Which type of gate should I choose?

Which type of gate should I choose?

There are many reasons for someone to want a gate but have you thought about the type of gate you want? “What there is more than one type?” I hear you cry! Well, yes.

Swinging driveway gates

Wrought iron driveway gates

Swinging driveway gates are the more traditional kind you will see.  They are hinged to one side and open around this point usually into the driveway or property. This type of gate is very common and requires room for the gates to swing into. They usually open inwards as you are restricted from opening gates outwards onto a highway. Swinging gates are less expensive to install than other types and are generally considered safer and easier to open. Account must also be taken of any incline as the gate could not fully open if the driveway was an on incline. You can have a single swing gate or double swinging gates depending on the size of the opening. For example single gates would be unsuitable for anything over 3.65m (12 feet wide). In that case you may need bi fold gates.

Bi fold gates

Bi fold gates are ideal where the opening is wide but there is not a lot of room for the gates to open fully inwards.  Each part of the gate essentially folds back on itself so they take up less room when open.  Also the weight is distributed better to avoid the gates dropping at one end when opening.  Bi fold gates are a more expensive option that swinging gates as there is more work involved.  If a swinging gate is not a good option you may find that a sliding gate is more suitable

Sliding gates

Sliding metal gate

Sliding gates are a great alternative to swing gates especially when there is limited room for swing gates to open up or where they compromise parking space. Also they are a good alternative where there is an incline on the drive to consider. Sliding gates are usually placed on tracks where this is dug into the ground and the gate is guided along it using wheels mounted on the base. However to fit sliding gates you need to ensure there is a smooth surface area for the gate to pass over and approximately 1.5 times the size of the gate itself to allow it to slide back and out of the way fully.

Electric gates

Finally you can have the gates automated so you have the convenience of being able to open them at the push of a button on your return home, especially useful when its pouring with rain and you don’t want to get out of the car! Visitors can even have a separate pedestrian gate with an intercom to prevent unwanted callers. They are very secure and often add value to a property due to their aesthetic and secure nature.  You can even automate existing gates in some cases.

Whatever kind of gates you are looking for, or if you are not sure, we can help.  Call us for a free site survey and no obligation quote where we can advise you on the options available.


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What is Powder Coating?

What is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a durable, attractive, long lasting finish that when applied correctly can give years of protection to metal components. It is used as an alternative to paint.

The powder is applied electrostatically to a suitably prepared metal surface. The electrostatic process ensures an even film thickness all over the component even on very complex shapes which cannot be achieved with wet paint. Often a zinc rich primer can be used prior to coating to give a greater corrosion protection.

(Thanks to our friends at Wrexham Metal Finishing for this information) Check out their website at https://www.wrexhammetalfinishing.co.uk/


Colours available

Powder coating is available in a range of colours including RAL, BS and Pantone shades.  Thanks to our friends at Northpoint here are some examples for you to check out http://www.northpointcoatings.co.uk/colours/

Also an example of the finish provided by Northpoint on sets of gates and railings:-

Powder coating

Below is an example of the RAL chart showing the large range of colours

RAL chart



If you have any queries about powder coating, or want to know more, please get in touch. If we cannot help you then we can put you in touch with someone who does!




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How to Look After Your Stainless Steel Product

How to look after your stainless steel

Stainless steel is a great alternative to wrought iron and is seen as more of a modern alternative to the traditional black, wrought iron railings you often see.  Here at Sykes Bespoke Steel we are able to offer both

Wrought iron handrail     Stainless handrail

Benefits of Stainless Steel

One of the benefits of stainless steel, as well as it giving a more modern look, is that it is relatively easy to clean. Although not maintenance free it is low maintenance.  Washing it with soap or mild detergent and warm water followed by a clear water rinse is usually quite adequate for most stainless steel.

Here at Sykes Bespoke Steel we only use marine grade 316 stainless steel which gives a better quality finish and is more resilient than the alterative 304 grade stainless.  As the name suggests 316 is marine grade so it can be used at sea (on the decks of ships) and in coastal areas without fear of erosion

We use this grade of stainless steel in all our products not just ones which are potentially open to erosion from nearby water, wind, harsh elements etc.

Cleaning Your Stainless Steel

Where stainless steel has become extremely dirty with signs of surface discolouration (perhaps following periods of neglect or misuse) then alternative methods of cleaning will be needed.  A full list of these can be found on the British Stainless Steel Association website at https://www.bssa.org.uk/topics.php?article=77

Of course if you take advantage of our quality stainless steel you may also have our toughened glass panels fitted too and these will need to be cared for just as you would any other type of glass surface you have at home

Stainless and glass patio rails

So if you are thinking of having stainless steel in your home, know that it can offer you a different kind of look for your home, is easy to maintain and looks amazing!  If there is anything we can help you with do not hesitate to give us a call to book a free appointment with no obligation quotation.


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What do you want to know about steel?

What do you want to know about steel? Frequently asked questions

You’ve seen it loads of times where you go onto a website and there is a frequently asked question section.  Most of the time with useful stuff like delivery times, postage costs, different varieties of products available etc.  Then there are the ones that have all the most obvious answers but not the actual one you are after! Frustrating eh?

The reason I mention this is that I was thinking of what I could write for the next blog.  I was thinking about what our customers, suppliers or those just generally interested in what we do would want to know.  What do they want to know about steel, wrought iron, stainless steel, gates, railings etc.  I had been thinking of putting a blog together with some of the answers, a little like a FAQ page, but maybe with a bit more detail.

Then I thought the best way to find out what to write is to ask you what you want to know!

So, here goes.  Tell me what you want to know about us. Whether its what products we do, how we make them, what we can offer or just a general question about how we work.  The floor is yours!

Whatever it is you want to know I will then try to answer as best I can.  It may be in the form of a blog post, it may be a summary of frequently asked questions on our website page or it may be in the form of social media posts.  But if I know what it is you are asking I will do my upmost to answer. And if there is something I am not sure about then I can find out for you.




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Business security-inviting customers in, keeping unwanted visitors out

Business security

As a business owner you will no doubt know that in order to keep a business going you need customers.  Whether you have retail premises for shoppers to visit, a warehouse or factory where suppliers need to attend to check your products or an office where people attend meeting you need to make your entrance area inviting.

The question is how do you make the entrance to your business premises inviting, safe and secure for your customers whilst at the same time keeping out unwanted visitors and ensuring your business is safe from opportunist thieves?

Security grilles

Decorative bespoke wrought iron window and door grilles not only keep your retail premises safe but still allow customers to see your goods, even when the shop is closed!  And contrary to many people’s beliefs secure doesn’t mean ugly.  Take a look at some examples:

Ornate security grill  Ornate door grill

Even in a warehouse or factory environment there is still a need for security whilst maintaining an inviting feel for your customers, suppliers and visitors

Security grill

Its also important to make visitors to your premises feel  safe.  Not just from a security point of view but also to ease their access into your premises.  This can mean disabled access, handrails and grabrails such as these

Stainless and glass balustrade Tubular handrail

Of course gates can not only secure a property but also form a physical barrier and so deter opportunist thieves.  Whether very ornate or practical and secure gates are a great way to help secure your premises but can also make a statement.  Gates are kind of like the first impression for a property so its important to pick carefully

School gates  Sheeted metal gates Sliding metal gate

So if you’re a business owner who wants to help secure their premises whilst not putting off visitors, and potential customers, call us for a free site visit and no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383 or email us at info@sykesbespokesteel.co.uk


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Getting a new driveway? Ring us first!

Getting a new driveway? Ring us first!

So now the weather is improving many people are out tending their gardens, tackling a bit of DIY or planning the next big home renovation project.

Often getting a new driveway will not only enhance the “kerb appeal” of your property but also add value to your home.  According to a survey by Virgin Money a driveway can add up to around 10% to the value of your house.  Check out the infographic here

Adding value

And, you knew it was coming didn’t you?, a set of new driveway gates will just finish it off nicely!  Enhancing the front of your home, adding that kerb appeal but also securing your vehicles and providing a deterrent to potential opportunist thieves.

However, before you go searching through Google or scrolling through Facebook for reputable driveway companies and have them digging up in no time you need to consider ringing us first!  The reason I say this is two fold.  Firstly everything we do is made to measure and so we need around 3-4 weeks notice from your call asking about gates to when we can actually fit them.  Secondly we need to schedule the works in with the driveway company.

On too many occasions to mention we have people calling asking for a quote for gates as they are getting their new drive done.  We are of course happy to oblige but when we ask “How long before the drive is done?” and they say “Oh they’re on with it already!” that we sigh, hold our head in our hands and despair (well maybe not that bad!)

  (Courtesy of Rezitt Resin Bound Driveways Fences & Landscape service)

You see nobody wants their brand new driveway immediately dug up for us to put the gate posts in! It makes a mess and despite best efforts can leave the driveway looking a sight.  What is always best is if we know beforehand that you are having the driveway done.  That way if we have to put gate posts in we can do that before the driveway company start work.  Then once your driveway is done and looking fabulous we can come along and fix the gates to the posts to finish it off nicely

Bi fold driveway gates Composite driveway gates

So if you are looking to have a new driveway, or know someone who is, please make sure you get in touch with us sooner rather than later so we can help finish off the look


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Benefits of using stainless steel

Stainless steel offers a different look to the more traditional wrought iron and has its own benefits despite it being more expensive.

The expense is in part due to the cost of the materials but also because it requires a specialist welder and fitter.  Its benefits, including less maintenance, also justify the extra cost.

Here is an infographic about stainless steel including the benefits

For all our installations we use marine grade 316 stainless steel due to its superior quality, better protection from the elements and longevity.  We use it for making into a number of products including handrails, balconies, balustrades, patio rails and even gates.  Here are some examples

Stainless steel handrail  Stainless steel balcony

Stainless steel and glass patio rails and balustrade  Stainless steel gates

So as you can see stainless steel gives a very different look.  More modern, clean lines than traditional wrought iron.  Often this is the look people want for their modern homes. This is particularly useful when used in the garden as you can really enhance the view with stainless steel and glass patio rails that do not block anything from sight.

With a specialist stainless steel engineer and fitting team we can work stainless steel in a number of ways to provide something quite different.

Stainless steel handrail

Whether you are a homeowner, landlord or commercial property owner we could help you with your requirements in stainless steel.  Call us now for a free site visit or a no obligation quotation on 0161 303 7383


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What colour does that come in?

What colour does that come in?

Colour is important.  It is a visual representation of us in what we wear, influences what we eat and drink and even who we buy from! (PS. our company colour blue denotes trust)

People often believe that wrought iron is black and therefore is not available in any other colour.  That couldn’t be further from the truth. Although wrought iron is a traditional material and has often been used in black there are a huge number of colours available.  But what colour you choose very much depends on what you are having done

Gates and railings

As I say wrought iron in black is the traditional colour with people using other colours like gold, silver or white to pick out the railheads/finials.  For example:-

Wrought iron driveway gates  Single wrought iron garden gate and panel

Or when adding decorative elements a touch of paint really makes it stand out:-

Garden gate with floral design  Garden gate

If choosing a product for a particular purpose the colour may already be determined.  For example a security barrier should be painted in bright colours to enhance it and make it visible.  For example this vehicle barrier we made and painted yellow

Vehicle barrier

Or rather than a particular purpose if the product is in a particular place that can determine the colour used.  This was the case with these railings we made in Ashton town centre which they wanted in the “Ashton blue” colour. Or these panels for a heritage/conservation area which meant the rails had to be green with gold accentsWall top rails

Heritage wrought iron railings

This is a RAL chart showing the choose of coloured paints we can use

RAL colour chart

So in reality you have a massive choice.  You just need to consider what colour would look best for your property, for its purpose and for where it sits.

If there is anything we can help you with get in touch for a free site visit and no obligation quotation.



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Sometimes You Just Need Your Privacy

When purchasing, or considering purchasing, gates for your house the main reasons tend to be for security purposes and for them to look good too.  Of course, they are often one of the first things someone sees and as they say it always helps to make a good first impression! But as well as enhancing and securing your property many people want gates to add privacy to their property.  Often with wrought iron gates they don’t offer that much privacy because of the nature of the steelwork…

Decorative wrought iron garden gate

…but there is a solution!  For those that want added privacy gates can be made private with the addition of infill panels.  These are fixed between the bars of the wrought iron gates and this can be achieved in a few different ways.

Timber infill gates

As the name suggests these are gates made with a wrought iron frame and vertical bars but with panels of timber in between.  The timber we use is pressure treated, rough sawn timber which looks beautiful in its natural form but it can then be treated/stained to achieve a different colour.  Below is an example of a bi folding driveway gate with rough sawn timber infill panels together with another driveway gate with timber infills which has then been stained by the customer to give a darker look.

Bi fold timber infill gates   Timber infill driveway gates

Composite infills

Composite panels are a long lasting, low maintenance alternative to timber.  Its environmentally friendly as its made up of recycled high density polyethylene plastic and reclaimed wood fibres. Its natural looking, with a grain effect, and comes in a range of colours.  Below are some examples:

Wrought iron driveway gate with composite panels  Wrought iron driveway gates with composite panels Wrought iron driveway gates with composite infills  Wrought iron driveway gates with composite panels Wrought iron gate frame with composite panels

Sheet metal

Then there is the more “industrial” look where sheet metal panels are added to the wrought iron gate frame to give added privacy.  Again, here is an example

Wrought iron gates with sheet metal panels

So as you can see there are a number of options available.

Get in touch for a free site visit and no obligation quotation for us to discuss your requirements.



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Why should you buy a new gate?

Why should you buy a new gate?

Well there are a number of reasons that you might want a new gate and here we set out just a few


Having a driveway or garden gate helps to make your property secure from any unwanted visitors.  A gate often marks the perimeter of your property and as the first line of defence, so to speak, it can deter opportunist thieves and the like.  The driveway, and any cars parked on it, are much safer and less likely to suffer from vandalism or attempted theft.  Also the outside of your house and any garage or outbuildings, which often include expensive tools and garden machinery, are much more secure too.

Here are some examples of gates with panels for that extra privacy and security you may want.  They can be made using infill panels made of timber or composite or by attaching sheet metal



It may be hard to believe but having a decorative yet secure gate at the entrance to your property can positively affect its value aswell as adding that elusive “kerb appeal”.  Some people use the front of the house as a major selling point on their home.  Others once they have moved house immediately set about having a new set of gates installed.  The installation of electric, automated gates often guarantees the quick sale of a quality residential property.

Peace of mind

We have already mentioned about the beneficial security aspect of getting a gate but have you thought about how it will make you feel?  With a gate fitted you can have peace of mind that your home and family are safe.  Your children can play safely behind closed gates and away from busy roads.  Your car is secure and less likely to be stolen or vandalised.  Also if you have pets then gates can help prevent them from escaping into the road and potentially getting hurt.  Even getting a gate could prevent people using their open gateway/driveway as a turning point.

Our customer Mrs S of Oldham gave us a testimonial on “the lovely, secure feeling” she had when we fitted these gates for her:-

You can read the testimonial on our website here https://sykesbespokesteel.co.uk/feedback/


Many people purchase electrically automated gates for the timesaving convenience of opening and closing their gateway by remote control.  It is not only much easier than manually closing heavy wrought iron gates but also very useful in bad weather.  It is comforting to see your gates open and welcome you home on a dark night and even more reassuring to see them close automatically behind you.


A well maintained property with a decorative secured gate is a credit to the neighbourhood and often enhances the look of a home as well as its appeal to others.  A large, imposing gate gives a sense of status.  Often when we have completed work at a property we find a large number of neighbours or nearby locals then enquiring about the same thing.  Its the good old “Keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality


So whether its for security, convenience, status or you just need to replace the old one if you need a gate then call us for a free, no obligation quotation now. 0161 303 7383



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