Traditional Sliding Gates Vs. Cantilever Gates: Which Is Right For Your Home?

If you’re looking to add an automatic sliding gate to your property, there are several available options. In today’s blog we will be examining the differences between a traditional sliding gate with a bottom track or a cantilever gate. Here are the differences between these types of residential gate systems and what you need to know before selecting one over the other.

What’s The Difference Between A Traditional Sliding Gate And A Cantilever Gate?

A traditional sliding gate is a wheel-mounted gate that slides along a track. Generally, the gate is a single unit and it stows to one side of the driveway opening, along the fence or property line. However, bi-parting gates that stow on either side of the driveway opening are also available.

Like traditional sliding gates, cantilever gates slide open and closed and get stowed along a fence. The key difference is that a cantilever gate is a trackless gate system. Instead of sliding along a track, a cantilever gate is supported by rollers that are tucked behind the fencing and remains suspended when opening and closing.

Both traditional sliding and cantilever gates can be constructed using a variety of materials, including iron, steel, aluminum, wood, and composite.


What Are The Advantages Of Installing A Traditional Sliding Gate?

Here are some of the pros to choosing a sliding gate with a bottom track:

  • It takes up less space. A traditional sliding gate with a bottom track is typically the same size as the driveway opening. A cantilever gate, however, needs to be about 50% longer than the driveway opening in order for the gate to counterbalance the weight of the mounting posts. So, if you have limited space along your fence or want your gate to stow more discreetly, a traditional sliding gate may be the best option.
  • It costs less. There are a couple of reasons why traditional sliding gates tend to be more affordable than cantilever gates. For one, since they’re smaller, fewer raw materials are needed to manufacture them. Additionally, as they aren’t supported by mounting posts, the gate frames don’t need to be as robust as cantilever gates and can be automated with a less powerful gate operator.
  • It’s easier to install. Since the frames are smaller and lighter, traditional sliding gates tend to be simpler to install.
  • It’s flush to the ground. There are several potential advantages to having a gate that goes all the way to the ground. If you have a dog, it will help keep Fido in the yard as there’s no gap under the gate for him to crawl under. Similarly, it will keep wild animals out of your yard.


What Are The Advantages Of Installing A Cantilever Gate?

Here are some of the pros of installing a cantilever gate:

  • It’s suitable for all terrain. If you have a gravel driveway or if your driveway is otherwise bumpy or uneven, it won’t be able to accommodate a bottom track. A cantilever gate is the ideal alternative, as its operation isn’t affected by these landscape features.
  • It’s easy to maintain. Traditional sliding gates require more upkeep than cantilever gates, as the tracks need to be regularly cleaned. In fact, the track of a traditional sliding gate needs to be kept clear of dirt, sand, and stones as this debris can hamper operation and scratch the track. In winter, it also needs to be kept clear of snow and ice. Cantilever gates, however, are extremely easy to maintain. They only need to be lubricated and serviced by a professional once a year.
  • It has a long lifespan. Properly installed and well-maintained traditional sliding gates can last many years. However, cantilever gates tend to have longer lifespans. This is largely due to their heavy-duty construction. In addition, the fact that they don’t roll along the ground eliminates a major source of wear and tear.

If you’re still unsure which gate is right for you, consult with a professional. In addition to providing you with expert advice, a qualified technician can come to your property to assess which gate type would be most suitable.


Sliding and Cantilever Driveway Gate Systems in Western Canada

At Creative Door Services™, we source, install, and service all types of residential gate systems, including traditional sliding gates, cantilever gates, and swing gates. For expert advice, or to learn more about our gate products and services, contact us at one of our eight locations across Western Canada. You can find us in Vancouver, British Columbia; Kelowna, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Fort McMurray, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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