Are you planning for a driveway gate? If you are building a home and want to consider automatic gates in your future, there are a few things to consider when designing your driveway. It is good to envision your gate ahead of time, even if you don’t plan on having it installed for quite some time. When you see it in your head, how does it move? Does it slide across the driveway and behind a wall? Is it a single swinging gate, or a pair of gates that open up like lobby doors welcoming you home? Or is it a pair of elegant sliding gates that slide open in both directions?
All of this is important to think of ahead of time because it will help you determine where conduit needs to go. It will keep you from building obstructions that get in the way of the necessary “backtrack” area that you may not be thinking about at this stage.
Another important thing to consider ahead of time is the material that your driveway is constructed of. If it just plain dirt road, well you don’t have to worry too much at this point. But if you are going to pour a concrete driveway, you may need to cut loops into it later to control the gate if you want free-exit (gate opens when car approaches to leave the property). Lastly, if you are considering pavers, remember that there will be labor involved in removing them later to put loops underneath. Some of this stuff may be good to do ahead of time, or at least prepare for by laying conduit in strategic areas.
Below is a list of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before finishing the driveway if you know you’ll want a driveway gate later.
Will the gates tie into a fence line or an existing wall?
If you want slide gates, where will you place the operators? They should be on the secure side of the fence/wall to prevent tampering.
Do you have room for backtrack? This is typically the width of the driveway plus an additional 5’ of tail for the operator to grip onto while the gate is in the closed position.
Which direction will the gate(s) open?
If you want swing gates, do you want one or two gate leaves? Do you want operators on the ground (these are more durable) or actuator arms that mount to your wall or a post behind the fence/wall?
How do you plan on letting guests enter the property? Conduit should run to the operator location and then from there to the call box location. You will likely need a telephone line to go to the call box as well. One-inch conduits are recommended for each.
- Most gate operators recommend a dedicated 115VAC 20Amp circuit (this will include most means of entry/exit).
- For a dual gate entry a dedicated 115VAC 30Amp circuit is recommended.
- Solar powered options are available – inquire for more information.
It is best to plan for (2) 1” conduits run to each equipment location.
- (1) 1” conduit from the power source (circuit breaker) to the operator location.
- (1) 1” conduit from the communication location (home, network room, guardhouse, etc.) to the operator location.
- (2) 1” conduits to each callbox/reader location. These conduits will be run from the callbox/reader location to the gate operator location. One conduit will be utilized for power and the other for communication.
- For a dual gate system: (2) 1” conduits run from the first operator to the second operator.
- For a single gate system: (1) 1” conduit from the gate operator location to the opposite side of the road. This will be utilized for safety devices.