Metal has such a broad range of weight, toughness, expense, and other properties. In fact, driveway gates made from this material are probably as diverse as all the other common material types put together. Here’s a brief overview of the more common choices, including metal gates with wooden shells.
Aluminum Sliding Gates and Other Options
Aluminum is an extremely lightweight metal, and relatively inexpensive. Because of its light weight and low maintenance, aluminum gates can easily be found in swinging, sliding, and lifting varieties. The low weight puts less stress on the electric opener than an otherwise similar gate made of heavier materials would force. Aluminum is also quite resistant to rust and staining. The downside? It’s also weaker than other metals and even most types of woods, and thus can be easily damaged.
Classic Wrought Iron Swing Gates
The picturesque double swinging gate made of black metal bars is usually made of wrought iron, and has been popular for at least two hundred years. Most iron gates are swinging double door style, and often have a decorative sloping top among other aesthetic flourishes. Iron is strong and resistant to blunt trauma, but very sensitive to rust; you’ll need to make sure it's repainted frequently to prevent moisture from getting under the protective coating. Due to its weight, iron also usually requires a stronger opener to move.
Heavy Duty Steel
There aren't many choices stronger and more damage-resistant than steel, and driveway gates made from this material are excellent for home and business owners looking for improved security. Steel is also more resistant to rust than iron, although it still requires periodic treatment to stay in optimal condition. The downside of steel, other than its expense, is its weight. A steel swinging gate requires a very powerful opener, so many owners prefer a less aesthetic and more space-intensive sliding system. For commercial driveways where space and décor can sometimes be less critical, steel sliding gates are a popular option.
Hybrid Metal and Wood
A metal frame and backing supporting wooden planks can mix some of the strength of iron or steel with the lighter weight, aesthetics, and privacy afforded by boards. These gates are maintenance intensive due to the wood and metal parts each having their own needs, but depending on the type of wood, they can be exceptionally strong and relatively lightweight.