September 25, 2023
sliding gate

Swinging or sliding gate, it’s not easy to know which one to choose. Indeed, these two types of gates are well known, but one is traditional (leaf) and the other increasingly popular (sliding). However, your choice cannot be made so simply, you will have to take into account the lay of the land, your current fence and perhaps a tree or a misplaced stone. Our advice for choosing a sliding or swinging gate.

The sliding gate

  • This portal opens laterally , either to the left or to the right;
  • It is necessary to have the same length of the gate on one side or the other, so that it can slide;
  • Ideal system if you lack depth in your driveway or if your driveway is uphill;
  • A little more expensive.

Sliding on rail

For a sliding gate on rail, it is mandatory to carry out a little masonry, in particular for the sill. In this case, you will need to build a concrete foundation about 8 meters long on which the rails will be installed on the ground. It is neither beautiful, nor ecological, nor economical…

In addition, the maintenance of this type of gate is also very important. The rail can be blocked by snow or various obstacles (stones, leaves, etc.). These elements can disrupt the proper functioning of the gate.

The motorization for this type of gate is visible in the majority of cases and located on one of the two sides of the gate, which is why it is recommended to choose a design model or one that can be as discreet as possible.

Freestanding sliding

It is an economical and ecological choice. And for good reason, the self-supporting sliding gate requires 80% less masonry than the sliding gate on rails. These gates use a different design, because instead of running on tracks fixed to the ground by a concrete foundation for the entire length of the gate, simple concrete pads suffice. The gate works thanks to a system of pebbles, directly anchored in the ground thanks to a concrete base. The roller system is fixed. The gate has a hollow base which allows it to be carried by this rail which rolls on the rollers.

In addition, there is no maintenance for a classic sliding gate, because it is not sensitive to the small obstacles mentioned above.

There are several motorizations for sliding gates: a motorization fixed to the ground or a motorization directly integrated into the gate. When it is integrated, this can be done directly in the pillar or the profile (see in particular the models for sliding gate motors here).

The swing gate

  • Degree of openness varying between 90° and 180°  ;
  • The opening must be inwards if you live on the edge of a public road.


If you plan to motorize your swing gate, the articulated arm or cylinder system is not aesthetic and not always reliable. Underground motorization is interesting, but represents a substantial budget. The best option is still to integrate motorized models into pillars. The price of the motorization is included in the price of the gate.


It should be provided for most swing gates corresponding to the masonry columns which carry the pillars, the detection boxes and the flashing lights. There are two types of pillars: metal pillars (usually steel) and masonry pillars. More economical, they are also more aesthetic. In fact, these pillars usually integrate the battery and the turn signal lamp to keep the power cord invisible.

The repression space

To make it work, the swing gate requires a lot of free space, about two meters in the width direction of the gate. This further reduces the free space between the gate and the house, which is usually used for temporary parking of cars.

Wind sensitivity

Electric swing gates are more sensitive to strong winds because they open slowly. Therefore, the engine force is directly opposed to the wind. This one pushes in the opposite direction and has the entire surface of the doors to achieve this. In storms and strong winds, seals, hinges or motorized fasteners may break. You can use a very hollow design to compensate, like a simple strip of tubing.

To conclude, choosing a sliding or swinging gate does not only depend on your personal tastes. You will have to deal with the configuration of your land, your budget, but also the different characteristics that are specific to each gate. If you are unsure which one to choose, do not hesitate to call in a professional.