Our client required a bespoke timber gated entrance for a property they were renovating in a beautiful rural location (Betchley, near Dorking, Surrey)
There were a number of complex elements on this electric gate installation project that all needed to carefully considered and integrated seamlessly such as:
As a result the client approached the gate installation with some trepidation as they were well aware that gate installation projects can be a difficult affair especially as there are so many contractors involved in one project simultaneously such as engineers, architects, builders, access control, electricians and landscapers.
Furthermore, due to its rural setting and being located at the bottom of a large hill drainage and battling the elements was a real issue- flooding will have ramifications on reliability and longevity of the gate system.
As with all electric gate systems not only are security and reliability paramount, aesthetics and above all safety are very important factor in this project.
The challenge was to find a balance between aesthetics, functionality, reliability, and robustness and to ensure that there was a harmonisation between the entrance, the environment and the house itself.
After the tendering process, Universe Gates was selected from a number of gate installation companies to Design, project manage and install the entire process.
Universe Gates consulted with the client to understand their requirements and then promptly arranged 3D CAD visualisations of the proposed entrance based on the clients particular tastes and technical requirements. Great attention to detail given at the planning and design stage to ensure the entire process ran smoothly and translates into a substantial set of gates that will grace the property for many years to come.
The entrance was realigned to orientation of the house for a great visual impact and ease of access for large vehicles that regularly visit the property. Once the drawings were approved, the specification was confirmed and Universe Gates set up a programme of works and informed the client of the entire project timeline.
Most of the work was carried out over the winter which made the project particular tricky due to the cold weather conditions and continual rain which is counter productive to building and electrical work!
Very large drainage ducts and soak away’s were installed to ensure all rainwater is promptly removed from the area. Once this was carried out, ground clearance and leveling took place. The footings and piers were reinforced with steel for additional strength. The walls were constructed from an engineered brick that is hard wearing and close as possible match to the house. The walls were designed and built with a curve which not only enhanced the appearance but improved the sight lines upon leaving the driveway which leads on to a narrow country lane. The walls also had- a built in letter box, feature lighting, custom made stone signs, stone pier caps, and a flush fitted access control entry system which was integrated to the crestron home automation system, lighting and garage doors .
The piers to main entrance had internal structural steel work inside which were engineered to take the weight of the gates. This requires custom fabrication, to ensure the geometry of the hinges align with the rail on the gates. It was also be back-filled with concrete to provide additional strength.
The timber gates are hand made using kiln dried Iroko- further information on our wooden gates can be found here. The timber gate was coated many times with a special oil based finish.
The gate automation was supplied by BFT – we selected heavy duty hydraulic underground operators. These gate operators are very quiet but has the power necessary to move these heavy solid timber gates an electro-mechanical gate operator would simply burn out due to the weight and size of the gates and can easily cope with continuous usage if necessary- our technical team believe they the very best underground gate motors available. Large soak-a-ways were installed to the gate operator foundation boxes, furthermore cables are never jointed underground.
Finishing touches were then applied such as granite set edging cobbles, garage door/gate integration, safety edges and the driveway was laid approx 100 tonnes of stone.
Finally the electric gate installation was commissioned; force tested to comply with BS EN 12453:2001 and handed over on time, on budget to the absolute delight of our client.