Gates – Metal, Wood, Other

Most gates today seem made of metal rather than wood. There are many reasons for this – metal outlasts wood by a considerable margin, metal offers greater security potential, and metal requires less over-all maintenance. But there is a charm in wooden gates that is difficult to replicate with metal. Metal does have the added advantage of being more sculptural, but a metal gate on a wooden fence is not the best pairing, as they say down at the wine bar.


Wooden gates have to advantage of visually tying a fence together, and making the fence a part of the home it fronts. Few homes have metal fences, at least not those fences we find attractive, and even fewer homes have metal fronts, so wood is, in my view, the preferred material for front pedestrian gates. Metal works just fine for driveway gates, but as we are mostly focused here on The Front Gate, wood will be spoken more often than not. As for other materials, there are some gates that successfully employ glass, terrazzo, and other elements to add artistic points of interest, but all of these require a base material that is structurally sound enough to perform the daily functions of a gate. So, we’re back to wood, it seems.


At the most basic level, a gate may merely continue the fence motif. Functional, yet unimaginative.


Most ready-made wooden gates take this approach, and that is fine as far as it goes. But if one settles for generic, there is little that sets your gate apart from the hoards across the world whose gate screams, “Big Box Store.” But a custom gate, one that at least makes an attempt at bringing your own esthetic out to the neighborhood, will gain you respect, and perhaps not a little envy. I go by the belief that we all have the perfect gate somewhere inside us. We shouldn’t be afraid to show it off to the world!


Make the world see through your gate.

The Gate is Open

This project depends on you - and your photos of gates. Great gates, different gates, unusual gates, non-obvious gates. Be sure to include your contact information, permission to use your photo, and a name for proper credit where credit is due! Be a part of the Gate Project.