How to install automatic gates on a budget | electric gates

In this article we will discuss how to install automatic gates on a budget. Electric gates are becoming increasingly more popular with the cost of living rises, now more than ever, people are looking for cheaper ways to install automatic gates. 

We will look at all the costs involved in supplying and fitting electric gates and ways you could possibly save money and still have your desired outcome. 

Install electric gates on a budget
How to install automatic gates on a budget | electric gates

Why have electric gates?

It is really important to first ask why you should go to the expense of having electric gates installed on your driveway.

  • They help to improve your home’s security.
  • Increase the value of your home, great investment.
  • Improve kerb appeal of your home, by looking stylish and attractive.
  • Convenience, nothing worse that standing in the rain to open/close your gates.
  • Electric gates will open/close whilst you stay safe and dry in the comfort of your car.
  • Parent or career? Constant supervision may be needed in your car preventing you leaving your car to open and close your gates.

Do I need electric gates?

This is where the question comes in to place ‘are electric gates essential or desirable?’

  • Would you like to keep your property secure?
  • Do you have animals or children you need to keep safe behind a gated driveway?
  • Do you enjoy manually opening and closing your gates?
  • Can you leave your car and everything inside unsupervised whist you open and close your gates?
  • Do you want to invest money in to your home?
  • Do you want to prevent any unauthorised access to your drive night or day? 
  • Would you like to keep your expensive car safe from malicious damage or theft?
install Automatic Gates on a Budget

Factors that influence the cost of automated gates

Before looking at how you can spend less on automatic gates, it’s helpful to understand what factors and costs influence the overall price. We cover everything here from the gate material, motor size and initial set up of electricity to your gate.

Add value to your home in the event you sell

How to install automatic gates on a budget | electric gates ridge auto gates


Regardless of the finish you currently have on your driveway you essentially need to get electricity to your gates in order to automate them, this involves an electrical wire.

There will a cost involved in getting the electrical wire to your gates, as part of your drive may need taking up depending on the material currently in place.

How to install automatic gates on a budget

You may decide to avoid the cost of taking up part of your drive and trunk the electrical wire to the gates around the edges of your driveway. This would mean the cable being on show (in some cases with shrubs it can be hidden well) when done correctly can go unnoticed.

At Ridge Auto Gates our specialists have a range of experience and skills in the best and most cost effective way to get your electrical wire to your gate post.

We also have the skill set so you do not need the expense of a subcontractor, which can help massively to keep costs down.

However, we are happy to work with clients if they have preferred subcontractor for their drive.

Stay in the safety of your car, whilst your gates open and close.

What type of gate?

You can automate any gate, the most popular materials to use are metal (aluminum), wood or composite.

Aluminum is the lightest material to use and doesn’t require as powerful of a motor as wood would need, with this material being a lot heavier in weight. Aluminum gates can help to install automatic gates on a budget.

A gate can cost anything from £100 to £££. Our installer is also a fabricator so we can ‘fix’ any issues with a pre-loved gates. We can automate existing, second hand and brand new gates. The cost of new gate depends on its size, material and bespoke designs you add.

Driveway gates on a budget

Great tip to install automatic gates on a budget is to keep the size of your gate to a standard size. This way you can buy an ‘off the shelf’ gate and not need a bespoke gate made.

No unauthorized access to your path

Gate material

You should spend a of lot of time considering the material of your gate and its life span, as certain materials will need maintaining.

What type of wood are you using? Will it need treating? Change colour or swell/ shrink in different weather conditions? This could impact your motors operating.

Electric driveway gates

Which gate automation motor?

Another essential contributing factor when it comes to price is the technology used to automate your gate.

Yes, you can buy cheap gate automation motor off Amazon or ebay for example. However, it is important to keep in mind cheaper motors could be more liable to breaking down, incurring more repair costs later. Many gate installers will not fit these products. Do they come with a guarantee? Can you buy parts easy enough? Are their user manuals comprehensive?

Automate driveway gates
How to install automatic gates on a budget ridge auto gates

Consider investing in a more expensive motor if you can, fitted by an expert. Whist slightly more expensive, some branded motors can last in excess of 20+ years if maintained correctly. Your product will come with a 12 month labour guarantee (all ours do). Depending on the motor and brand it will also come with a parts guarantee. If anything does break or need repairing you are covered with no extra charges, takes away a lot of hassle.

At Ridge Auto Gates we are trained in all leading gate automation brands and can help advise you on the most practical and cost-effective way motor for your needs.

A good, branded motor can cost in excess of £1700 for the motor and installation. It all depends on the trye of motor, gate weight and gate usage.

Essential electric gate accessories


Photocells detect the presence of any object crossing its laser beam and will automatically open an automatic gate. By law you need them!

Photocells normally come in a kit with the motors, depending on your drive you may need an extra set.

Relatively inexpensive costing around £250 to supply and fit (every set-up is different). Some cases the photocells may need a stand, they start from £200.

You can get one of the photocells battery operated. This option is only advised if you can not get a wire to the 2nd photocell. They come with the running costs of a battery, around £10 per year to replace.

Safety edges & photocells are essential for safely operating electric gates.

How to install automatic gates on a budget ridge auto gates

Safety edge

A safety edge works similar to photocells by detecting an object in the gates path when opening and closing. By Law you need them!

A safety edge can be attached to a gate or fixed object. If the safety edge came in to contact with an object it would automatically open/close depending on the scenario.

Every drive and gate setup requires an installer to assess the site and determine where a safety edge would be needed. Prices can range from £300 to £3k+

If you install automatic gates on a budget always allow for safety devices, they are a legal requirement.

install Automatic Gates on a Budget


This is basically a small remote than can fit on your keyring, it contains a button programmed to open and close your gates.

Majority of automatic gate kits come with 2 fob controllers (if you opt for the bundle package) or these can be purchased separately for about £30. You will need to sync every fob to your control panel which will require an expert.

To save money we would suggest working out how many you need always purchase more than needed (we can supply) and our installers can sync them up when installing your automatic gates.

Optional electric motor accessories

install Automatic Gates on a Budget


You could have a keypad installed by your gate (internal/external of your drive). This is really convent if you don’t have your fob on you and you need to open your gate. Or if you ‘lose’ your keys with your fob attached and can’t find them.

Another reason to have a keypad would be from a safety aspect. What if you had a house fire and needed to get off your drive and never had chance to get your fob? How would you get out of your drive?

Roughly cost around £100 to purchase.

DIY electric gates

Blue tooth selector

Bluetooth key pad is needed so you can open your gates via your mobile phone. This can be programmed to open when your phone is in a certain vicinity of the gate. Great if your hands are full when you arrive home, not so great if you have animals and they will escape when the gate opens. 

Worth noting here that they work similar to all bluetooth accessories and you need to be within a set radius for them to work.

Roughly cost around £100 to purchase.

Access control system

What is an access control system? This is an intercom system. Electric gates prevent someone access to your front door, how do they ring your bell? An intercom facilitates a visitor to your property making you aware they are there. You basically move your front door bell to a 2-way speaker system from the street side of your gate and inside your home.

Great benefits of this system are you can screen visitors without them knowing your home as they can come with a camera. You can speak to the visitor securely without opening your front door. You can control who gains access to your property. These can range in price from £250 to £1k+ depending on their functions.

A great way to install automatic gates on a budget is to not get an intercom system with a camera. Another saver on money is getting an intercom that does not work via a sim card as they come with monthly running costs (phone sim contract). Read more

Automate driveway gates

What if you have a power cut?

If there is a power cut, you need to be able to open your gates.

All automatic gate systems are installed with a manual override system to allow the gates to be opened manually in the event of a power cut or motor failure. We install motors that can operate in the envent of a power cut.

manual release key

Automatic gate installation

You need to factor in the cost of labour for the automatic gate installation. You are not just paying for labour but also their knowledge and expertise in the industry along with the use of their specialist equipment.

Some gate installers don’t have the skills to take up a path. At ridge auto Gates we can do 99% of the excavation work and relaying existing material. We are also happy for you to employ another tradesman and we work in combustion with them. 

How to install automatic gates on a budget ridge auto gates
How to install automatic gates on a budget ridge auto gates

Many gate installers don’t have the expertise in fabrication. At ridge auto Gates our installer is a qualified welder with over 20 years experience. There is nothing he can not fabricate when it comes to metal.

Employing a gate automation on specialist allow you access to their advice on the choice of equipment and the necessary safety measures. Their bill could range from £1000 to £3500 on top of materials.

Ridge auto gates

Install automatic gates on a budget

  • Electric wire installation (£200 – 3k+)
  • Gates (£100 – 10k+)
  • Automation motor and control panel (£1000 – 5k+)
  • Photocells (£100 – £1k+)
  • Safety edges (£300 – 3k+)
  • Key pads (£100 – 2k+)
  • Fobs (£30 – 1k+)
  • Intercom (£250 – 1k+)
  • Labour (£200 – 10k+)

The phrase ‘buy cheap buy twice’ could not be more true when it comes to automatic gate products and installers. Our prices are very competitive, and we always find ways to help save our clients’ money.

Can I install automatic gates myself?

A lot of people believe this to be the most affordable way to get your own automatic gates. Indeed, there is a great range of electric gate kits on the market that look relatively simple to install and set up.

It is not as simple as it looks, there are legal requirements that automatic gates must meet. By the time you learn what is needed, buy some products, try to fit it all.. you will find it would work out cheaper to pay someone.

Automatic gate kits?

Buying all the components for an automated gate installation individually usually costs more than buying a kit made up of all the essential items.

Ridge Auto Gates

Get expert gate automation advice

With nearly 20 years’ experience in welding and vast experience in Gate Automation Supplies we have been providing high-quality gate systems at competitive prices for all our clients.

Our gate automation experts can offer advice about what might be suitable for your home or commercial premises and help to work with your budget.

Why not gives us a call on 07460597534 to find out just how affordable an automated gate system for can be of you ?

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Excellent service. I had gates installed by someone else years ago and have had nothing but trouble with them (gates and service). Ashley came out and detailed exactly what was needed, and he came back in a few days to complete the work. They now work like a dream and Ridge will take over maintaining… Read more “”

Geoff Bather

After getting a few quotes from automation companies we didn’t think we could afford automatic gates due to the costs we were quoted. So thankful we didn’t give up and found you guys! Thank you for doing such a brilliant job don’t know how we coped without electric gates, they really do make our life… Read more “”

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If you are looking for a company to install, repair or service gates (or even automate existing ones which you may have at your home or business), then I can wholeheartedly recommend Ridge Auto Gates. My experience of them is as follows: they communicate well, turn up on time, work hard and deliver to an… Read more “”

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Cannot rate Ridge Auto Gates highly enough. Ashley is a gentleman. Prompt and thorough when others can’t be bothered. Top man for knowledge and ability and not as expensive as most others. Thanks for a good job well… Read more “”

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Fantastic service so happy that ridge auto gates were able to find the fault and fix my gates thoroughly… Read more “”


Can not praise Ridge Auto Gate enough! Cheapest quote we received and even better service. Thank you so much for my sliding gates can not believe we have struggled all these years getting in and out of our cars in all weathers. Highly recommend this company! Highly recommend electric gates, you will never look… Read more “”

Ann Marie

Just like to say thank you to Ashley for his fast response to a gate repair at my home in formby, fantastic service from start to finish would definitely highly recommend Ridge Auto… Read more “”

Steve Dempsey

Ashley arrived promptly and did not stop until he finished the job. Very impressed with the thoroughness of his work. Happy to have him back… Read more “”

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Really pleased with my new gates, look great, brilliant job done with a efficient and friendly… Read more “”


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Great service, lovely people, came and fixed an issue with my electric gates on time and with expertise. Highly recommended and will definitely use again for any future needs. Thank you and we’ll done… Read more “”

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I would certainly recommend this company. We had problems getting anyone to come and sort out our electric gates. When I contacted Ridge Auto Gates, Ashley came round the same weekend. One of the brick posts was cracked so Ashley put steels into the ground and rehung the gates. He also sorted out our balcony.… Read more “”

Alison Robinson

Needed a new gate as mine had started to to fail on a few welding joints but Ridge Auto Gates actually repaired what I thought needed replacing. Top quality work I would highly… Read more “”

pets country manor

Ridge Auto Gates recently repaired my automatic double gates, after waiting nearly 6 months to find a reliable company to fix my gates, we were recommended Ridge Auto Gates, by a friend. Their service was excellent [first class] the gates are working perfectly, we would highly recommend Ridge Auto Gates to anyone with Automatic Gate… Read more “”


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Five star service. On the first callout the engineer, Ashley, was well into mid evening with me, brilliant. Ridge reacted quickly to my predicament of the automated drive gate not working. Not only that I received a quotation for motor replacement from Lauren within 24 hours, and the new motor was fitted within a few… Read more “”

Gren Evans

Very impressed – they attended to assess my problem the day following my call and the new motors were installed a day or two later. Great service and will be using them for annual servicing in future. Highly… Read more “”

Matt Cadman

Contacted Ridge Auto Gates for a quote to repair my electric gates, they turned up on time to discuss the repair and quoted the next day, we then agreed on a date for the repair. They completed the repairs with professionalism and care, it was great to find such a brilliant local company. Would definitely… Read more “”

Mark Sheridan

Great service, great company to work with, lovely gates, can very highly… Read more “”

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From start to finish it was a pleasure dealing the team at Ridge Auto Gates. Ashley and his team, supported by Lauren from an admin perspective, were very professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The quality of the gates and mechanism are also of a very high standard and the service defo matched and is clear that… Read more “”

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We’ve used several other gate companies in the past but never been impressed. We contacted ridge auto gates and from start to finish have been immensely impressed! Always turn up when they say! great communication throughout, the gates are brilliant quality and work so quietly. Ashley and Lauren are an absolute pleasure to deal with,… Read more “”

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