So, you like the look of aluminium?
How much does an aluminium gate cost? Unless you’ve been hidden under a rock you’ll notice that the popularity of aluminium as a material for manufacturing gates has gone through the roof. If you’ve travelled to Europe any time over the last 5-10 years you would have noticed how home owners on the continent take a lot of pride in their gates and the hardware and access control on their property.
You could drive through the towns seeing lovely gates in grey, white, black and green without giving a second thought to how they are constructed or that you may want one on your own property.
Fast forward to 2023 and aluminium gate design has become more popular across the UK.
A Matter of Security are based in Brentwood Essex and cover the southeast of England and offer aluminium gates in hundreds of different designs.
If you looking to buy an aluminium gate hopefully this blog will help you know just a little bit more and help you make an informed decision.
First things first!
Sorry to break it to you but aluminium isn’t cheap. Yes, some aluminium gates are cheaper than others (we’ll get on to that later) but if you are looking for a good quality aluminium gate then it will cost.
As aluminium gates are still a relatively new product many just aren’t aware of the cost, they don’t have historical pricing to compare it to and there isn’t really anything to stand it up against, measure it against or compare it to, and we all love a comparison.
The next thing to note is that a high proportion of aluminium is imported to the UK from abroad. Now we could go through all the figures from different sources as to how much is imported and exported, but that’s probably best left for another article all together. It is important to note in 2019 production (per thousand tonnes) China was way out in front with 36,000, and India next on the list at 3700 and Russia at 3600. The world is ever changing, and with COVID, Brexit, and conflicts all affecting imports and exports, prices have been constantly increasing in cost.
Different materials and different products come at different costs and aluminium doesn’t come cheap.
The same as any other products, you can find cheap aluminium gates, just as you can find cheap timber, composite and steel gates.
With anything that comes cheap the important thing to do is to ask, why? Many customers love a bargain and it’s easy to find something cheaper online.
All gates look the same!
Line up 20 different aluminium gates and tell me the difference by looking at them. Not easy and nearly impossible if you aren’t dealing with aluminium or gates on a daily basis.
So how can you know what you’re getting? In the modern world if you do enough research you’ll find what you want, but the key is to know the right questions to find out the answers you want.
The construction of your gate……
Are your gates bolted or welded? Each has its pros and cons but each comes at a different cost. One of the advantages of welding is that it is often seen as being slightly stronger than bolting. Welding would usually put less stress on specific areas of the gate by provided an even pressure put across the entire joint. By definition it combines two aluminium parts together as one which creates one single, stronger connection.
Welding often comes at a higher cost, after all it is more labour intensive than bolting. One thing that you will often hear is that a bolted product is an inferior product, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A bolted gate can come at a lower cost due to lower labour costs. Depending on the quality of welding a bolted gate can also look cleaner. Should there be any alterations required, for example the replacement of a damaged bolt this is more easily done than in a welded connection. Although taking apart a bolted gate isn’t advised it is also easier to replace damaged panels.
How thick is your aluminium?
This is an important one! By just looking at an aluminium gate you can’t tell the thickness of aluminium used in its construction. Many manufacturers will use different thickness of aluminium for both the end and cross profiles and also the infill panels.
This is an important one when it comes to the automating of your gates. A thicker aluminium gate will always cost more. More material means higher cost, but having a thicker, more heavy-duty gate will provide you with a stronger product. An important question to ask any supplier is if the gate is reinforced for gate automation. With a thinner product, or profiles that aren’t reinforced this can lead to issues with the gate when automation systems are added. Bolting through a thin aluminium can cause areas to be discoloured due to stress put on the material from bolting meaning you can be left with a gate that looks patchy in areas. In areas that are more exposed to the elements, having a thicker gate can also mean less rattling or movement in the wind. Again, a thin gate doesn’t mean poor quality. Many gates constructed from thinner aluminium are of a high quality and often suited for manual installations, it can often come down to your budget and what you are willing to pay for your gate.
All the colours of the rainbow!
Aluminium gate design is far more flexible than what you may think. Not every aluminium gate needs to be a grey matte finish! Warning, colour and finish can have an effect on the cost of your gate.
Imagine you want a gate in grey, a popular choice offering a modern look to many designs. A manufacturer uses this colour to coat hundreds of gates using the same batch of coating, meaning the cost of the coating is spread across a higher volume of gates.
Look at a different scenario. You want a gate in a specific colour (most suppliers use RAL colours) A colour that matches your windows, your door, your car, your favourite ornament in the garden! Even some of the largest manufacturers will mix or purchase that colour coating, often needing to mix or buy in a certain volume. After coating your gate, the likelihood of using that colour again is very small, meaning that cost of coating is then used on one gate and not spread across multiple.
So, if you’re requesting a specific colour it’s always good to ask if it comes as a standard colour or if there is an additional charge. Many suppliers will be able to provide you with a list of standard RAL colours and make you aware if it comes at an additional cost, but as with all industries there are those who wouldn’t make you aware of any change in price.
Want the look of timber in aluminium?
Did you know you can get the look of timber on your aluminium gate? There has been a huge rise in the popularity of woodgrain aluminium with some extremely high-quality wood grain finishes offering a great alternative to those who are keen on the look of timber but not interested in any additional treatment, care of potential issues that can come with having a timber gate. Sorry to break it to you but this can come at an additional cost, with our market research suggesting that woodgrain gates can come in at up to 40% higher than a standard RAL colour. Each manufacturer will have different woodgrains available, so don’t expect to name a timber finish and for it to be available.
Installation comes at a cost!
Every company and individual will value their time differently, you will often pay for the quality of someone’s work and their experience. It is understandable that people will always look for the best value for money, but when it comes to installation, a cheap deal can often raise more questions than answers. For a manual gate installation can often come at a lower cost, but try to stay calm if an installer or gate automation expert quotes you anywhere from £7000 to £15,000 for an automated aluminium gate and fitting, this is perfectly normal.
Each job is different with additional groundwork and electrical work needing to be added to the cost of labour for the number of days it takes. If you are dealing with a supply and install company, check the costs and look for a breakdown of the job. Always think about safety! If someone quotes cheap for an automated gate job then the alarm bells should ring right away. This is not something you want to look for the cheapest quote on, a poorly installed electric gate can offer a serious danger to life!
But don’t worry. A Matter of Security are a registered GateSafe company so you can be sure that your automatic gate meets the highest industry standards.
All those extras add up!
We’ve all seen, heard or been involved in a negotiation for a new car. The stereotypical car salesman asking if you want tinted windows, alloy wheels, sat navigation, heated car seats and automatic coffee making machine and surround sound cinema! Aluminium gate extras may not be as extreme but there are a number of optional extras that can have a significant impact on cost.
We’ve already briefly touched on gate automation. Each supplier and installer will usually have their preference when it comes to an automation system, but if you want an automated gate the hardware alone will always come at a cost.
Check the warranty periods of the equipment installed. Again, don’t worry every automation product we install comes with a minimum 4 year warranty.
Every gate needs to be closed, locked and secured! A gate with a manual lock and no closing mechanism will always come at a lower cost than a gate with an electric or hydraulic gate closer and more comprehensive access control system.
A popular choice when it comes to new gates is the addition of an intercom system. Modern systems have come a long way from a traditional buzzer on the gate with audio and video intercom systems able to be integrated into automated and manual gates with ease! Always make it clear exactly what you are looking for from an intercom system, a good supplier and installer will always be able to offer the best solution.
The final word!
While it’s impossible for us to give a comparison of every single gate quote from every company, hopefully this article helps when it comes to deciding on your aluminium gate, or if an aluminium gate is even for you!
So after reading this article you’ll be eager to hear the answer to the question at the start of this post, how much does an aluminium gate cost?
The answer is simple….
Now that may not be the answer that you were looking for but it’s the honest one.
Every project is different, every manufacturer and supplier value their product differently, every installer puts a cost on their work. What this article hopefully shows is that the different options and features of gates can have a huge impact on the cost. The most important thing to take away is that by understanding your quote and the product being offered allows you compare quotes accurately and understand exactly what you are getting. A thinner, manually operated gate in a standard colour will always cost more than a thicker, automated, woodgrain gate.
You wouldn’t buy a car without looking under the bonnet, so don’t buy a gate without fully understanding your entire quote!
Looking for a quote then contact our team today 01708572248