8 things you need to know about door gates before installing one

PHOTO: Laminate Door

These days, personalising your apartment goes beyond redesigning the layout of your unit.

When it came to jazzing up the abodes, increasingly homeowners are also making their bold, creative personal statement right at their front door.

1. What door gates are used for

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While the main entrance door acts as a fire safety barrier, the door gate functions as a safety barrier when the main door is left open.

Leaving the door open will allow light and air currents to stream into the living area, making the room brighter and cooler. The door gates are usually made of metal.

2. There are rules governing the installation of door gates

PHOTO: My digital lock

For HDB flat dwellers, no permits are required if you wish to replace the metal door gate. However, the metal door gates for HDB flats must adhere to the following conditions.

1. The gate width, number of panels and swing must be the same as those originally provided by HDB. The gate swing must not obstruct public escape

2. Units situated along the common corridor must allow a minimum clearance of 1m from the gate to the corridor parapet wall (when the gates open perpendicular to the corridor parapet wall)

3. Units situated adjacent to the staircase must allow a minimum clearance equivalent to the width of the staircase measured from the edge of the gate (when it opens at all angles) to the staircase railing

4. Units situated at corner end should not have gates that hit the neighbouring flat’s window

For condominiums, owners need to seek approval from the Managing Council/Managing Agent for approval of the design and colour prior to the gate installation, to ensure that the facade of the condo is not compromised.

Otherwise, they might risk being fined or asked to remove the gate.

3. There are 3 different types of door gates

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Aside from the traditional door gate, variations such as privacy gates and pet-friendly gates are available for homeowners.

The privacy gates are designed in such a way that the homeowners are able to enjoy some privacy while you are lounging in their living rooms.

As for the pet-friendly door gates, they are designed to keep your pets within and strays away from your home. There are also hybrid designs which combine both features of privacy and pet-friendly gates.

4. The size, design the type of materials used for the door gate affect the cost

PHOTO: Laminate Door

There are generally 2 sizes for the HDB gate; 3×7 feet and 4×7 feet. Single panel main door usually comes in 3×7 feet and double panel main door comes in 4×7 feet.

And the sizes for the Condominium door gate varies, and are dependent on the ceiling height of the development. Generally, due to the larger amount of materials used, the bigger the size, the more expensive is the gate.

Hence, condominium door gates are more expensive than the HDB door gates. In addition, mild steel is more expensive than the wrought iron due to its more desirable properties.

5. Type of material used for the door gate affect its durability

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Mild steel is a type of steel, containing around 2 per cent carbon content and a few additive alloy elements. It is sometimes known as low carbon steel or soft steel.

Cast-iron is a brittle alloy of iron and carbon that can be readily cast in a mould. Wrought iron is a malleable form of iron, with low carbon content. Hence it is suitable for forging.

The differences in their properties are due to the different amounts of carbon they contain. Hence, in terms of strength, mild steel is stronger than wrought iron and cast iron is the strongest.

As for rust resistance, mild steel is less rust resistant than cast-iron but more rust resistant than wrought iron.

6. Digital locks can also be used with door gates

PHOTO: My digital lock

It is possible to customise the door gates that use digital locks from popular brands such as Gateman, EPIC and Samsung for a keyless solution.

Although most companies which offer to pre-install their “in-house” digital locks for a discount, you can choose your own brand by getting them to set aside a space, in the form of a blank metal plate, for the installation of your preferred digital lock at a minimal cost.

7. Tips for designing the perfect door gate for your family

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With the advancements in the gate fabrication techniques and technology, you can have full control over the gate’s design.

Nevertheless, here are some top tips you should consider when it comes to designing your own door gate.

1) Enhance the physical security through the gate design

Reduce the gaps of the door gate or use metal mesh to keep your pets and children safe within your home.

If you have a cabinet next to your door entrance, consider adding a metal plate next to the cabinet to keep prying hands away.

2) Direction of the door gate matters

A 3×7 ft size gate in a single panel, gate will have to swing tn the opposite direction, to avoid clashing with the wooden door handle.

3) Add the door unit number to the door gate for better identification

You can add the unit number to your door gate through laser cut for a small fee.

4) Set aside a gap for your door viewer

Avoid blocking the door viewer by ensuring there is a gap in the door gate where your door viewer is installed.

5) Add a splash plate to the bottom of the door gate Add a splash plate to the bottom of the door gate to keep out water when the corridor is cleaned.

6) Gate color matters

When it comes to maintenance, glossy paint with dark grey is the easiest to maintain. Matte and satin paint absorbs light makes the gate look more elegant.

7) Make the gate insect and pest proof

You can also mount the insect net behind the door gate, to keep out the annoying mosquitoes, bugs and pests from invading your home.

8. Here is how the installation process is like

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Once you have confirmed the design and the cost of the door gate, you need to place a deposit. The vendor will arrange for a final measurement prior to the fabrication.

Once the door gate is ready, the vendor will arrange for the installation within 2 weeks of confirmation. Take note that the door gate usually comes with 1 year of warranty.

This article was first published in Renonation.