I find the frequency of this question peculiar because relatively few situations require gates open outwards. However, the answer is yes. Automated swinging driveway gates can open outwards if necessary.
Traditionally, gates swing inwards (the direction visitors enter your property). I’ve heard it is considered more welcoming, but, so far as I know, it is not written in Emily Post’s Etiquette: Manners for Today.
Putting aside any concern of being welcoming or mannerly, I’m assuming you may just want to know your options. So, let’s tackle what challenging driveway configurations may require outward opening gates and how to accommodate or avoid it.
UPWARDS SLOPING DRIVEWAY
One reason you might consider having your gates open outward is an upwards sloping driveway. We see this occasionally in our area of Texas, but I assume it is more common in mountainous regions.
If your driveway slopes upwards, these are your choices:
- Sliding Gate – If you have the room for a single or double sliding gate, you can avoid an outwards swinging gate.
- Gate Design – If you are not trying to contain small pets, a unique gate design could allow enough room to accommodate an upwards slope.
- Rising Gate Hinges – We don’t have any experience with these, so I do not want you to think we are endorsing them. I just found this interesting YouTube video by GatesPlus on the internet.
Please comment below if you have any other suggestions to accommodate for a sloped driveway.
If you do not have enough room, you might need to open your gate outwards. Swinging gates outside of your property line is frowned upon.
One option if you are very limited on space in both directions is a bi-folding gate. We’ve not installed these. Our service area and client base is mostly Texas ranches west of Fort Worth, so space is just not an issue. But, bi-folding gates could be a wonderful solution for your situation. This video shows how it works.
Our client in Abilene, Texas wanted an outwards swinging gate. The driveway beyond the gate was limited, but they had plenty of room to swing outwards.
They built an upscale, modern-French home and didn’t want to see the clutter of the gate operator mechanism in their small driveway. So, we put in a Viking Access System underground gate operator. Check out the video of the groundwork on installation day.
GATE OPERATORS THAT OPEN OUTWARD
What happens if an underground operator is not an option and you’ve decided you must have or just want an automated outward opening gate?
- Do you have to have a an extra special, one-of-a-kind operator made to open outwards?
- Do you have to put the operator on the outside (street side) of your beautiful gate?
The answers are no and no.
The operators we install can either be installed to pull open (standard inward opening) or push to open (outwards opening). We just installed this simple ranch gate with an All-O-Matic Toro 24 Swing Gate Opener and configured it to push open for a client whose driveway slopes uphill. Pages 6 and 7 of the operator manual show how this operator can be configured either way.
If you are a DIY-er or just like details, Amazing Gates does a good job with some basic principles in their article about How to Layout Your Gate.
Let us know if you have any questions or other ideas in comments. If you want help designing your dream driveway gate, get our checklist.