In 2015 Almondsbury Forge were asked to do a survey to see if they could come up with a solution for a customer to a parking problem in the busy area of Redland in Bristol. At the time the local council had imposed parking permits in parts of Redland but not all, this led to people parking slightly further out than normal making those roads they park in alot busier.
The customer had a small garage with a bit of hard standing in front, there were existing old wooden swing gates, these were constructed from soft wood and were in poor condition. The main problem was having to try and park the car outside on the street so you could get out and open the gate, the gates also opened inwards obstructing a pathway leading to the house when they were open. During the survey we discussed various options, the best one we decided was to have an automatic sliding gate made using a steel frame and clad with Iroka hardwood, the fame would be galvanised to prevent rusting and the frame polyester powder coated Matt black to give a smart decorative finish. The benefits would be a gate that fully retracts from the opening giving the entrance the maximum clearance, privacy to the garden by having wood infill, long life by having the gate galvanised and the convenience of being able to open the gate from inside the car using a remote control. Here are a few pictures taken during the survey.
The customer was sent a quotation along with an acceptance form to fill out detailing the works that we were undertaking, they signed for the works and paid us a 25% deposit. The newly raised job was sent down to our workshops, with a lead in time of approximately 6 weeks we returned to site and took final measurements with a laser level and had a final discussion with the customer to sort out the finer details. The same week the gate and posts were manufactured at our workshops, it was then sent off for galvanising, at the end of the week. Once the gate has been galvanised it is delivered back to us to be cleaned, this involves filing any sharp pieces of zinc that have dripped during the galvanising process and re drilling and tapping any holes that require bolts to fit in. Below is a video showing the galvanising process.
The gate and accessories are now ready for polyester powder coating, this is carried out by a specialist firm from Devon we have used for many years. They collect the work from us, coat it then return it approximately one week later, the quality and packaging of the gate is important to us so they take great care in handling the finished product.
Whilst the gate is away for coating the wood is cut to size by another specialist company we use, they put a tongue and groove into the planks of Iroka hardwood so they will join together nicely, also at this time they bevel the edges for a neat finish. The wood will be prefitted into the gate at our workshop, then removed for two coats of natural oil to be applied to bring the natural colour of the wood out.
The final process is to arrange a fitting day with the customer, we go to site remove the old gates, a small hedge then move on to fitting the track that the gates run along, this is set up using a precision laser level to ensure the track is perfectly level and most importantly straight. All the posts are now fitted and the motor that drives the gate is ready to fit along with the cables and safety accessories. The following day we return to site and fit the gate, the wood is also fitted into the gate on site, this is done using stainless steel screws from the inside so they aren't visible from outside.
All that is left to do is autoset the motor so it can calculate the weight of the gate and the force required to move it along the track, check the safety systems and force test the gate with a special instrument to ensure that the forces exerted are within the parameters permitted. The customer is now fully briefed and shown in depth how to operate the gate, manually release the gate and told about any safety issues. The manufacturer of the gate equipment we use recommend a service at least once a year on a domestic system serving one dwelling, this should be carried out so the warranty is valid and to ensure a long life for the equipment, mechanical parts always need to be maintained.