As an HOA leader or property owner, you know all too well the importance of ensuring safety for your residents or visitors. Whether it’s the installation of a high-tech security system, automatic lighting around your community, or even physical gates or barrier arms in strategic locations – securing your community is paramount.
Installing security gates can be a great way to both heighten safety levels, as well as increase property value. Security gates provide an extra layer of physical security for residential communities and commercial properties by blocking unauthorized access and foot traffic into the premises. Typically, they are made from wrought iron or steel that offers superior strength and durability compared to other more decorative options.
In this article, we’ll be covering:
- What are security gates?
- Kinds of security gates
- Security integrations
- Residential vs. commercial
- Cost Breakdown: What To Expect?
If you’re in the market for a security gate but are unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
What are security gates?
To quickly review, security gates are fencing systems made from either iron or steel that are specifically designed to restrict access and provide an extra layer of physical security.
Security gate systems can be used in a wide range of applications, including commercial buildings, gated communities, apartment complexes, and more. The primary objective is to not only deter would-be intruders, but also confer the property owner with a sense of comfort – knowing that their premises are safe and protected.
These barriers are typically 4 to 8 feet tall, constructed from metal or a combination of iron and wood. Sliding and swinging gates are the more popular types of security gates thanks to their ability to allow both vehicles and pedestrians entry. Depending on your budget and desired aesthetic, these systems can also be equipped with automation that grants access via remote devices or keypads.
Kinds of security gates
When it comes to selecting the type of security gate, there are a few key factors that need to be taken into consideration prior to installation. Some of these include size restrictions, terrain landscape, and access requirements.
These can be found in either solid or lattice designs and are ideal for creating privacy while still allowing in natural light and ventilation. They can also offer a nice visual contrast against other fencing materials like aluminum or chain link.
While this option is typically cheaper than its metal counterparts, wooden gates require frequent maintenance due to their vulnerability to extreme weather conditions. Additionally, they may not offer the same level of security, compared to more robust materials like iron or steel. This is due to a lack of structural strength when up against threats, such as heavy winds or people trying to forcefully break through.
Steel/wrought iron gates
Steel boasts superior physical strength, which widens its use among property owners who opt for enhanced security levels.
Wrought iron is chosen because it ensures maximum strength through interlocking pieces that cannot easily be cut or sawed, whereas steel offers superior corrosion resistance compared to other metals, thanks to abrasion treatment like electroplating. In addition, either material can be covered with rust-resistant paints such as epoxy coatings for boosted weather protection throughout the year in harsher climates.
Automated vs. Manual
When it comes to the operation of your gate, there are two options to choose from – manual or automated. Manual gates include cheaper models that require physical effort in order to open but can offer greater long-term cost savings. Automated versions, on the other hand, offer property owners convenience with their security options while also granting access via keypads, remotes, or intercom systems.
With that said, automation does lead to increased costs associated with installation and maintenance as well as a small environmental footprint due to energy consumption needed for opening processes related to power sources like electricity or solar panels.
The large allure of security gates is not just for their physical protection but also for the additional integrations that can be employed. Many gate security systems – both residential and commercial – boast a multitude of safety measures, so property owners and managers can maximize the safety of both the property and those inside of it.
Some of these features include:
These are great as both a deterrent and for the sake of pro-activity if ever an intruder gains access past your security gate. Security cameras allow you to monitor the property from multiple angles, granting access only once they’ve verified user credentials (like password-protected keys) or are approved via owner authorization.
Alarm systems, keypads and remotes
Alarm systems can be integrated directly into your gate openers. They not only offer audible alerts, but also activate lights and alert people in surrounding areas. This – combined with opening via keycards, remotes, or biometrics – help ensure that unauthorized personnel do not gain entry beyond the gates, whether human or animal.
Virtual and hired security guards
Hiring a team of personal or virtual security personnel can be incredibly helpful for large gated communities or businesses. They can physically monitor your property, as well as guard access points in order to provide an additional layer of safety (and faster response time if any suspicious activity is detected).
Access control systems give owners the option to authenticate users before allowing entry at gates. For example, keypads or contact-less scanning systems allow authorized personnel entrance while simultaneously locking those who do not have access permissions which is especially useful when dealing with large premises.
Automatic license plate recognition (ALPR)
ALPR systems are perfect for gated communities or businesses with more than one entrance, given their ability to provide centralized safeguarding from multiple locations. These systems work by scanning vehicle license plates as they approach the gate in order to verify if they should be granted access.
Generally speaking, these added features will need to be installed separately from your gate, and can greatly increase the price depending on the brand, model type, or desired quantity. Keep in mind that incorporating such elements into an already existing security plan could potentially save you money down the line – making them worth their upfront costs.
Residential vs. commercial
As you continue to research what security gate will best suit your needs, it’s important to keep in mind that there are different considerations when it comes to residential and commercial security gates.
For example, residential areas may need to employ some form of manual identification or authorization (like a bar-code scanner or intercom system), whereas commercial spaces may be better suited for automated systems that can be programmed to grant access based on employee credentials.
Additionally, the size of the gate and materials used could vary depending on how much physical security your property requires. Typically those who opt-in for automated versions tend to also seek higher than average fencing structure heights due to their built-in features, which make it harder for intruders to bypass.
Cost Breakdown: What To Expect?
Now that we’ve identified the main elements of a security gate let’s dive into the actual pricing details so that you have a good idea of how much to budget for this project.
(Prices are organized by the type of security gate.)
These gates glide horizontally on railings and can be either manual or automated. The pricing for these gates may range anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000, depending on the size requirements and material used. Automatic slide/V-track gates sit on the more expensive end of this range, and any integrations will further increase the price.
Installation costs will differ based on the landscape, so understanding this detail should always be pre-established prior to purchase.
For those opting in for basic swinging gates, expect to spend roughly $2,000 depending on the complexity (whether because of material or integrations) Automatic kits come at much higher prices – prices sometimes exceeding 40,000 – but offer greater convenience by allowing entry via remote controllers or automated interfaces.
Vertical lift gates
These are perfect budget-friendly solutions for both commercial and residential properties. Their main selling point is how quickly they open and how little effort is needed at the user’s end while still offering similar security levels as some of the more robust gate types out there. Prices start at $2,500 but can rise drastically with automated features installed.
Vertical Pivot Gates
The vertical pivot system is one of the strongest most secure gate systems out there, installed in military properties and gated communities alike. Their price begins at $2,500 but ranges greatly – the strength and highly customizable structure of these security systems play just as much of a part in the price as the incredibly strong motor.
All in all, security gates are an invaluable tool for providing physical safety, and deterring intruders from making their way onto a property. The cost of such a system can vary greatly depending on the individual applications, but after researching and comparing the options available, you’ll be able to find something that both fits your budget and provides peace of mind.
If you’re considering investing in a security gate for your property, Proptia is the perfect partner to help ensure you choose the right system for your security needs. Get in touch with us today and learn more about our comprehensive solutions for security barriers, automated options, customized integrations, and professional installation services that will help you keep your property protected.
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Nick is a tech-savvy freelancer with a passion for coding and a knack for writing. As a programmer by trade, he knows the ins and outs of the digital world, with a particular interest in PropTech and Security Tech. When he’s not tinkering with the latest software, you can catch him scaling mountains or unleashing his creative side on a canvas.