Gates and fences share similar characteristics but structurally are very different. If you’re searching for a barrier to separate your property from the neighbors, to keep kids, pets, or livestock contained on your property, or as a decorative touch, learning the differences between the two outdoor products will help ensure the right installation for your needs.

What is a Fence?

A fence is defined as a structure containing posts, rails, and wires used to define boundaries or as a source of protection or confinement. Both open fences and solid fences provide homeowners and commercial property owners with such benefits.

  • Open Fence: An open fence is designed so that no more than 20% of the surface area obstructs the views through the fence.
  • Solid Fence: A solid fence is constructed exactly opposite open fences, designed so that no more than 20% of the surface area of the fence is open for views.

Homeowners can pick from a wide variety of materials for their fence, including picket fences, chain links, or wooden fences, and design it at a height and length accommodating to their property needs. Whether you want a fence to protect the perimeter of your house or need something to ensure safety around a pool or garden, there is a fence that works for your needs.

What is a Gate?

A gate contains a movable frame or a solid frame that swings open, controlling entry and exit. The two types of gates are the open gate and the closed gate.

  • Open Gate: An open gate is designed so that no more than 20% of the surface area obstructs the view through the gate. An open gate usually is made from wood or wrought iron.
  • Solid Gate: The solid gate is made in a way so that no more than 20% of the surface area is visible through the gate when it’s in a closed position. This gate is generally constructed of materials such as wrought iron, wood, or extruded metal.

Gates typically go up in front of a home in the middle of a perimeter fence but can be used elsewhere in both commercial and residential settings. Many people install agates on farmland to help keep livestock in place, however, fence styles can also do the trick on larger properties.

Differences Between a Fence and Gate

Fences and gates sound pretty similar in both design and purpose, so what makes each product unique? Three of the biggest differences between a fence and a gate:

  1. Keep Closed or Keep Inside: The main objective of a gate is to keep an area closed while a fence is designed to keep something inside. This can be people, pets, or something else. Gates typically are placed in the middle of a fence to provide property access at entry points. They are shorter than fences but the same height which helps prevent any damage.
  2. More Decorative: Gates generally are more decorative than fences, although post tops and other accessories can enhance the style of a fence. Most homeowners consider the gate a part of their home’s appeal and take pride in its design elements. Gates can be customized with hardware, special latches, and unique colors that wonderfully match your home, or fence, or stand out in a unique way. It’s all about your wants and needs!
  3. More Versatile: Many people who can pick only a fence or a gate often elect to install a fence on their property mainly because it’s more versatile and unique. Fences can do it all, from adding more privacy to your property to keep unwanted intruders out of eyesight to providing decorative elements to your property. Plus, fences are customizable to your needs, including shape, height, length, and materials.

What’s Best for Your Property: Fence or Gate?

Installing both a fence and gate works wonderfully on many properties and may be necessary if you want to install a premier fence around your home.

However, when both aren’t necessary, which of the two choices is best for your need?

Gates typically cost less than a fence, but that is because they are shorter and serve less function than a fence. A gate by itself may not suit every property. If you have a very limited budget, perhaps only a fence will suffice your needs.

Consider a fence if the budget isn’t of concern. You will find more uses for the fence than a gate alone.

Every home is unique just like the needs and wants of every homeowner. Do not install a fence or a gate without first discussing your needs with a professional. Our technicians can better assist in choosing between a fence and a gate for your property. Tell us how we can help and we’ll take care of you!

Denco Fence understands how important installing the most useful products on your property is and can help you pick the best product for your needs when you call 303.223.6902 or send an email to