If you have arranged to have a set of automatic gates installed by a fence contractor, you may find the following advice to be helpful.

Ask the contractor to fit the gates so that they open inwardly if your property is near a public street or pathway

If there is a public street or pathway in front of your property, then it is best to instruct the fence contractor to fit the gates in such a way that they open inwardly (i.e. towards your property rather than outwards onto the public area). 

The reason for this is that if the gates open out onto the street or pathway, there is a risk that any cyclists or pedestrians who happen to be passing by when you open them could end up colliding with them. If they are hurt during this collision and incur medical expenses or experience a loss of earnings as a result of their injuries, they may try to sue you to obtain financial compensation. This could lead to expensive legal bills and a great deal of stress.

As such, it is best to ensure that the gates open inward so that there is no chance of any member of the public being struck by them when they are opened.

Remove any lighting or decorative features near the entrance to your driveway

Before the fence contractor begins the installation process, you should remove any lighting or decorative features from the area where this item will be positioned. Objects like lawn ornaments, outdoor lamps, benches and other objects near this section of your property may obstruct the movement of the gates and prevent them from fully opening. This could not only potentially prevent you from being able to fit your vehicle past this area but may also result in both the gates and the object obstructing their movement sustaining damage.

As such, if you suspect that there are items near the area where the gates will be installed that are likely to interfere with the gates' movement, these should be removed and stored elsewhere in your garden.

Check the condition of the pillars to which the gates will be attached

Prior to the arrival of the fence contractor, you should check the condition of the brick, metal or wooden pillars that the gates will be mounted on. If these pillars are old and in poor condition, it could be difficult for the contractor to perform the installation.

For example, if the pillars are made from metal and have rusted or if they are made from brick and they have begun to spall, it may not be possible for the contractor to securely mount the gates' hinges to these structures.

As such, it is sensible to check the pillars a week or two before the contractor is due to fit the gate and have any damage you discover addressed before the contractor arrives.