There are a large range of wooden driveway gates available on the market: You need to ask yourself what type of gate are you looking for?  What is the purpose of your gate? Where is it going? Do you require automation? Do you need pedestrian access? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you decide on a design.


Guide to buying quality wooden driveway gates


Quality gates

Firstly, anyone can  knock up a simple gate with a few pieces of timber but is it a gate that will last? Cheap gates are all well and good but often imported and they are often far less well made. Charltons have been making wooden driveway gates for many years so we know what we are talking about. All of our gates are proudly Made in Britain.  The beauty of wooden gates is that they are unique. No two are the same due to the natural  variations in wood. Another benefit is that wood is a sustainable material, as long as it comes from a certified source. All Charltons timber is PEFC Certified as sustainable timber.


newly installed wooden driveway gateThe majority of gates are installed to block access to a path or a driveway. Then, there is the question of privacy. Some people just want the access blocked but Charltons Farleigh Driveway gateare not so worried about privacy. Think about the functionality you need. Do you need privacy? Do you need pedestrian access i.e. a pedestrian gate that matches your driveway gate or one of the gates to open for pedestrians? You can have a 70/30 split between sizes of your gates. A consideration for smaller entrances.

When choosing a driveway gate, keep in mind the overall purpose of the gate which should enhance the intended security of the property and be easily accessible by the owners. It is better to have an idea of where and why you want to install it. Consider the opening. Do you need a driveway gate that also complements the surrounding boundary?

What is the best timber for gates?

Redwoods (softwood)

The importance of using slow grown softwood timber is down to creating more durable wooden driveway gates.

Redwood softwood, normally a pine, and in Charltons case Scandinavian pine, are grown in cooler climates. The grain of timber is a lot neater and tighter making the timber a lot more dense thus producing a better quality wooden gate. Redwood pine timber does contain knots. Overall, a wooden gate manufactured in redwood pine is a great choice for many people. Redwoods are more economical but not as durable as hardwood. However, if maintained correctly softwood gates will last for years, always look good and provide additional security and privacy to your home.

Typically, whitewood is a spruce and it is grown in wetter climates like Scotland, and grown really fast. With the faster growth comes more deficiencies which creates a less stable material.  So, therefore whitewood is not as reliable or as durable for making quality gates.


If your preference is to have a gate without knots,  the better choice is to have a gate made  with a hardwood. Charltons hardwood gates are made using Iroko. Iroko is a medium-heavy, medium-hard exotic wood with a yellow-brown to dark brown colour. It is a very durable wood.

Made to Measure Gates vs Standard Gates

Many companies sell gates that you can order online, they are standard sizes. However, are driveways a standard size? In the majority of cases the answer is no. What if you want a gate just that little bit bigger or just a little bit smaller in height or width? Do you compromise and never be truly happy with your choice and make do, or do you go that extra miles to create the entrance that you really want.

A made to measure gate will give you that piece of mind that when installed everything will fit and the end result will look impressive on your property. In fact a great looking pair of gates can even add value to your property!

The other benefit of a made to measure gate is that it is made to order, not mass produced. Therefore the deserved time and effort is put into your gate and it is not left in storage for any length of time.

Gate Automationautomated electric gatesAutomated driveway gates

Wooden Driveway gates can open manually or be automated. Automatic gates may be triggered electronically from a building, through the use of an electronic gate code or via wireless signal used in a remote device. Automated electronic gates provide a higher level of security whereas manual gates which are opened and closed by hand are suited to properties where animals and children are not resident or able to unlock them.

 We recommend qualified installers for gate automation. Check out Gate Safe & DHF sites for qualified installers.

How to maintain your wooden gate

We would recommend treating your gates annually. Our recommended treatment is a  modern UV Oil. This is easy to apply. Modern UV wood oils are scientifically formulated from natural oils, resins, solvents & chemicals to make them longer lasting & faster drying i.e. more durable than traditional oils. The oils essentially “fill” the microscopic holes as it is absorbed into the wood and stops deterioration. For more information check out our gate treatment pages here.

The timber in our wooden gates is a natural product reacting to the weather conditions and aspect that they are in, particularly heat and humidity. Our frames on wooden gates are mortice &  tenon with stop dowel joints. The Tongue and groove boarding has millimetre gaps between the boards to allow for movement in the differing humidities in our weather.

Treating your gates with a modern UV oil will also help reduce natural movement within a wooden gate by helping to alleviate the natural absorption and evaporation within the gate.

Ultimately, a quality wooden driveway gate can add kerb appeal and value to your property. So, what better way to make the first impression of your property memorable than a beautifully crafted wooden gate. A gate is often the first thing visitors see, defining expectation of what lies ahead by giving a good or bad first impression.


Quality wooden driveway gates


Made in Britain logo