bi-Fold. Fold and unfold itself to allow access.
  • Vertical Lift. Moves and up and down vertically like a garage door.
  • Vertical Pivot Lift. Openings rotate in and out.

Once you’ve considered all of your options and are ready to install or still have questions, contact the gate specialists at Security Five for more information. With so many design features and functions to choose from, there’s a perfect gate solution for everyone.