Can I Install My Own Automatic Driveway Gate?
Sure, you can install your own electric gate.
You could also technically perform your own root canal but, like installing your own driveway gate, we don’t recommend it unless you've got specialized skills (and, in the case of the root canal, a lot of Novocain).
What’s the Problem?
There are a lot of “DIY” automatic gate kits available online. Unfortunately, most of these kits would be better used as boat anchors.
- The material the gates are built of are flimsy, sub-grade steel.
- The welds that hold different sections of the gate together may have holes in them and are not smooth and continuous.
- The posts that flank the gate are often undersized and thin.
- The hinges are often simply metal on metal pins. This can cause them to wear unevenly and prematurely, or even bind up and seize the gate.
Now that’s just the gate--let’s talk about the gate automation and the access control.
Sub-standard Gate Equipment
These online “DIY” gate kits often include plastic parts, poorly designed clunky control boxes and underpowered motors.
The Final Word on DIY Automatic Gate Kits
These kits are all over the internet and they aren’t worth your time nor hard-earned pennies. They may work okay initially but, after a year or so of being in the elements (probably right around the time the warranty expires) they poop out on you.
It’s Not All Grim News
So, can you install one of the cheap “DIY” gate kits available online? Sure.
Just be aware that it is not a snap to get an automatic gate installed. If it were, there would be no need for expert technicians and electricians with years of experience installing and servicing gates and gate equipment.
These technicians know the electrical issues, weight-bearing issues, safety requirements, emergency access requirements, and gate operator power requirements that will work well for your implementation. They can help guide you to a swing gate because it works best for your implementation when, all along, you were sure a slide gate was the best solution.
If you are willing to invest the time and energy to install the automatic gate yourself, be realistic and prepared for some installation frustrations that are inherent to embarking on a complex construction project that will require digging, cement mixing and pouring, heavy-lifting, and working with electricity.
Also, keep in mind that “DIY” kits typically don’t have the safety devices and reversing devices that a quality gate kit will have, so you may be leaving yourself exposed to legal liabilities not to mention safety issues.
I Feel Confident I Can Install a Gate on My Own
If you have a construction background and are comfortable doing heavy digging, concrete work, conduit work, and some electrical work, then you may be able to install a quality system yourself.
Even in this case, we still suggest you work with a local driveway gate contractor. Oftentimes, an installer will work with you on a consultative basis to streamline the process.
It may be that you do all the groundwork and install the gate and the electric gate equipment, and the installer comes in to do the final electrical wiring and setup.
Summing it Up
Our recommendation is that you avoid the “DIY” kits and work with a quality driveway gates installation company.