(Photo credit: http://www.usinenouvelle.com/expo/portals-alu-renaissan-p6731.html)
When living in a detached house, the portal sign the architecture of the place. It welcomes the visitor while limiting access to the property.
The portal gives the first impression that one has places. It is often the main entrance of the dwelling. It is useful, but it should not neglect its decorative aspect to highlight the house. The portal can be full or perforated, swinging or sliding, in different materials adapted to the climate.
Shapes and colors
The portal can be straight, biased up or down, convex, concave, cocked hat, curved, etc … these models are suitable for traditional constructions. The more straightforward and refined portals will be particularly suitable for contemporary constructions.
In wood or iron, the gate will require regular maintenance while other materials such as PVC will be easier to maintain.
Regarding shapes and colors, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Attention all the same, there are regulatory constraints, as for fences, which are subject to municipal or residential regulation constraints. It is often necessary to make a preliminary declaration of works. For this, you can refer to the PLU (Local Urban Plan) of your municipality.
There are a multitude of different portals, both in terms of shapes and colors. You can also add decorative elements such as scrolls, cabochons, etc …
The function of the portal
The height, the shape of your occulting portal or openwork, are also to be taken into consideration. Indeed, a full portal ensures privacy and protection. Conversely, a perforated portal clears the view and decompartmentalizes the space.
Other portals exist with blackout and openwork high parts: They protect children and animals. A height of 1.50 m to 1.70 m will be enough to protect you from the eyes. Higher heights will provide greater protection against intrusion.
Steel gates are the least expensive. Prices range from 450 to 2500 €. Aluminum gates from 600 to 3500 €, PVC from 600 to 2700 € and wooden gates from 800 to 3200 €. (approximate prices).
The prices of custom portals are obviously higher.
The location of the portal
(Photo: “Rambouillet” steel gate, Prestige range, € 1,229 pre-painted black, € 1,579 anticorrosion treated, + € 350 or € 490 lacquered at the factory, Lapeyre)
If the gate opens on a sidewalk, the choice will be directed to interior swinging leaves or a sliding gate. The leaves open inwards or outwards, but they must not encroach on public roads. The sliding gate imposes a lateral clearance of a length at least equal to the distance between pillars. For the sliding gate, there is an additional cost of about 30% more than for a swing gate.
Adapt your gate to climatic conditions
The choice of material is important for the longevity of your portal. In some areas, such as the seaside, aluminum or PVC should be preferred. The first is unalterable and stainless and the second is waterproof, rot-proof and maintenance-free. As for lacquering, make sure it resists salt air. For windy areas, wood or steel or wrought iron will do just fine. For wood, it will be necessary to take care to choose a hard wood, or which does not deform, or even exotic woods.
(Photo: Sliding gate “Sillage” mounted on a guide rail on the ground is in thermo-lacquered aluminum Clodelys)
The motorized portal
If you want to bring maximum comfort, you can opt for a motorization system of your portal. The openings and closures can be controlled from the inside as well as from the outside with wall controls or with remotes.
The mechanisms will be different depending on the opening, size and weight of the gate. It will therefore be necessary to be vigilant on the mechanism to adopt during a motorization.
Finally, there are 230 V power supplies, creating a trench between two pillars, with a low voltage in 12 V and 24 V thanks to a transformer integrated into the control box. If you prefer solar, you will not need cables between your house and your gate.
(Photo: This swing gate automation is powered by a 20W solar panel mounted on a mast, it works even in low sunlight and avoids any trench between the house and the gate 495 € “MJU07X” Daitem)