Choosing a Driveway Gate

We’ve just arrived back from a trip to the USA, and boy is it nice to be home! There’s really no place like it. But does anyone else notice that after you’ve been away for a period of time, you arrive home and see things differently? It seems that when I live in my house for a while, I stop noticing all the things that need to be painted, or repaired, or hung, or replaced.

Upon arriving home this week, the main thing I noticed (that I had clearly stopped noticing) was our hideously ugly backyard gate. This is the eye-sore in question:

Builders Gate

Now let me clear, I never actually bought this monstrosity. This was the security gate our builder installed to ensure no one could enter the site. We had grand plans to replace it as soon as we moved in, however budget restrictions stopped that from happening (read: broke).

But now that we have been living in our house for a few months, we have managed to save some money to get those final things finished – including a new gate!

Since we have a smallish backyard, we don’t want the entire space to be taken up by a parked car. However, we would like to bring the car in off the street every now and again to wash it or pack things into it. We want some form of electric gate so we can drive straight in off the street into our yard.

Small Backyard

Picking the right gate is hard as there are so many options. Delta-Warringah is a Sydney-based gate and garage door company who custom-make every type of gate you can think of. Here are the 4 main types of gates you can chose from (with pretty pictures from their website)…

1. Swing Gates

Timber Swing Gates

Swing Gates from Delta Warringah

Swing gates are just that, gates that swing on a hinge back and forth. The gate above shows two swing gates that meet in the middle. Since we don’t have a lot of room in our yard, I think a double swing gate would work well as it means we wouldn’t have to drive the car too far into the yard in order to close the gates behind us.

Swing Gate

Swing Gate from Delta Warringah

This pretty white gate is a single swinging gate, meaning it just opens from one side. These are great if you have a lot of space behind the gate.

2. Sliding Gates

sliding gate

Sliding Gate from Delta Warringah

A sliding gate requires a lot of space next to your gate, as the full width of your gate must be able to slide across to fully open.

3. Telescoping Gates

telescoping gate

Telescoping Gate from Delta Warringah

Telescoping gates are also known as double sliding gates. They essentially slide back on each other. They are a great solution for restricted spaces as you don’t need the entire width of the driveway, like you would for a regular sliding gate.

4. Lifting Gates

Lifting Gates

Lifting Gate from Delta Warringah

Lifting gates are the newer, fancier, more modern version of the roller door. They are used in conjunction with a garage or carport as they lift up and over the car, moving along a track.


The minimum width of a driveway is 2.5 metres, but they generally are in their range of 2.5 – 3 metres.

The minimum width needed for a telescopic gate is 5 metres.


There are generally two materials used to make electronic gates for driveways: aluminium and timber.

Aluminium is lighter, more durable, weather-proof and can be painted most colours using a powder coating. It is usually cheaper than timber as well.

Timber on the other hand is heavier, more expensive and needs to be re-painted every 5 years or so.

Choosing our Driveway Gate

Some of the decisions are already made for us. Our backyard is 4.88 metres wide, therefore we do not have the space for a sliding gate, or a telescopic gate.

This means we either need to go with swing gates or a lifting gate. This will all come down to whether we decide to build a carport or not. If we build a carport, then a lifting gate is our best bet. However if we decide to leave the yard open with no cover, swing gates will work best. We are still trying to decide – happy to hear your thoughts!?!

Although I love the look of timber, practically it just doesn’t make sense for us to spend the extra money for gates that will wear with time. So we will go with aluminium and then powder coat them in a colour we like.

I hope all that information is helpful, I’ll let you know what gate we end up going with soon!

Penny xo