How much does it cost to automate existing gates?

Often clients underestimate the cost of automating an existing gate. They tell us they search on the internet for a cheap gate automation kit for £300 then look for an electrician from Check-a-Trade to fit it in a day, for a few hundred pounds… bingo problem solved! Not exactly….

Their gate system might last for a couple of weeks before it all goes wrong, they then call us to come and rip everything out to start again! In most cases, the electric gate system will not even be legal and worst case it is highly dangerous!

The gate automation kit price only makes up a percentage of the total cost and the cheapest kits are usually the most expensive in the long term.

Our underground gate automation installation prices start at £2,600 + VAT.

First and foremost, there are labour costs; we respect electricians greatly however the electrical elements are only part of the job. It takes at least 5 years’ practical experience to be a qualified gate engineer.

Any true gate engineer will have all of the following skills and experience-

  • Industry approved training course qualification pass (DHF, Gate Safe, Etc.)
  • System design knowledge and assessment
  • Awareness of Standards & Regulations
  • Health & Safety procedures and practices
  • Risk reviewing for safe system operation and advice
  • Fault finding and rectification skills
  • Electrical competency & regulations
  • Ground works
  • Civil & Structural engineering skills
  • Landscaping and Drainage experience
  • Light building & Building Regulations
  • Fabrication, Erection and Welding
  • Mechanical engineering skills
  • Mathematics i.e. gate geometry, weight calculations
  • Hydraulics & Pneumatic’s
  • Carpentry & Joinery
  • Qualified and certified by all major automation brands- BFT, CAME, FAAC, Nice, Beninca.
  • Wide knowledge of Industry products, procedures & best options
  • Commissioning procedures and system maintenance
  • Access control & telecommunications interface
  • Audio & video, CCTV
  • Associated products & services, lighting, alarms
  • Making good & decoration
  • Computer literacy
  • First aid
  • Customer liaison & training
  • Technical file creation & management
  • On top of all this- be respectful, happy, friendly and prepared to work outside in all 
weathers!

These requirements vary depending on the complexity of the project but all our gate engineers are trained and ready for anything- and as you can imagine gate engineers with these skills are hard to find and command good salaries.

It requires over £5,000 worth of specialist tools to carry out most gate installations. We are constantly buying tools due to the high demands placed on them working outside in all temperatures and conditions!

Before work is carried out legally the qualified gate installation company have to carry out a detailed risk assessment, point loading calculations and a execute a full site survey.

Next, the equipment must be purchased. Here follows a typical list of components/costs required to automate a gate (excluding the automation kit which can run in at over £1000 alone):

  • Electrical enclosure / Cabinet
  • Junction boxes
  • Adaptable conduit
  • Armoured termination glands
  • Cable cleats and ties
  • Safety edges, receiver- its worth noting in some cases (particularly electric sliding gates) the safety equipment costs to make the gates legally compliant can amount to more than the gate automation costs!
  • Direct burial data cable
  • SWA cable
 (armoured)
  • Flexible power cable
  • Concrete
  • Ballast
  • Sheet metal for modifications
  • Adjustable hinges
  • Gate stops
  • Ducting
  • Clips, bolts, fixings
  • Resin, Silicon, Grease
  • Disposable items such as welding rods, cutting disc’s and diamond blades.
  • Disposal of waste from site (skip on site)
  • Fuel to from site
  • Parking/Congestion charges
  • Allowance in cost for warranty return visits
  • Delivery charges.

All this is without standard business over heads such as insurance, office costs, rates, vehicles, tools, advertising, accreditation’s, transportation and admin, accounts and sales staff costs etc!

In most cases this type of work takes 2-3 days on site and requires 2 engineers as the gates have to be lifted. There is also a lot of time consuming off site work such as planning the installation, ordering the materials, client liaison and document control.

Once the installation has been completed, we then carry out extensive testing, we have to force test the gates and complete a technical file, CE Mark the gates and provide a 2 year warranty.

Only then are we happy to carry out a demonstration, handover, with controls, to the client.

We hope this goes a little way to explaining everything we need to do, The words ‘cheap’ and ‘electric gates’ have never been in the same sentence! However, if done well, automated gates will be convenient, secure, safe and well worth the investment.

Therefore, if Renzland Powergates Ltd are £2000 more than a jobbing electrician prepared to try his hand at electric gates, you can be sure you are getting £2,000+ more of a job.

Electric gates installation Richmond- East Sheen

Another high end installation by Renzland Powergates Ltd in East Sheen / Richmond, Surrey.

We pride ourselves on delivering high quality custom designed gates and railings. We have a range of standard designs but can create and install exquisite bespoke wrought iron and metalwork to the client’s exact requirements. We can also custom make our own unique rail heads and components for one of a kind gates in our workshop in Essex- for the kind of high end craftsman ship we deliver you’ll find our rates highly competitive.

As you will see from the pictures below the bricks were specially sourced to create a distinctive contrast the house face bricks, the gates were painted grey to match the timber window frames on the house.

This East Sheen gate installation installation was completed with a high end access control system and heavy duty hydraulic gate motors.

Before Automatic Gates East Sheen SurreyBefore Gate installation Richmond SurreyElectric gates east SheenElectric Gates RichmondMetal gates surreyRailings RichmondWrought Iron gates surrey

Electric Gates Installation- Newdigate, Surrey

 

Before electric gates Newdigate, Surrey
Before electric gates Newdigate, Surrey
Wooden Gates Newdigate Surrey
After Wooden Gates Newdigate Surrey

Here is another timber electric gate installation in Newdigate, Surrey by Renzland Powergates Ltd.

The client wanted a driveway gate design that both afforded privacy and fitted in well with the natural rural environment. Timber gates were the obvious choice. It should be noted that timber electric gates in a quality hardwood such as Oak or Iroko are usually more expensive and labour intensive to fit than metal counterparts.

An open top with closed board bottom design was chosen, the bottom is closed board offering privacy against passing traffic but the open bars at the top allow natural light and don’t close off the outside world completely. The gates and matching side panel were hung from huge 250mm oak posts. As the posts were oak and the gates were Iroko species of timber the colours would not match so they were both stained so the colour difference was minimal and not noticeable.  Click here for a relevant article on which species timber is best to use on wooden automatic gates. 

Once point loading calculations were formulated, the footings were dug to a precise depth. A large concrete base was installed and left to harden off before the posts were installed, so the oak posts would not sink into the clay below the footings.

CAD design for timber gates
CAD design for timber gates

As these are wind affected gates, heavy duty FAAC hydraulic ram arms were selected. The hydraulic operator requires little maintenance and is low on electrical power consumption. The  hydraulic device ensures maximum anti-crushing protection however for additional safety and to comply with safety regulations safety edges were fitted to the hinge edge of the gates to avoid dangerous finger trapping. When automating close board gates also strongly recommend hydraulic gate automation as it is more powerful, faster and is generally built to much higher engineering standards than electro-mechanical gate automation. The automation was also linked with the garage door operator so the client could open both the electric gates and garage door with the same remote control.

Custom made hinges were made, and a post box was fitted to the side panel. Up/down lighters were fitted to the gate posts, along with a GSM access control system. The ground works team will be installing a new driveway over the next few weeks and we will update the photos.

timber gates newdigate surrey

electric gates newdigate surrey

customer review feedback coming soon-

Price Guide with letter box, and lights £10,000 + VAT

Double Electric Gates installation in Camberley, Surrey

electric gate camberely surrey

Here is a recent installation carried out by Renzland Powergates Ltd in Camberley, Surrey.

Our clients already had one existing gated opening and railings but wanted an additional entrance so they could drive in and out, otherwise known as a carriage driveway.

The client also wanted a separate lockable pedestrian gate.

Before

before gate referbishment camberely surrey

Our concern was that our brand new gates would make the existing driveway gates look old and dated as they were already starting to show signs of corrosion along with the railings. Therefore it was decided that we would refurbish the existing gates and railings. The old gates were removed, shot blasted, and refurbished, replacing any bent or damaged bars.

Whilst the gates were being made, our bricklayer modified the existing perimeter walls and built new brick piers to accommodate the new gates, reclaimed bricks and pier cap balls were sourced to blend in with the existing brickwork.

As a surprise to our client and at no extra cost, we modified the gates slightly by adding scrolls on the end and centre stiles to beautify them- in the gate world we are connoisseurs and refuse to fit ugly gates.

Finally, The gates were galvanised , powder coated and as finishing touch the finials were painstakingly hand painted with gold patina.  Additional feature/security lighting was also installed along with some handly electrical sockets by our part P approved electrician.

The existing BFT hydraulic electric gate motors that were some 15 years old were also refurbished and now work like new- this is exactly why we recommend BFT hydraulic gate motors! We connected the double automatic garage doors with a receiver so the client only had to use one remote control to open all gates and doors.

We will post some more photos shortly including before shots so you can see the transformation, regrettably it was poor weather when the gates were commissioned so the photos do not really do our work justice.

After Electric Gates fitted in Camberley, Surrey

automatic gates camberley after gate referbishment camberely referbished gates

The gates seem to be popular as we have been awarded a further two gate installations in the same road in Camberley, which just goes to prove- we know how to make an entrance.

Here is our testimonial-

I am hugely satisfied with the work you have done for me, indeed I couldn’t be happier. I will in the future (already have to XXXXX in Fleet) most definitely recommend your company, your professionalism, your attention to detail and your pleasant approach and politeness without hesitation.

For more information on our Surrey electric gates services please click here- 

Metal Swing Gate with matching pedestrian gate & railings- Ripley Surrey

before electric gates ripley surrey

 

Before Electric gates- Ripley, Surrey

electric gates ripley surrey

After Electric Gates, Ripley Surrey

This is a recent electric swing gate installation carried out by Renzland Powergates Ltd in Ripley, Surrey (located on Guildford Road between Woking and Lightwater ) 

The brick wall to the entrance was modified to accommodate the new gates and give the client an additional pedestrian gate and railings. As the driveway is on an inclined hill, precise ground works were carried out ensure the gate ran smoothly and level whilst not compromising on aesthetics. The tarmac drive was sympathetically repaired after the alterations had taken place.

For additional security the swing gate was fitted with an electric lock with a 800kg holding force this will ensure the gate cannot be forced open causing potential damage to the motors or rattle during strong winds.

As a gesture of good will, we fitted the pedestrian gate with a gas closer free of charge to ensure the gate is always closed so their children and the family dog cannot run out on to the busy road.

Our client is delighted with the new gates and railings and not only has it ensured the entrance is safe and secure for the family, it has also transformed the appearance to the front of the property adding value to their home.

Wooden Sliding Gate- Richmond, Surrey

sapeli timber gate richmond

Before electric sliding gate- Richmond, Surrey

Sapeli Timber sliding Gate Richmond

After- Timber electric sliding gate Richmond, Surrey

This is a recent electric sliding gate installation carried out by Renzland Powergates Ltd in Richmond, Surrey.

The entrance was modified to accommodate the new gates and give the client more parking spaces on the driveway. As the driveway is on a inclined hill, precise ground works were carried out ensure the gate ran smoothly and level.

The new timber gates are made from Entandrophragma cylindricum, commonly known as  sapele or sapelli, it is a large tree native to tropical west Africa. It is reminiscent of mahogany and from the same family tree ha! Cadillac uses sapele wood for interior wood trim on its vehicles. It is a good compromise between the tough and extremely hard wearing properties of Iroko and the low cost of Softwood we would classify this as an entry level hardwood- therefore the rear of the gate was re-enforced with a metal framework that was galvanised with a black powder coat finish.

We have written an article on different species of timber used for automating gates which can be found here-

https://www.electric-gates.com/which-timber-gate-is-best-for-you/

The Gate Automation will be provided by BFT a market leader in Gate Automation- All  products we supply and fit come with a comprehensive 2 year warranty- extendable to 5 years for added peace of mind.

With gate power comes gate responsibility!- All Renzland electric gates installation is force tested and commissioned to comply with all current EU Safety legislation and BS EN 12453:2001 with additional safety edges fitted where necessary.

Our Richmond client was delighted with our work and a review can be found here

Electric gates- How to overcome difficult ground levels

 

 

078

 This was an interesting electric gate project on the Wentworth estate, Virginia Water, Surrey.

The property driveway was located on a very steep hill, although the opening width of the driveway was less than 3900mm the dropped from one side by over 400mm. Gates have to be fitted absolutely level or the hinge geometry will not align and the system will not work as it should. Whats more the gate operators will wear out much faster as they have more strain as they are not moving in an efficient linear motion.

The easiest way to overcome this scenario is to mount the gate leafs on blocks or stilts, This is exactly what most gate installers would do, however aesthetically this looks terrible as one gate leaf will have a 400mm gap underneath it.

David Viera- lead designer at Renzland Powergates Ltd designed this system with an angled bottom rail, so whilst one leaf was longer in height they are perfectly level at the top therefore the gates followed the contour of the driveway giving the illusion the bottom was level. We hung the gates from columns rather than posts as this also drew the eye away from the drop and helped frame the gates between the adjoining railings.

It is small details like this that make a difference to the overall look and feel of the gate system- and this expertise comes from experience. The value we add to clients is a business relationship based on trust, we offer a full design and project management service it is a thorough process to get it exactly right.

You are partnering with us rather than paying for a cheap contractor service who will simply a low end fit and finish- it will look cheap and therefore detect from the aesthetic appeal and value, cheap gates are the most expensive- we build our gate systems to last for 15+ years.

If you have an unusual driveway and don’t think electric gates are possible, you should talk to us- we have many years expertise designing electric gate systems that can hinge to open up hills, slide around corners and bi-fold when space is at a premium.  We specialise in difficult electric gate installations many other companies would walk away from.

We cover Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and London call us today on 01206 210 212

 679 077

 

 

 

Want electric gates?- Get it right first time!

The importance of CAD design work before your electric gate installation.

We were recently called by a prospective client to put right some electric gates that were installed incorrectly by an electrician not a professional gate engineering firm.

The decision not to instruct Renzland Powergates Ltd in the first instance was purely cost driven and the client now has to potentially spend thousands of pounds to put right what should have been done correctly in the first place.  The alternative gate installation provider simply could not offer the client any design visuals or articulate how the finished design would look.  The wooden electric gates looked cheap and very nasty, and to make matters worse the gates scrapped across the ground and didn’t close properly. Not only was the gate system not be built to last but will also have a detrimental effect on the property’s overall kerb appeal, value and sale ability.

Gates are art. Renzland Powergates Ltd offers a full CAD design service that allows us to produce incredibly realistic 3D design visuals and then turn our ideas into the finished product without the nasty surprises as any design can be made before it is too late.

Electric Driveway gates and landscaping not only distinguish the entrance and perimeter to a property they create a vital first impression to all visitors and passers by. Many home owners will spend large amounts of money on the interior design and furnishings in the hope of creating a good impression but totally overlook the front boundary and often go with the electric gate installer that offers the cheapest quote?

Electric driveway gates are an important enhancement to any property and has traditionally been seen as part of the overall architectural concept. Gates and landscaping to a property facade are a symbol of good taste and status stately homes traditionally commissioned grand and lavish designs to grace a main entrance.

Today electric gates and railings are a focal feature and increasingly a medium of expression, both personally and sculptural, a piece of art combining beauty and function that everyone can appreciate.

High quality electric gates create the right first time impression of high quality design and craftsmanship- this depicts what you are all about. Renzland Powergates Ltd will provide beautifully designed Gates and landscaping that creates a first impression that can make a real statement, giving your home a sense of grandeur.

If you are considering installing electric gates in London, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire or Buckinghamshire and don’t want to run the risk of a poor quality finish you need to talk to us- we know how to make an entrance 0800 533 3151

Which access control system is right for you?

Electric gates Access Control Intercom Articulated Arm Operators

 

We have all been disturbed early in the morning by annoying door to door sales people or others making unsolicited visits. The installation of an intercom system integrated within your electric gates means that you have control over exactly who can, or cannot enter your property.

With a vast choice of access control systems available- which system is right for you?

There are many variables to take into consideration and your choice will be limited by the range (distance from the door station at your gate to your home) environment, your requirements and of course budget.

Gate access control equipment generally fall into the following categories-

Hard wired Access Control- audio only-  Average cost inc fitting £350 + 

Pro’s- Offer a low cost, robust solution , no ongoing costs.

Con’s- Basic functionality audio only, cost of wiring into existing home and making good. Unable to control entrance whilst away from the property. The entry level models generally look and feel low end, which will detract from the entrance aesthetics.

Wireless Audio Access Control – Average cost inc fitting £450+ 

Pro’s Low cost, robust solution, no internal wiring or making good. Easy to expand the system. Portable can take handset into different rooms and garden.  Secure encoded radio transmission based on the use of rolling code. Can be removed and re installed if you move home.

Cons- Signal can be limited by line of sight, weather and atmospheric  conditions. You are unable to control entrance whilst away from the property,

*Visual wireless also available at addtional cost.

GSM Based Access control Systems – Average cost inc fitting £900 + 

Pro’s Control your entrance from anywhere in the world. No internal wiring your land line phones are usually already  in the most convenient place. Saves additional cost of remote controls. Increased security as caller will not be aware if you are home or not. Call can be diverted to multiple owners. Accept deliveries when not home. Programming, Faults and diagnostics available remotely reducing engineer visits.

Con’s- No Visual without additional wiring. Will not work if the telephone network down or poor signal area. Ongoing costs to top up PAYG sim card- this will vary depending on how popular you are! It is more difficult to control exit of the building without additional equipment. More expensive than wireless Audio entry control systems.

Hardwired Audio/Visual Access Control – Average cost inc fitting £1,000 + 

Pro’s- Visual and Audio- depending on the grade of equipment very high quality HD video is available. Record-able video available. Monitors can be in interfaced with additional CCTV around your home or other types of home automation systems such as crestron or control 4. Entrance visual monitoring.

Con’s- Night time visuals are poor unless a top of the range model chosen. More expensive than previously mentioned systems due to additional wiring and making good internally. Unlike GSM based systems you are unable to control the access when not at home.

IP Based Access Control Systems- Average Cost inc fitting £3,000 + 

Pro’s the best of all worlds- due to IP integration allows main performances such as access control, monitoring, image and video recording from control points internally and on any other smart mobile device- iPhone, tablet, laptop etc therefore you could be on a beach in Rio and see who is at your gate using your smart phone. Wiring savings as system commissioned by a unique network cable. Full integration of other home automation systems. Simply put there is no better.

Con’s- This is the most expensive type of access control system. Technology not yet mainstream therefore limited amount of professionally trained installers.

It is important to bear in mind that if you are looking to save money buying less expensive hard wired systems, you will need to factor in additional labour costs for cable runs and making good to the decoration to your home. In addition we would strongly recommend using high quality shielded CAT 6 cable duct grade that has a heavy black polyethylene sheath and a flame retardant PVC inner. Cat 6 offers high speed data transfers where underground duct or a weatherproof cabling solution is needed and the additional shielding is recommended if it is run close to power cables- we would always look to avoid running power and data cables in the same duct to reduce interference.

Unlike the movies, the access control panels cannot be blasted by a gun and then your gates will automatically open- however we would recommend installing vandal resistant product should your entrance be located with a large pedestrian footfall and especially youths loitering.

The aspect most people do not consider is exit control- how will people leave your property? Whilst the majority of electric gate systems are fitted with an exit vehicle loop- this will not benefit pedestrians. Push to exit buttons can be installed on timers so they only work during pre-determined hours, therefore on multi-user entrances where possible, it is advisable to have a separate dedicated pedestrian entrance.

For clients looking for an ultra secure controlled entrance, we can also install car number plate readers ANPR Cameras, bio-metric finger readers or even facial recognition- just ask we can help plan and deliver your perfect entrance- and perhaps even afford you a well deserved lay in on a Sunday morning ;o)

The differences between “mild steel” and “wrought iron” driveway gates

Be warned!

Many Gate Automation companies are selling mild steel gates as “wrought iron” as most clients do not fully understand what this means. This could be a very costly mistake especially comparing like for like quotations.

To the untrained eye there is little visible difference between forged bars of wrought iron & Mild Steel- the difference however are worlds apart in terms of durability, weight, finish and construction methods. If you are considering metal electric gates It is very important to understand the difference in quality and value is enormous.

Wrought Iron literally means ‘worked iron’, which refers to the method of manufacturing the metal by working (beating) repeatedly under a hammer- it is the same process that steel workers have used for many centuries whether it be making swords or horse shoes. The work of the blacksmith therefore became known as ‘Wrought Ironwork’, a name that has persisted for the art form even though the metal in use may not be wrought iron.

Wrought Iron’s superior weathering properties that are most notable. Wrought iron is known for its durability and will last many hundreds of years, its unique properties allow it to resist corrosion.  Just look at the amount of Wrought iron in heritage sites and buildings that are over 300 years old- Mild steel can last upto 60 years with suitable galvanising.

Wrought Iron is softer to forge, as it is workable at a higher heat than mild steel making it more ‘malleable’ under the hammer. Amazing ornate shapes can be manipulated into the metal to create stunning gate designs with no visible welds.

Today the common material of gate fabrication is mild steel which is a less expensive, readily available and requires a lower skill level to produce gates than wrought iron.  the years we have commissioned many gate designs both in wrought Iron and mild steel- for the vast majority of residential homes mild steel is most suitable product primarily on weight and cost. A substantial pair of wrought iron gates could be as much as 10 times the cost of its mild steel counter parts. It is also important to take into consideration that “wrought iron” gates are many times heavier and very heavy duty gate automation will be required.

How can you tell if your metal gate is wrought iron or mild steel?

If you can see mechanical welds on the outside of a product then it’s very likely to be made of mild steel. If no welds can be seen then further tests would need to be carried out to determine the material used This is not to say mild steel is unsuitable, indeed it is far less expensive to manufacture and weighs far less so the construction process is very different and can be mass produced.

Average cost of a 4000mm opening

Mild steel gates (without galvanising or painting) £2,000

Wrought Iron £12,000 +

In summary, If your gate installer is specifying “wrought iron” I would seek further clarification as in most residential gate installations this would not be the case- it would mean they either do not know what they are selling or are deliberately mis leading you into a sale- avoid these companies at all costs.

Very few electric gate installation companies in the UK have the technology, design flair, skills, finance, customer base or opportunity to create bespoke gates in wrought Iron.

In the words of a blacksmith, “You wouldn’t buy a piece of wooden furniture with the glue on the outside of the joints would you?”.