Should A Fence Gate Open In Or Out?

When it comes to our home, we often wish to get everything right, even to the last detail. As a homeowner, you may be wondering if it is better to open your fence gate in or out since opening it in the wrong direction might be unsafe. Fortunately, we have consulted experts in this field for answers, and here's what they have to say.

Your gate should open into a private space rather than outward where it could interfere with sidewalks or roads. Single gate hinges usually work on any side. It is safer to open your fence gate inwards. You can put hinges on your gate so it can open towards your space.

The opening of a fence gate is a matter of preference. People that have small yards may prefer their gate to open outward because it allows the gate to open wider. It also makes it easier for vehicles to pass through. Continue reading to get a more detailed reason why your fence gate should open inward.

one open black metal gate and part of a brick wall of a fence on the street on a gray sidewalk - Should A Fence Gate Open In or Out?

Direction A Fence Gate Should Open

Your gate should open wide to help maximize its use. Before choosing the direction your fence gate will open, you should consider the type of gate you prefer. Is it a single or a double gate? Single gates have hinges that work on both sides. So, if you want to go for single gates, you will have no trouble deciding.

If your gates are double, they should always swing inwards. If they open outward, they will be in a public space. The public space could be a sidewalk or a road. This is not appropriate because your gates could hinder movements.

Also, swinging gates outward is not safe. This is why most people - especially those that have a big yard - prefer swinging gates on their property, and you should do the same.

Sometimes when your fence gate opens into your property, it may occasionally swing into an impediment or appear to be blocking your path.

You can choose gates that swing outside if your house has enough space outside so the gate won't obstruct people's movement. Ensure that your gates are well secured and set deep in the ground to prevent unexpected issues.

Iron Gate and opening mechanism

What Is A Gate Stop?

The work of a gate stop is to prevent swing gates from opening or closing too far. A gate stop is made of durable material. Wood and metal stop are the two types of gate stops. The wood stop isn't noticeable because it blends with the rest of the installation.

They are often made and installed at the same time as the gate. The gate and posts are finished the same way as the wood. On the other hand, the metal stop can be easily fitted and add to the gate's aesthetic appeal. The stops collide with the post before the latch arm when the gate closes.

Some gate latches come with a gate stop. This means it is not possible to over-close the gate without damaging the latch or latch post.

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How Can I Stop My Gate From Opening Too Far?

one open black metal gate and part of a brick wall of a fence on the street on a gray sidewalk

Gate stops are vital and inexpensive components in any installation because they prevent the hinges from opening too far. Padded stops work perfectly to decrease all noise and vibration when your gates open and close.

Padded gate stops can be fastened to the floor or attached to nearby walls on both sides of a gate. It is better to choose gate stops that can be welded or bolted in place and styles that can be implanted in concrete.

Gate stops work well with gate closers and can be used for automated gates if the motors push the hinges too much.

Do Gate Stops Work?

Gate stops are meant to keep your gate aligned while preventing it from getting slammed. Some gate latches have a built-in gate stop, making it impossible to close the gate too tightly without having to break the latch or latch post. 

An example is a standard gravity latch, where the striker overlaps past the latch post. 

To avoid damage, a material that matches the fence gate is connected to the gate or latch post to overlap. Gate stops are meant to stop the gate from closing too quickly and are positioned on the latch post or gate. 

You can either attach the gate stop to the concrete or put it on a second post in the ground.

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How Do You Hold A Fence Gate Open?

Gate holdbacks can prevent the gate from closing when used together with ordinary hinges or self-closing hinges. If you are a car owner, you can pass through driveway gates without worrying that a barrier gate may collide with your vehicle.

Pinning the pedestrian gate open is also an option. Gate holdbacks reduce inconvenience while ensuring one's safety.

Metal driveway property entrance gates set in brick fence with garden trees in background

Do Gates Go On Post First Or Hinges?

Before installing your hinges, bolts, or latches, ensure that the gate is facing the right way. There is usually a front and back to most gate designs.

If your gate allows for diagonal supports, the good side should face out, and the other side should be placed on the inside of the gate. These supports will also help in determining where hinges should be installed.

If you are replacing an old gate, ensure the current gate posts are secure and appropriate for your new gate. To support the weight of the gate, good posts are required- the larger the gate, the more strain on the post.

Gate posts can be set into the ground, attached to a wall, or connected to an existing concrete foundation. When it comes to fixing, the gate's hinges go first, then you can position the gate between the posts, elevating it slightly off the ground to provide enough clearance. To keep the gate at the proper height off the ground.

Click to view this self-closing gate hinge on Amazon

How Can I Make My Gate Close Quietly?

an ornate wrought iron gate between white wooden fence posts surrounded by green palm bushes

This can be easily done by using linear dampers. These devices slow the movement of anything they are attached to. Shock absorbers were used initially in conjunction with suspension springs in automobiles, and you can still find these combinations today. But, a linear damper is the best option for gates.

You just have to place a sufficient scale on the gate at the precise location for mounting to estimate the force. The hit-or-miss method can be mitigated with an adjustable damper.

With a linear damper, there is no compression. The gate can be pushed to a precise spot (with enough force). You can modify the force by increasing (if necessary) the spring tension.

Click here to see this linear damper on Amazon

To Wrap Up

We trust we have been able to provide satisfying reasons as to why you should open your fence gate open in or out. With this in mind, you can decide whether you want to use a single or double gate. It is better to open your gate inward since it is safer.

Remember, a fence gate should never open into a sidewalk or driveway because this would lead to an unsafe situation for pedestrians or drivers. At the end of it all, try to choose what works best for you and is also the safest option.

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