Take a look down your street. If you live in a newer subdivision, built in the last ten years or so, it’s likely that every house on your street has the same wooden side gate that the builder put in when the home was built. These gates are installed for short term functionality and don’t continue working well or looking good for more than the first year. It’s likely that the wood is faded, discolored, warped and has shrunk. Perhaps the hinges are coming away from the masonry and the paint is peeling. You might even see a little rust (or a lot). You can probably see through the wood slats into the backyard and it may not latch properly.
Here is an example of what your builder grade gate may look like.
Not really a pretty sight is it? Let’s take a closer look.
1) See those ugly black stains originating at the metal bolts? These are “bleed marks” from the metal. This happens naturally over time with gates made from lower quality wood and unfinished hardware. You can help prevent this from happening to your gate by performing regular maintenance, such as sanding and refinishing or sealing the wood and powder coating the hardware. Once a builder grade gate reaches this stage, there is not much you can do about it and First Impression recommends replacing it with a higher quality gate which uses a better grade of wood and finished metal.
2) You can also see the gaps between the wood and the metal. When the gate was first installed, you could not see through the gate at all. Now, due to sun and moisture damage, the slats have shrunk resulting in a loss of privacy and allowing anyone to see into the backyard. If you look closely you can see childrens’ toys through the slats in this gate. This is a safety concern and means you have not only lost the aesthetic appeal but your security has been compromised.
3) There are several areas where the metal paint has peeled away on this builder grade gate, revealing ugly rust which over time will weaken and destroy the gate if these areas are not repaired. If you notice areas like this on your gate, repair them quickly by removing the rust and painting over the blemish before it has a chance to spread. If the rust is extensive, a gate replacement is probably overdue and you should consider replacing it before someone is able to easily break the weakened metal or it presents a safety hazard for children and pets. Unlike low quality gates that are painted, First Impression gates are first treated with a phosphate high pressure wash and then finished with a thick, heavy duty powder coating baked on at 400 degrees which is rust resistant, won’t peel and is made to be virtually maintenance free. All products are powder coated by First Impression at our manufacturing facility in Gilbert, with over 60 colors to choose from.
4) Check the hinges and hardware on your gate. Inexpensive hardware can fail such as latches not closing properly or posts and hinges detaching from the gate or masonry, again presenting a safety hazard and security risk. The purpose of a gate is to keep children and pets safe, while keeping intruders and unwanted visitors out. If your gate can’t perform those tasks, it’s time for a new one. The bolt on this gate was loose inside the wall and made the gate wobble when you pulled on it. Not very safe and it made the gate hang awkwardly when it was opened. This type of hardware does not function properly long term and becomes a target for burglary. First Impression uses the highest quality latches and hardware which not only look great, but give you peace of mind knowing that the security aspects of your gate are superior.
5) The wood itself on builder grade gates is of an inferior quality. This low quality wood makes it subject to much greater damage by the seasons. You will often find that the wood becomes rotten, chipped, warped and will crack. It also fades very fast so what started out as an acceptable gate quickly becomes an eyesore without the homeowner even realizing it. Or worse, you notice it more and more each day as it deteriorates and it becomes that project you should have done a long time ago. First Impression offers both beautiful redwood gates and low maintenance composite wood gates to appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities and your busy lifestyle all while staying within your budget. Our gates come in MANY different styles and can be matched to your other doors and gates if desired. We also feature many styles each month which are discounted sometimes as much as $500, so be sure to check these designs!
Some of our clients tell us they didn’t even notice their side gate until they saw the beautiful designs on our website or the new gate we installed on their neighbor’s house. Then they tell us replacing it changed the entire look of their exterior and added a lot of curb appeal. We believe it! Take a look at the below BEFORE and AFTER images.