Choosing the right wooden gates – a buying guide
There are a wide range of different types of wooden gates on the market: hardwood or softwood gates, ledged gates, morticed and tenon jointed gates, dowelled morticed and tenon jointed gates, through wedged morticed and tenon jointed gates, standard sized, made to measure… the list is endless. So what should I look for when choosing the right wooden gate, I hear you ask?
Softwood or Hardwood gates
That is not to say that a softwood option will be ‘here today and gone tomorrow’; if you care for your product correctly, then you should get many enjoyable years of life from a softwood gate, but a hardwood gate, if looked after correctly, will last much longer.
Hardwoods are less ‘knotty’ than softwoods so give a more aesthetically attractive appearance; in our experience, you can never truly make a softwood gate look like a hardwood gate by simply using stains – the grain and knot content will always give it away, at least to a trained eye.
Made-to-measure gates versus ‘standard’ size.
There are many companies selling off-the-shelf standard-sized gates; ask yourself, is my drive ‘standard size’? What is a standard size drive width anyway? What if you want a gate just that little bit bigger or just a little bit smaller in height or width?
In our experience, there are few, if any, standard sizes of driveways or entrance ways, this is just a myth that has built up by companies to enable gates to be mass-produced cheaply, with little care or attention to your requirements or to a professional finish.
A made-to-measure gate gives you that little extra piece of mind that when you come to install the gate, everything will fit perfectly and that it will look impressive on your property. Not only that, but a made-to-measure gate is as unique as you are; each gate is individually and personally made to your own sizes by time-served craftsmen. A company that manufactures made-to-measure wooden gates may even manufacture you a bespoke gate – a gate made to your own design! Imagine how impressive that will look in front of your home.
Made-to-measure wins every time; if you choose ‘standard’ sizes, you may find you have a real struggle to get it to fit your ‘standard’ sized driveway or opening! Can you be bothered with the extra hassle?
Continue reading part 2 of our look at wooden gate buying guide.