Electric Gates costs proposal advice

Its not every day you buy electric gates!

To help you make the right decision, we have detailed three important points for you to consider when reading through a gate installers proposal.

  1. Ambiguity

 A vague proposal may infer that you cannot be sure of what you will actually get. It may also indicate a lack of certainty as to when/how they will commence and complete your project. The less detail in the proposal, the more opportunity to use inferior products.

A poorly defined ‘scope of work’ or ‘recommendations’ may lead to additional, unexpected fees, since assumptions about the scope are made on both sides. For example, we recently lost a project based on a price differential of around £1,000 which to most people is a lot of money. Our competitor did not specify the electric gate motors they would use (a common trick- so clients cannot Google costs for themselves online). As it turned out, they used cheap, Made in China-produced gate operators which were woefully inadequate for the intended project and came with no warranty or UK customer support. Needless to say, the gates malfunctioned and were replaced at considerable cost. Furthermore, the metal gates were not galvanised and rusted within a few short months. In worst-case scenarios we’ve seen projects result in long delays, litigation and even complete failures to complete, while companies attempted to sort out these types of conflicts.

Flaky, unclear proposals may indicate that the electric gate company hasn’t put any real thought into your needs nor made the effort to form a recommendation that would truly address those needs. Perhaps these companies are not seeking your best interests or a long-term relationship with you.

If you are not impressed by the thought, care and level of detail contained in a company’s proposal and it appears ambiguous or too cheap, pass on that company. Wait for the proposal that makes you say, “Wow, they thought of everything!”

Lastly, a company’s proposal is a reflection of their overall work ethic. If they present a quote poorly, how will they design and fit your gates? if it is not detailed, professional and presented in a timely manor how can you expect there work to be any different.

  1. Cheap Prices

“Electric Gates are really cheap!”…. Said no one. Ever. If other electric gate fitters are quoting significantly less than a competitor, be wary.

 If your quote is too good to be true, put on a helmet, get in crash position, and brace for impact because you may be setting yourself up for huge disappointment in the quality, execution and results of your project. A low ball proposal may infer that the company does not understand the real scope of work that is involved in making your electric gate design project successful. It might indicate a combination of incompetence, desperation and general lack of quality products and/or skill.

NEVER buy into a gate company solely on price. A company that provides quality work does not represent the lowest cost provider in his/her own industry. A quality and trusted electric gate company with a proven track record  will take great pride in the distinctions that justify their higher costs.

The lowest bidder is a bottom feeder for a reason and you could be throwing your money away.

  1. Limitations

 If a company cannot provide evidence of sophisticated or custom-made projects, perhaps they have not completed any?

 A company that uses ‘copy and paste’ gates to churn out a string of run-of-the-mill tasteless cheap projects has not encountered any real challenges and most likely could not conquer them if they had to.

To us, imitation is suicide. Avoid companies that cannot demonstrate their own complex work (e.g. around the corner gates, bi-folding gates, cantilever gates or large multi discipline projects). Talented engineers with professional skill sets do not come cheap!

 Also ask for before and during photos of portfolio pictures. Anyone can take a picture of an entrance gate- this is not evidence that they fitted it.

 Make sure your automatic gate company has a track record of successfully delivering a variety of challenging custom solutions, even if you feel your project is an easy one. It’s well worth choosing a company that can grow with you, so that you are not forced to part ways because of limitations to their abilities.

Thank you for reading. If you are looking for further points to consider, please click here