Autumn Garden Activities For Children

Across the UK, millions of children have recently headed back to school – but this doesn’t mean you should abandon involving your child in outdoor activities at home. Quite the contrary, in fact – with gardening experts at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) having told inews.co.uk that kids who spend their evenings and weekends in the garden tend to enjoy improved mental health as a result.

Yes, garden activities in which your kids indulge this autumn could certainly include gardening – like weeding, collecting seeds and playing with soil. However, even if your little ones don’t seem too keen on channelling Alan Titchmarsh, there are plenty of other things they could enjoyably do in your garden as the warmth of summer gives way to the more subdued mood of autumn.

True, you probably hadn’t previously thought of autumn as a good time for kids to take part in garden activities. However, you would’ve been guilty of a mistaken assumption – as, after all of the bustling activity that probably occurred in your home’s outdoor space over the summer, with ball games, BBQs and sunbathing aplenty, your garden may well need a bit (or lot!) of tidying up.

For your kids, doing that tidying up could be a lot more fun than they had originally anticipated. Besides, with the abundant sunshine of summer having since reduced to rays trickling through the leaves of the trees, sorting out the garden makes for a good activity to ensure your kids aren’t falling short of the vitamin D intake and levels of physical exercise recommended for them.

You don’t have to simply leave your kids to all of the autumn fun, either. Many of the best autumn activities for children are ones you could engage in alongside them – enabling you to bond with your kids as well as supervise them for their own safety. You can even start watching out for their safety before they set foot in your autumn garden and the crinkly brown leaves possibly littering it.

Ultimately, safeguarding your kids in the garden starts with paying attention to the security defences of the garden itself. Are your garden gates currently looking somewhat worn and rickety? Do these gates have gaps you could imagine your kids slipping through? If your honest, worried answer to questions like these is ‘yes’ then you should seriously consider having new garden gates fitted.

The best autumn activities for families

We mentioned leaves a little earlier, and your kids could benefit immensely from raking those up in your garden – especially as doing so would develop your kids’ gross motor skills and upper body strength. This additional strength and ability they gain from raking will ease their writing efforts later – who knew? Well, you know now, obviously.

In collecting those leaves, your kids can also help you with composting – as those leaves would be deemed ‘brown’ waste, which ought to comprise 50% to 75% of your compost. The remaining share should be ‘green’ waste, which generally means fresh plants. The RHS further details the process of composting, where waste materials are converted into organic matter for ecological purposes.

Once it’s autumn, it’s easy to assume that plant-growing season has come to a close – but, really, you don’t strictly have to rule out adding any plants to your garden in this slightly chillier season. There are many bulbs you could, with your kids’ help, plant in your garden this autumn before you harvest these edible plants the following spring and summer.

Nonetheless, there remain various plants that could be grown in the winter but would actually have to be sown in the spring or summer. Therefore, in preparation, your children could collect seeds in the garden – such as by collecting seeds from dried heads of flowers that have finished blooming.

As your kids do gather seeds, sort them into separate vessels – like plastic bags, paper envelopes or repurposed glass or plastic containers – and label them so that you will be able to see, at a glance, what type of seed each one contains. You could even leave your kids to create and design the labels themselves – in as quirky and creative a manner as you encourage!

While on the subject of creativity, your children could continue to indulge theirs by building a ‘bug hotel’. They could make this by stuffing a tyre with wood, sticks and straw or stuffing stacked pallets with garden debris on which bugs would be able to feed.

If certain parts of your garden could do with some stepping stones, making them could be an outdoor craft that you and your kids could enjoy getting stuck into. Large cake tins could serve as the ‘moulds’ into which you pour a thick mix of cement and water. Once that mixture has dried, decorate the stones with acrylic paint.

Keeping your garden safe with wooden gates

When it comes to bolstering your garden’s security, you shouldn’t overlook your garden gates – especially as these are intended to allow only particular people to access your garden. These people would include not only – obviously – you and your kids but also friends and relatives you might invite over to your house, perhaps even so that they can join you and your kids in garden activities.

Therefore, if any particular garden gate at your home currently looks somewhat worn, you could imbue your garden with additional security just by replacing this gate. However, while many people understandably opt to replace damaged gates with metal gates due to the material’s reputation for resilience, wooden garden gates can actually easily rival – or even surpass – metal gates for security.

One reason is that, when heavy-duty wood is used for outdoor gates, it can prove just as tough as metal gates. Another reason is that, in this context, wood is likely to look less conspicuous than metal. As most people choose wooden – rather than metal – fencing, selecting wood for gates can make them look more consistent with the home’s fencing.

It can also make the homes more visually consistent with other residential properties in the same neighbourhood. Consequently, in the eyes of potential intruders, your home and garden could somewhat blend into the background, making them less of an obvious target.

Sourcing your new wooden gates from the team here at Village Products would let you choose from a variety of styles, colours and finishes for those gates. All in all, we offer various garden products you could use to help keep you and your family safe while you are all in the garden.

Choosing the right garden gate for your home

You could even further boost the security benefits of wooden garden gates by being picky about the height, design and security features of those gates you order. Naturally, tall gates can be particularly desirable due to their ability to help prevent prying eyes from peeking into the garden.

It’s reassuring, then, that we offer wooden garden gates in heights of up to 4 feet and 6 inches – making it easier for you to source gates matching your existing garden fencing in height. The objective here would be to make sure as far as possible that, once fitted in your garden, these gates look integral to it rather than as though they were simply and hurriedly tagged on at a later point.

Still, if you are seeking a new gate specifically for the front of your home, you might need to be particularly careful with the gate’s height. This is partially because an overly tall front gate could look unsightly and enable thieves to hide behind it. Also, planning restrictions might apply to your front gate’s height if your property is adjacent to a highway or in a conservation area.

If your garden also has side gates, you should make sure these aren’t acting as a weak link through which intruders could too easily slip into the garden unnoticed. You can prevent this kind of thing from happening by keeping your garden’s side gates locked at all times and having new wooden side gates installed if the existing gates are looking more than worse for wear.

When ordering new garden gates from our team, you can expect these gates to prove weather-resistant through withstanding various weather conditions. However, for these gates to continue doing so, they would need to be periodically given the correct wood treatment. We stock base coat products with which you could achieve and maintain quality oak, mahogany and teak finishes.

You can also hand your wooden garden gates extra strength by equipping them with a variety of ironmongery fittings we have available. These include locks you should add to the top and bottom of the gate to help prevent it from being buckled and broken. We also offer bolts you could padlock on your gate to further protect your peace of mind.

As we are committed to ensuring high customer satisfaction with our garden gate solutions, it’s easy for you to learn more about these – which we offer right across the UK – if you phone us on 01925 387008 for a chat about your specific requirements.

Wooden Side Gate Safety

If a home garden’s security has an Achilles’ heel, it is very likely the side gate. Left unlocked, a side gate can easily be used by a burglar to access a home without passers-by or neighbours noticing – especially given that many side gates are concealed by foliage or shadow.

Even when kept locked, side gates can provide burglars with an overly accessible point of entry to the home – not least because these gates are often built with outside-facing timber cross members that intruders can practically use as rungs for climbing up and over the gate.

Therefore, as an installer of wooden side gates, you should think carefully about how to optimise these products’ security and safety. Many customers are likely to favour wood over metal for side gates due to the former material’s charmingly traditional look – but the use of wood in such gates can also have safety implications that you ought to closely heed.

How should a wooden safety gate be designed?

Of course, there is much your customers could be advised to do – or could already be doing – to minimise their garden gate security risk. These customers could be advised against leaving, beside the gate, anything on which would-be burglars would be able to step on to get up and across the gate.

Such potentially troublesome, stepping-stone items include wheelie bins, outdoor furniture or children’s toys. Households should remember to always lock away – or at least chain down – any objects like these when they aren’t being used.

However, if you have been asked to install a new wooden side gate for a customer’s garden, you could also do your bit to help reduce the wooden gate security risk. For example, you could advise the customer to choose a design where the gate’s timber cross members would be fitted on the inside, if this is viable – thereby denying potential climbers one possible foothold.

If you are left with no practical option but to place these cross members on the outside, you could always cover them with panels. You could find that this approach is also to the customer’s aesthetic taste – but they should be consulted on any proposed alterations to the design.

Other smart choices you could make with the side gate’s design

Some customers may be drawn to particular gate designs, such as lattice designs, which would let people outside the garden see through gaps purposefully left across the gate. However, no matter how tasteful those gaps might look, they would naturally hamper the garden’s privacy.

Therefore, to help a customer to create a safe space, you should advise them to go for a solid design. Fortunately, it’s perfectly possible to create a range of beautiful gates that are all physically solid from left to right and top to bottom – and you could showcase these choices to your customers.

It would also be useful for you to offer side gates that passers-by wouldn’t be able to easily peer over to check what’s in the garden. Fortunately, as we can supply both hardwood and softwood side gates in heights of up to eight feet, ticking this particular box should be relatively simple for your company. It can also help families to improve the child safety of their outdoor residential spaces.

A more complex matter, however, is exactly how wide a side gate should be for the sake of bolstering security. Our own side gates are available in widths of up to four feet and six inches – the equivalent of about 1.4 metres. However, as a general rule, an especially security-conscious household should probably think twice about purchasing a side gate larger than roughly a metre.

This is because, if a gate exceeds this width, its hinges could struggle to hold the gate. Hence, the hinges could more easily become something of a weak spot just waiting to be exploited by intruders. If any customer of yours seeks a side gate to fill a gap more than a metre wide, you should encourage that customer to consider ordering a pair of side gates, rather than just one, for that gap.

Ah, yes – the hinges. Should you also be extra-careful which of those you integrate with the side gate? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that, as timber is an organic material naturally prone to movement over time, you should always – where practically possible – equip a wooden side gate with adjustable hook and band hinges.

We offer adjustable band and hook hinges in both stainless steel and galvanised varieties as well as a classy premium black – and you can order these hinges in many different lengths to account for different sizes of garden gate. Once integrated with wooden side gates, these hinges can mitigate the effect of the gates gradually warping and sagging and so not closing or locking as intended.

Why a made-to-measure side gate can also be a secure one

Often, one simple way to give a customer’s garden extra security is to replace an existing side gate altogether. One reason why is that, over time, adverse elements can take their toll on a gate – especially a wooden one that hasn’t been given a suitably thorough, weather-resistant treatment.

Sometimes, weather-induced damage can worsen to the extent that, if long unaddressed, it leaves a gate beyond cost-effective repair. In this situation, a new side gate can be the most efficient solution – particularly as we can design and build a wooden side gate to specialised specifications.

In other words, the gate will be built to slot seamlessly into the space for which it is intended. A poorly-fitting garden gate would constitute a security risk in itself; so, if an already-fitted side gate is a ready-made model, replacing it with a made-to-measure gate could, in any case, provide better protection for the garden.

Keep it locked: how this can be done effectively with a wooden side gate 

While there are various types of side gate lock, many can only be operated from one side of the gate and fall short on the security score. Both of these charges can be laid at the door of the pad bolt – one kind of lock many gates have customarily featured when supplied to customers.

Though a pad bolt can be more effectively secured if fitted with a better-quality padlock, this would arguably be a band-aid solution. Another lock variety available for a garden gate is what is known as a rim lock, which gets its name from its positioning on the gate’s edge – or rim. However, security isn’t a rim lock’s strongest suit, either – as pressure could simply be applied to the lock to snap it.

We recommend that you seriously consider a long throw gate lock – and, more to the point, a double locking one. Anyone looking to open a side gate fitted with this kind of lock would need a suitable key – and the “double locking” part of the equation refers to how it would be possible for the gate to be locked and unlocked from either side of it.

Here at Village Products, we offer a long throw gate lock that you could integrate with a wooden side gate as you assemble it. On our site, it’s easy to order our long throw gate lock product in a thickness of either 50mm (2 inches) or 70mm (2.75 inches); which of these two sizes you should choose will depend on the thickness of the specific side gate to which the lock will be fitted.

Due to its inclusion of a black powder-coated plate and stainless steel cross bolt, you can expect this long throw gate lock to not only outclass many other lock products in strength but also resist rusting. All of this bodes well for the lock’s long-term resilience, including against attempts at vandalism.

How to help customers maintain existing wooden side gates

For their garden gates, many people choose wood over metal on account of the former’s organic look, which can blend in sumptuously with natural and wooded areas. However, there remains the question of how the gate’s wood could be effectively maintained in the long term.

While hardwood side gates are especially renowned for their strength and durability, you can shield both hardwood and softwood gates from any weather conditions – and improve the lifespan of these gates in the process – by applying wood treatments to the gates before they are installed.

If you want to assist a customer in preserving a garden gate currently lacking adjustable hinges, you could either replace the gate’s existing hinges with adjustable ones or resort to a more makeshift solution. For example, you could re-attach the old hinges or install new hinges next to those.

We could provide your company with wood treatments – both base coats and top coats – and gate ironmongery you would be able to stock in your own online retail warehouse.

Taking these steps can give your customer base access to simple-to-use products from high-quality brands. Many customers also have the option of saving money by arranging for their existing side gates to be improved rather than replaced. 

The Impact That Temperature Can Have On Wooden Gates

A gate isn’t just an entryway; it can act as an enchanting visual flourish in your home’s outdoor space, as a way to provide extra security, or as a way to offer more privacy to your outdoor areas. This applies whether the gate is installed as an entrance to your garden or driveway or instead simply as a side gate. It’s not hard, then, to see the particular appeal of a wooden gate.

Wood is a traditional choice of material for gates – not least as, when compared to metal, it can blend in more easily with other fixtures of the garden, such as the existing fencing that is in place. Wood also naturally varies in its grain pattern and knots, thereby ensuring that each wooden gate is truly unique in appearance, which is great for the aesthetic appearance of your home. 

Nonetheless, you could (understandably) be concerned about some stories you have heard about the resilience of wood. You might have heard on the grapevine that wood is vulnerable to swelling, shrinking and splitting – perhaps leading you to perceive wood as a less-than-durable material.

In truth, however, wood can certainly – provided it is carefully maintained – match metal in durability. You could benefit from being particularly aware of how temperatures are able to affect wood and therefore the condition of any wooden gates you get installed at your home.

Strictly speaking, it is not directly the temperature itself that affects wood but instead the humidity of the wider environment. Temperature does, however, remain an influencing factor – and, as a general rule, you can expect your wooden garden gates to grow in summer and shrink in winter

Perhaps the most immediately discernible sign of temperature-induced damage to timber is the emergence of splits in the wood. These arise from the wood drying out in hot weather after being pelted with rain during cold weather, with parts of the wood nearest the surface drying sooner. 

However, as this drying is a natural process, you should be wary of classing these splits as flaws – especially given that they can at least somewhat “heal” and become less visible as the surrounding environment dampens once again.

Why does the size of a wooden gate change in hot weather?

We’re going to introduce you to a few new terms and acronyms now. For a start, wood is hygroscopic; in other words, its MC is affected by the surrounding air’s RH. We’ve just thrown a lot at you there, but MC here stands for moisture content, while RH means relative humidity

As the air surrounding your gate becomes more humid, the wood’s MC will increase – leading the wood itself to expand. Conversely, the opposite will happen as that air’s humidity falls – as, in tandem, the wood’s MC will decrease, resulting in the wood itself physically shrinking.

This relationship between the MC, the RH and the wood’s size is referred to by another acronym: EMC, which stands for Equilibrium Moisture Content. This metric could turn out to be surprisingly useful to you, as it can actually be accurately predicted while the gate itself is being designed. 

It’s worth pointing out that a wooden gate, once installed, can take a while to adapt itself to the local humidity level. However, we can take the EMC into account as we discern how the wood will respond to RH; in other words, whether that wood will shrink or expand.

If a wooden gate has an excessive MC when installed, that gate could go on to shrink well short of its original measurements, leading the wood to develop glaring gaps and cracks. In contrast, if the MC is overly low, the wood could grow – and lead surrounding material to buckle, bow or distort. 

It is in your interest, then, to account for potential fluctuations in your wooden gate when you originally order it. However, rest assured that, if you opt to order this gate from our team, we can consider this risk on your behalf – and help you to make sure your gate is measured accordingly. 

How to measure a wooden garden gate

Buying a ready-made gate runs the risk of it fitting poorly to the opening intended for it in your garden. That gate could, for example, turn out to be awkward in height or width. Unfortunate scenarios like this are why we craft all of our gates bespoke, enabling you to get a gate that fits just right in your outdoor space.

All of our hardwood and softwood garden gates are made to measure – and hand-made by experts thoroughly experienced in getting garden-gate measurements perfect for our customers. This shines a light on how we can help you to take the headache out of deciding what would be the correct size for your own gate. 

For example, we know that the wider your gate, the more it will move once secured. This relationship is directly proportional, too; a gate measuring 14 inches wide will shift twice as much as one spanning just seven inches in width. 

You should also consider that, even if your gate is made up of several glued-up panels, those will still act as one single piece of timber – meaning that you should be sure to carefully consider the gate’s width as a whole. 

One thing we can do to predict how much your finished gate should move is to measure the wood’s MC. Through using a moisture meter, we can measure this MC and factor this information into what measurements we recommend you choose for your gate. 

It’s worth heeding, however, that hardwood garden gates are, compared to softwood alternatives, less prone to wood expansion in heat. This is another factor we can keep in mind once you have signalled to us whether you favour hardwood or softwood for your garden gate. 

The benefits of wooden garden gates

Ultimately, whether you should choose wood or metal for your garden gate will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, wood is an easy sell on account of this material’s natural appearance, which can prevent it from looking out of place alongside trees and foliage.

Wooden garden gates also outclass their metal counterparts in the privacy stakes, as the former will each comprise a consistent panel of wood rather than several smaller panels attached together in a way that leaves subtle gaps in the structure. As a result, it won’t be possible for prying eyes to see right through a wooden gate. 

All in all, you should consider not only which type of gate would look better once installed in your garden but also which type of gate would be more effective in meeting the purpose you intend for it. However, as we have acknowledged, choosing wood does not have to mean sacrificing durability.

You should be careful how you treat wood to preserve its condition – as this would carry different implications to looking after metal. Once you are familiar with the right approach to treating your wooden gates, you would be able to treat them periodically to prevent them from swelling in the heat. 

We highly recommend that you select a base coat and a top coat from the range of Teknos wooden gate treatments we offer. We stock base coats in various shades, including dark oak, light oak, medium oak, mahogany and teak – and you are essentially free to choose whichever one you like.

After you have applied the base coat, you can move onto adding the top coat, which would form a layer of protection on your wooden garden gate without altering how it looks.

The top coat would, however, give this gate an impenetrable defence against swelling and bowing – two examples of physical changes that excessive heat could otherwise cause in your gate. You could also use Teknos wood treatments to protect wooden gates from winter weather.

Shopping with Village Products

We offer wooden gates in a vast range of made-to-measure and common sizes. We can provide you with quality wooden gates aesthetically matching or complementing existing features, such as fence panels and posts, already installed in your property’s garden. 

You can trust us with all of the design and installation work. We are also transparent about our delivery options. If you order any mortice-and-tenon single gates from us, you should allow up to 6 working weeks for dispatch – or up to 8 working weeks in the case of mortice-and-tenon double gates. 

In most instances, once a customer has ordered a treatment product through our website, we will dispatch that item, assuming it is in stock, to that customer’s specified address within 24 hours. The product in question could be one of the Teknos base coats or top coats we have available. 

However, in any case, if there will be any delays in the delivery of your Village Products order, we will notify you and provide you with new estimated times for the dispatch and arrival of your order. 

If you would like to ask us anything about the range of products and services we offer, please get in touch by phoning 01925 967 071. We will respond at the earliest opportunity and can reassure you if you are concerned about how the temperature could impact any gates you order for your garden.

Why You Should Invest In Iroko Hardwood Gates

Here at Village Products, we offer a range of durable hardwood and softwood gates as well as some fantastic, bespoke gate ironmongery and wood treatment options. Our hardwood garden gates, hardwood side gates and hardwood driveway gates come in a selection of different timbers and in today’s blog, we’re going to be focusing on Iroko wood and why it makes a great wooden gate. We’ll look at what Iroko is, the benefits of it and how our seamless wooden gates installation process will have a beautiful new Iroko gate installed in no time.

If you’re based in Warrington or the surrounding areas of St Helens, Widnes, Runcorn or Northwich and are interested in our hardwood garden gates, side gates of driveway gates then be sure to get in touch with the team here at Village Products by phone on 01925 967 071 or online.

What Is Iroko Hardwood?

Iroko hardwood is found on the Iroko tree which is native to the west coast of Africa and can live up to 500 years. A key feature of this wood is that it is tough, dense and extremely durable, hence why we think it is the ideal gate material. Used as a substitute for teak, it ranges from light brown to deep-golden brown in both colour and grain. The resistance strength of Iroko is one of the reasons why it is great for exterior projects like gates, boat making, decking and floorboards.

The interlocked grain inside the wood makes it difficult to work with tools but our team at Village Products are well-versed with this material and will be able to create stunning Iroko gates to your exact requirements.

4 Benefits Of Having Iroko Hardwood Gates Installed By Village Products

  • Incredibly durable – The heavy-duty framework of Iroko gates make them an incredibly good option for the front of your house as driveway gates, side gates or field gates.
  • A unique design – The grain on Iroko wood is unique for every gate that we create. So, once installed your new gate will look unlike any other wooden gate in your local area.
  • Will keep your home secure – Iroko has excellent strength properties so you can rest assured knowing that your new hardwood gate is incredibly secure and will prevent potential break-ins.
  • A great investment – Iroko hardwood gates will last for years and years. If they are well treated and looked after they will add value to your house should you look to sell it in the near future.

Our Iroko Hardwood Gates Installation Process

From the moment you get in touch with the team here at Village Products, we’ll work to understand your hardwood gate needs before creating a bespoke, Iroko hardwood gate that will look stunning on your property because it has been created to your exact specifications.

As we mentioned earlier we also have a range of high-quality gate ironmongery options that can complement your driveway gate, side gate or field gate perfectly and provide that additional layer of security to give you peace of mind. Our team will arrive, with your new gate, and install it quickly causing minimum disruption to your daily life.

Should you need any advice or answers to questions about your Iroko gates, once our team has installed them, we’ll be happy to chat with you.

Contact Village Products

If you’re based in the areas surrounding Warrington such as Newton-le-Willows, Lymm, Leigh or further afield in places such as Altrincham, Knutsford and Sale and are looking to work with a professional company who will deliver and install Iroko hardwood gates then be sure to get in touch with us here at Village Products by phone on 01925 967 071 or contact our team online today!

Village products COVID-19 Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to temporarily reduce staff numbers in our workshop. Therefore, there may be some delays in the manufacture and delivery of your gate. Our current delivery times are as follows:

 

Single gates: up to 8 weeks from order.

Double gates: up to 8 weeks from order.

 

We will keep you updated on your order via email. If you have any questions about your order please email info@villageproducts.co.uk.

How to Termite-Proof Your Wooden Gate

There are lots of reasons to choose wooden gates over metal gates, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems you can run into. Whenever you are dealing with outdoor wooden furniture and structures, you have to consider the potential for termite infestations. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to reduce the risk of termite infestations and to respond to any infestations that do arise.

What Are Termites?

Termites are small insects that demolish wood. They are often mistaken for white ants, owing to their pale appearance. A lone termite isn’t going to cause you much trouble, but when you have a large group of termites, they can work their way through wood at an astonishing rate. By some estimates, a single termite colony can contain as many as three million individual termites.

There are three main types of termite that you need to worry about: damp wood termites, which infest damp and decaying timber; dry wood termites, which are generally found in hardwood forests; and subterranean termites, which are found in a diverse range of habitats. Subterranean termites prefer softer woods but will eat other woods if given the chance.

Signs of Termites

If you regularly inspect your wooden fence, you can identify termite infestations as soon as they happen. If you live near woodlands or forests and you know what type of wood primarily grows there, you can choose your wooden gate accordingly. By choosing a type of wood for your gate that is different from the surrounding trees, you reduce the chances of termites taking an interest.

Aside from the physical damage that termites inflict on wood, there are other tell-tale signs that you have a termite problem. Termite droppings are a sure-fire giveaway, but they can be easily mistaken for sawdust or sand. However, if there’s no reason for there to be any sawdust or sand around your gate, it’s safe to assume that you have termite droppings (or very odd neighbours!).

Termites are intelligent and resourceful. They start on the ground and work their way up wooden structures. If there are other materials that they need to traverse to get at the wood, they will create mud tubes in order to get over it.

Scientific Solutions to Termite-Proof Your Wood

  • Treat your wood

Treating your wood with both a base coat and a top coat will make it all but impenetrable for a termite. Of course, termite resistance is just one of the many benefits of wood treatments for your wooden gate. Wood treatments will also improve the general aesthetics and durability of your wooden gate, regardless of what type of wood it is made from.

  • Use termite-proof paint

Termite-proof paint, as the name suggests, is paint that has been specially formulated to deter termites. This is usually just normal paint that has been mixed with various chemicals that repel or kill termites, preventing them from being able to power through to the wood beneath.

  • Utilise plants

There are a number of plants that are effective at repelling termites that you can position next to your gate, such as catnip or velvet grass. However, if you want to keep your wooden gate protected from all threats, treating the wood is the most effective method.

Which Treatment is Right for Your Wooden Gate?

If you don’t look after your wooden gates, even the sturdiest units aren’t going to last as long as they should. On the other hand, if you look after your wood properly, then your wooden gates can last for years.

Why Should You Treat Your Wooden Gate?

There are two reasons that homeowners should consider treating their wooden gates, as well as any other wooden furniture or structures that are exposed to the elements. Treating a wooden gate will ensure that it lasts as long as possible while also improving its overall aesthetics.

Aesthetics

By applying a base coat to your wooden gate, you can alter the apparent shade and colour of the wood. Wood treatments come in a variety of different shades, each one designed for a different look. Most people simply match the shade of finish to the shade of the gate.

dark oak double driveway gate in between two white brick pillars

Protection

The other reason for applying a finish to wood is to provide it with some degree of protection from weathering and seasonal changes in conditions, which can rapidly age an unprotected gate. A base coat will provide your gate with some level of protection in addition to enhancing its aesthetics, but you should add a top coat if you want your gate to have as much protection as possible.

While smaller gates are easy to replace, large, heavy wooden gates can be relatively expensive to replace if they do degrade or become physically damaged. Adding a base coat and top coat of finish can significantly prolong their lifespan as well as make them look more aesthetically pleasing.

Choosing the Right Colour

We sell Teknos Base Coat in a variety of different shades, ranging from dark oak to teak. Base coats are designed to enhance the look of wood. While they will also provide protection for your gate from the elements, and from other hazards like termites, base coats are formulated to alter the look of wood, whereas the top coat is designed to provide additional protection without affecting the aesthetics.

Most people select a base coat that will leave their gate matching the exterior of their home. For front gates that lead onto driveways or gardens, a finished wooden gate looks more natural than something painted; many people find this a much better look. If you want a natural look, then you should try to match the colour of the finish to the colour of the wood it will be applied to. You don’t want to stray too far from the colour that you picked out for your gates initially.

If you want to seriously alter the appearance of your gates, you are usually better off buying new gates of a different shade.

three by six wooden square blocks together

The Importance of a Top Coat

At first, the top coat might sound like an unnecessary extra. However, it is better to think of the base coat and top coat as being two components of the same product. The base coat does provide protection, but its primary purpose is to affect the appearance. The top coat will solidify your gate’s defences and ensure that nothing is able to get through and damage the structure beneath.

Treating your wooden gates will ensure that they are safe from weather, insects, and any of the other hazards that cause gates to age prematurely. The right treatment will enhance the look of your gates as well as their durability.

Your Guide to Buying Gates Online

At Village Gates, we specialise in wooden gates. From garden gates and side gates to driveway gates, we offer a wide range of gates that are carefully handcrafted by our fine woodworkers and individually tailored to your specifications. Our wooden gates are made using the best materials available and are fully customisable. You can choose what type of timber you want, what design you want, what colour/treatment you want and, of course, what size you want.

We sell all of our wooden gates online. The purpose of our online store is to make it as easy as possible for you to find the perfect gate. Perhaps the idea of buying a gate online, rather than at a physical store, sounds like a risk. But rest assured our service is reliable — we’ve built, sold and installed countless gates to many happy customers over the years. But how does buying a gate from Village Products work exactly? In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how our process works, from choosing the right type of gate to getting the specifications right. If you need help at any time throughout the process, simply use our handy “How To?” button in the top right corner of your screen.

softwood planks

Here’s How Our Wooden Gate Buying Service Works:

For softwood gates, we use Scandinavian Redwood, a high quality, light-coloured timber that maintains its appearance for many years. It stains easily, allowing for a wide range of treatments. However, it will need regular maintenance.

If it’s durability you’re after, we recommend going with hardwood. This hard-wearing gate material will not only outlast softwood, but brings beauty and boldness to the exterior of your home. You can choose between Idigbo and Iroko hardwood, which are both sourced from West Africa and put to use by our fine woodworkers here at Village Products.

  • Choose your style Our wooden gates come in many different sleek designs, including Appleton, Cheshire and Village. Each gate comes with a picture of the design, so you’re able to choose the style that takes your fancy.
  • Choose your size – Calculate your gate sizes and select the width and the height options from the dropdown menu to the nearest inch. You have the option of buying supporting posts for added stability.
  • Choose your ironmongery – Such as hinge kits and locks, which are available in different finishes to suit your new gate. You can also browse our online ironmongery store if you need additional items like bolts, latches and catches.
  • Choose your treatment – Finally, it’s time to decide on a colour. Light You can choose from Light Oak, Medium Oak, Dark Oak, Teak, Mahogany or a free Clear preservative. Treatment is supplied separately in 1litre tins of base coat and top coat for a full finish.

wood types

It’s as easy as that!

After you’ve ordered your gate on our online store, we’ll send you an email confirming all the items and sizes on the order list. We won’t start manufacturing the gate until those sizes have been confirmed, so you can make your order with peace of mind that everything is absolutely spot on. For single gates, allow up to 3 weeks for delivery. For double gates, allow up to 4 weeks for delivery. And for gate hardware, allow up to 5 working days. Village Products are based in Cheshire and can offer to find installation teams for you anywhere within 30 miles of us. So if you’re looking for a gate in Manchester, Chester, Warrington, Birchwood, Stockport or elsewhere in the North West, then look no further than Village Products. We also supply our products nationwide.

If you’re looking to buy a brand new, bespoke wooden gate online, get a free quote here or get in touch with us on 01925 967 071.

Choosing the Right Timber for Your Hardwood Gate

If you’re looking to invest in a new gate for your garden or home, hardwood gates tick all the boxes.

For starters, they look amazing. With their sleek design and striking appearance, hardwood gates add a touch of luxury, elegance and sophistication to your outer premises. Having a hardwood gate in your garden or on your driveway will wow your friends, family and neighbours. Hardwood doesn’t just look good, though. It’s a highly durable and hard-wearing material that can withstand the conditions of good old British weather, from hot summers to harsh winters. Hardwood requires little maintenance compared to other types of wood (and gate materials) and has a long lifespan. Plus, a hardwood gate offers peace of mind. Thanks to its close-boarded design and overall sturdiness, it provides the level of security and privacy you need from a gate, whether it’s a driveway gate, a garden gate or a side gate. A hardwood gate combines aesthetics with practicality and protection!

At Village Products, we use two different types of timber to craft our fantastic range of hardwood gates: Idigbo and Iroko. Both types of wood are sourced from Africa, and both have incredible benefits. But which one’s right for your gate?

 

What is Idigbo Hardwood?

Idigbo hardwood is a West African timber sourced from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Most of our hardwood gates here at Village Products are made from Idigbo timber — and for good reason. Idigbo is incredibly durable. It’s strong, stiff and can take a fair amount of punishment while remaining surprisingly lightweight compared to other types of hardwood. It’s also naturally resistant to moisture, so it requires little treatment and maintenance. Visually, Idigbo has a naturally pale, yellow-to-light brown colour. However, it’s easily stainable, meaning it can be treated in a range of shades and colours — from light to dark — to suit your preference. In fact, Idigbo looks almost identical to oak when stained the same colour, making it a popular and more affordable alternative to oak.

Idigbo is an incredibly easy type of hardwood to work with, by both machine and hand tools, ensuring very clean and fine finishes. In addition to being used to make high-quality, long-lasting hardwood gates, Idigbo is also commonly used for decking, furniture and light construction.

What Is Iroko Hardwood?

Iroko shares many of the same qualities as Idigbo, but with a few differences. Also sourced from the tropical coast of West Africa, Iroko has excellent strength properties. It’s a durable, hard-wearing timber that’s naturally resistant to rot and insect attack, which is why it’s also a popular material for boat builders. Idigbo is a beautiful looking hardwood. Where Idigbo is naturally light in appearance, Iroko can vary from light brown and golden orange to darker nut brown. Its interlocked grain and somewhat irregular shading gives it a unique and striking look. However, Iroko does require a little bit more looking after than Idigbo. If left untreated for more than 12 months, Iroko timber will weather to a silver/grey shade. We recommend using Teknos, our favourite wood treatment option, or Tung Nut Oil, garden furniture oil or Danish Oil to maintain its appearance and overall health.

Due to its exclusivity, Iroko is also slightly more expensive. It costs around 10% more than the Idigbo hardwood we use.

 

Which Timber Is Right For Your Hardwood Gate?

So, which type of timber should you choose for your hardwood gate: Idigbo or Iroko? It really depends on your preference of colour and appearance, how much maintenance you’re prepared to do, and your budget. It’s also worth considering what type of gate you’re getting — a garden gate, a side gate or a driveway gate? — as Iroko tends to be better suited to electric gates.

If you’d like more information about our fantastic range of hardwood gates, simply get in touch with one of our friendly and experienced wooden gate experts on 01925 967 071, or get a free quote here.

Why Wooden Gates Are Better Than Metal Gates

When investing in a new gate for your home, the material of the gate is a big factor to consider. Whether you’re looking to install a garden gate, a driveway gate or a side gate, the two most popular options to choose from are wood and metal.

Both materials have their pros and cons. These largely depend on where the gate is located and what it’s being used for, how it complements the current appearance of your home or garden, and your general preference when it comes to the look and feel of your gate.

 

However, wooden gates offer many advantages over metal gates. We know what you’re thinking: of course you’d say that! But from aesthetics to practicality to affordability, rest assured there are plenty of great (and unbiased) reasons to go with wood over metal when investing in a new gate.

Here are five reasons why wooden gates are better than metal gates.

Better Appearance

A wooden gate adds natural beauty and unique charm to your home. It looks and feels warmer, homelier and more welcoming than a metal gate. A wooden gate blends in especially well with gardens, accentuating the organic elegance of your trees, plants and flowers. A metal gate, on the other hand, can feel cold, unwelcoming and industrial, bringing to mind a high-security penitentiary rather than a pleasant, peaceful home.

At Village Products, we offer a wide range of high-quality, bespoke wooden gates to suit your needs, tastes and budget. Our hardwood gates are made from the finest Idigbo or Iroko wood, which are extremely eye-catching. Our softwood gates are made from high-quality Scandinavian Redwood. With a wide range of paint and stain options to choose from, you can let your creative juices flow when it comes to your new gate.

 

Easier and Cheaper to Look After

When investing in a new gate for your home or garden, you want to make sure that it will stand the test of time. Luckily, our wooden gates are highly durable and hold up in all types of weather and seasons. Through rain or shine, harsh winters or hot summers, our wooden gates won’t degrade. With a little periodic maintenance and treatment, our wooden gates can look as good as new for years after your initial purchase and installation. We recommend using Teknos as a fantastic wood preservative and treatment, allowing you to easily keep your gate looking fantastic for every season.

Metal gates, on the other hand, can be prone to corrosion and end up looking unattractive and rusty. Applying protective paint to metal gates can be particularly tricky and fiddly since you have to ensure that you paint between the bars and into all of the creases of the metal, depending on the design of the gate.

Better Privacy

A big reason people buy a gate is for privacy. A wooden gate is the perfect option for this. Metal gates (particularly those used for driveways) with bars allow people to peek into your private premises, whereas a close-boarded wooden gate completely blocks the view of people walking past your house, offering more privacy. Your children can play in peace while you can store your belongings outside without having to worry about prying eyes of potential burglars or thieves. Better yet, wooden gates still provide the level of security you need, preventing trespassers and criminals from entering your home or garden.

 

Easier to Add, Replace or Replace Fixtures

Another practical advantage that wooden gates have over metal gates is that they’re far more flexible. When it comes to adding, replacing or removing fixtures and features — such as hinges, bolts, latches and locks in a variety of materials — wooden gates are much easier to work with than metal.

More Environmentally Friendly

Wood is a more sustainable material than metal, so for those who care about the environment, wood is definitely the choice for you! A metal gate, on the other hand, requires a large amount of energy consumption to produce them, increasing your carbon footprint.

Large tree on a summers day

If you’re looking for a high-quality wooden gate, look no further than Village Products. Whether you’re after a garden gate, a driveway gate or a side gate, we offer a wide range of wooden gates to suit your needs, tastes and budget. From hardwood to softwood, all of our gates are custom made and handcrafted, ensuring the highest-quality and best fitting.

Get a free quote here or contact us on 01925 967 071.