Moving to a new place or revamping your home is always a stressful time. Hours of your life flipping through catalogues, befuddled over dozens of paint shades so similar looking that may as well be the same colour. Weekends wandering the aisles of furniture malls, hoping to chance upon THE sofa that encapsulates the right amount of chic and cosy. More hours spent scrolling the Courts website, anxiously trying to navigate through the endless variations of toilet bowls. I mean really though, who knew they could exist in shapes other than oval?
One area that most people tend to overlook, however, is one’s front gate.
Not to be dramatic, but this is a terrible mistake - the visual impression of your front gate is extremely important as it is the first and last thing that you and your guests see. For that sole reason, the front gate is more important than it is often credited for.
The right gate should be well-designed to fit the aesthetics of your home, as well as durable enough to withstand the elements. Like any strapping young bodyguard, it should be able to keep the unwelcomed out and keep your home well protected.
With so many different styles, configurations and materials to choose from, starting your hunt might seem a little nauseating. Not to fret, for in this article, we'll break down for you the key considerations you should make when selecting your gate.
Unlocking the truth...to why most Singaporean homes have gates.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wondered why most Singaporean homes have metal gates.
Well according to HDB’s website, a metal gate functions as a safety barrier when the main door is left open. Given how humid Singapore is, having gates allows for light and air currents to flow into your house which would help cool down your home while keeping wayward pedestrians away.
Gates are also useful in doubling up protection for your home, especially if your door is made of a more delicate material.
Factors to consider before replacing your door gates
For HDB owners, there are no permits required for wanting to replace your door gates. However, there are certain guidelines or conditions that you must adhere to (Source: HDB)
- The gate width, the number of panels, and the swing must be the same as those originally provided by HDB. The gate swing must not obstruct public escape
- 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)
- 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
- Units situated at the corner end should not have gates that hit the neighboring flat’s window
Homeowners also need to follow a specific gate measurement that ranges from 3x7 ft to 4x7 ft, depending on the panel configuration.
For private apartments such as condominiums, owners need to seek the approval of the building’s management before the installation of the gate. Failure to comply might result in owners being fined or asked to remove their gate.
Lastly, buying a door gate may cost a huge chunk of change. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind other hidden costs, such as installation, shipping, and even future maintenance fees.
Not all gates are made equal.
Though there are plenty of factors that affect the price of a gate, such as it’s design, space requirements and locking mechanisms, what matters most is the material it is made of. Most gates in Singapore are largely made out of 4 materials.1. Mild Steel
Mild steel gates are increasingly popular amongst most Singaporean homes, given their durability and resistance to rust (an important factor to surviving our country’s unrelenting heat and humidity). Its key advantage, however, lies in its weldability and ability to take on many forms. Homeowners can therefore choose from a wide selection of different models and designs.2. Wrought Iron
Though a more expensive alternative to steel gates, wrought iron gates are the top choice for most HDB gates in Singapore. They are more durable, robust, and less prone to rust than mild steel gates. However, because it can only be twisted and bent during the manufacturing process, their design potential is thus compromised.3. Aluminum
Aluminum gates are virtually maintenance-free compared to other construction materials, faring better than the other materials when resisting rust, corrosion, color fading, and scratching. Generally, they are easier to install given their lightweight compared to steel and iron. However, aluminum gates are significantly less durable and versatile in terms of design options. Hence, they are not a common sight here in Singapore.4. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is naturally sturdy and has a longer life span. They are also easy to clean and maintain, as they do not absorb dirt and are smudge-proof. They are also cheaper as compared to the other materials. On the downside, stainless steel is often less customizable compared to its cousin mild steel.
The perfect companion for your smart door lock
While most gate companies offer to pre-install mechanical locks for a discount, you are free to choose your own brand by getting the contractor to set aside a blank metal plate for your preferred locks at a small cost.
If you are still mulling over what type of lock you should buy, the igloohome Rim Lock for Metal Gates is a great option that embodies both sophistication and style. A complementary tool to your smart door lock, the Rim Lock is designed as an added layer of security for your home.
Unlike conventional smart or digital locks, there’s no need to be near your lock to set up PIN codes for your guests. Thanks to our proprietary algoPIN™ technology, you can quickly generate access codes on the go via the igloohome app. This feature is especially useful for managing delivery packages when you aren’t at home.
The rim lock also works with the igloohome Key Fob, so that you can unlock your door with a mere click of the button. If you are using an igloohome smart lock as your main door lock, the Key Fob would be able to unlock both locks at the same time! Talk about convenience.
Remember, the right gate can help accentuate your door and home. And the wrong gate can make your entire house look off-balance and frankly, a bit strange. Hopefully, this article has perhaps made the search for the right gate slightly less intimidating. With the thousands of gates out there in the market, we're sure you’ll be able to find the perfect gate for you.