Automatic gates options for backyard parking pad

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Topic: Automatic gates options for backyard parking pad

Home and Garden October 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

Automatic gates options for backyard parking pad


Does anyone have any experience with installing automatic gates on their back fence to access a backyard parking pad? I’ve seen some house that have built a semi-garage type structure with a regular garage door, but my preference to to install something that opens horizontally, rather than vertically. (Our yard is small and I don’t want to lose any sunlight with a garage type structure.) Has done or seen anything like this? 

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Are you in a rowhouse?  I don’t think you could use a horizontal gate on a typical rowhouse lot, without having it extend into the neighbor’s property.  Most rowhouse lots are ~20ft wide.  So, at best, you could get a 10ft opening if the gate was 10ft and it overlapped with a 10ft stationary section when it slid open.


I have a horzontal gate, but it is manual, not automatic.

A few of my neighbors have vertical gates that roll up, so you don’t need a roof and they don’t block sun. I think one guy has a horizontal gate on my block and he’s always having to fix it b/c it swings out and accidentally hits something.

I’ve got a vertical garage door gate without a roof structure.  It was installed with an power opener, but that failed within a year.  However, we find it not a big deal to get out of the car to lift the gate, drive in, and close the gate behind us.  The sunshine issue really isn’t a problem because of the lack of a roof structure.  I think the overhead solution is preferable to a horizontal solution because you don’t impede on other’s property in any way and it is less likely to get banged up. 
The ultimate solution is the heavy duty, commercial-style roll up doors.  I would replace my door with one of those but for the price – about $8,000 from what I understand.  Just can’t justify that. 

Pooner & Sons does the automatic roll-up commercial-style gates.  I finally sprung for one and yes, while not cheap, it’s secure, doesn’t block the sunlight, easy to use and the company is really great to deal with. 

For those with vertical gates, can you name the contractors?

I don’t happen to have the Pooner & Sons number handy but they put a big sticker on all of their doors – if you drive down any alley you should be able to get it.  They are a local family owned company and there’s a kind of weird answering service you get when you call the main number, I sort of thought I had the wrong number when I first called but they responded pretty quickly.   

If you search here for “garage door” you will find 2 or 3 old threads that discuss this and I’m pretty sure someone listed the number for Pooner & Sons (and yes, if you walk down alleys you will find their work and the # is listed–they are easy to spot because they usually look better than anything else).
We have a standard garage door put onto a “frame” without the garage. It is a major pain–these devices were never meant to be exposed to the elements. I’m not sure if there is a way to weatherproof them but I’m not expecting mine to last through the winter–really shoddy work unfortunately (installed by people we bought the house from just last May). If you can afford it spring for the Pooner install (but per those old threads it can be $8k – $10k). Otherwise I wouldn’t waste your money on an electric garage door opener. Go for a manual–it will likely wind up being manual once the device inevitably fails to work.


Thanks for all the responses. My neighbor across the alley has a “garage door” style, but with no roof and as others have noted, the electric opener no longer works. So good to know if I go that route, probably best to just get a manual door since the eletric motor will stop working once it is exposed to the weather. I will look at Ponner and Sons, but I’m sure it will be out of my price range. I spoke to my contractor today and he suggested if I’m going to build a whole structure, why not put a deck on top? Interesting. I’ll still be losing sunlight and will need to move some plants, but I would gain useable space with the deck on top… anyway for now I’m resigned to just getting out of the car and opening the gate by hand (that mood may chnage as the weather changes). Thanks again for all the useful comments.

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