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I have a big driveway area in the back of the house. It spans the entire width of the property (40’). I can access the driveway via a common alley that leads to the back of all the neighbor's houses. There's a fence on each side of the driveway. (Here's rough diagram)

          | (40' wide) |
          | My         |
 Neighbor | Driveway   | Neighbor
-----------            ---------------
     Alley (20’ wide)
--------------------------------------

I want to put in a gate that will allow me to enter the driveway from the left AND the right side. I basically want to drive cars in and out without having to move the other car. (The purpose of the gate/fence is for security and for privacy)

The driveway leads to my garage and is flushed to the right… almost at the right property line. Ideally I would be able to pull in straight into the garage.

I don't want a swinging gate b/c swinging in or swinging out is not a desired solution. I think my best bet is a sliding gate.

I would like to avoid the puzzle of moving cars around to get a particular one out.

I've seen these sliding gate configurations: (A) A 20' sliding gate...the other 20' is just a stationary fence. The sliding gate slides behind the fence. (B) A telescoping sliding gate. The gate opening can be ~75% of the width of the driveway. There are multiple panels that slides behind a stationary fence. (C) ... other options?

How can I configure a sliding gate that will allow me to enter from either the left AND right side of the driveway.

UPDATE Is there such a thing as a rollup garage door that is used for outdoor purposes? Anything that looks good too?

Can I have double sliding gates/panels that’s kind of like double sliding closet doors. Both panels can slide all the way left and also all the way right? What is this kind of gate called?

Accepted answer/solution (Thank you for all of the amazing ideas.) This gate configuration will achieve what I need. Two 20’ sliding gates with a post in the middle. Each gate is on a floor track. There’s a post/guide in the middle of the driveway span. The gates can side all the way left or all the way right. This way I can enter/exit from either side of the driveway without having to juggle cars.

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  • why is swinging not an option?
    – Jasen
    Dec 25, 2022 at 10:59
  • 1
    I'm guiess possibly it's used as a parking area,
    – Jasen
    Dec 25, 2022 at 11:17
  • I don't understand why you'd require an exceptionally wide gate to be able to enter from either the left or the right. What difference does the width of the gate make? It's either wide enough to enter, or it's not...
    – brhans
    Dec 25, 2022 at 15:15
  • @brhans OP does not say, but a narrow(8 or 10ft) ally with a large truck might need the extra room. If only a car it does not make as much sense.
    – crip659
    Dec 25, 2022 at 15:59
  • 2
    Please clarify why you need an opening spanning the whole 40ft (that sounds more than enough to park four cars side by side). Is the alley perhaps too narrow to turn the corners as already suggested? (If so, you don't really need the gate to open all the way to the corners, do you?) How wide is the alley? (If it was at least 10ft wide, you could have two halves each composed of two 10ft wide panels folding out.)
    – TooTea
    Dec 25, 2022 at 20:34

6 Answers 6

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A pannelised or flexible sliding gate is going to need a track both below and above the gate, so long as you have room (and permission) to put the track in at an apropriate height, it's probably a custom build too.

Another option is to build a facade, and install a generic roller door (either mesh or solid) on the back of it.

Another option could be to install two 20' gates and - then you can open either side. (but there will be a post in the middle)

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  • Can you elaborate on the facade solution? I can’t picture it.
    – milesmeow
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:48
  • picture a garage with a roll-up door (that rolls up onto a spool above and behind the lintel), delete the back 90% of the garage.
    – Jasen
    Dec 25, 2022 at 19:26
  • I'm thinking the post in the middle with two 20' sliding gates...that both can slide all the way left and all the way right is the solution.
    – milesmeow
    Dec 27, 2022 at 7:43
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A pair of arm gates that raise and lower, ( Like at a railroad crossing) Could work, if the goal is to prevent vehicles from coming in. @ milesmeow, can you tell us your goal, so as to get more accurate answers.

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Best idea I've got, if you just want to discourage others from parking in your driveway, is a "vehicles will be towed" sign.

Or stringing a chain or rope across the opening. It won't stop dogs or kids, and it won't be pretty, but it should suffice to discourage drivers. (Actually, there probably is some way to make it pretty. I'm visualizing something like the "icicle light" strings often seen at roof edges around this time of year, or weaving plastic vines and flowers into it, or fish nets and buoys and anchors, or something like that.)

Or maybe a roll of chainlink, with support poles every 8-10 feet. You would probably need some additional hardware to keep it from sagging, and to let you unhook and rebook it easily.

I don't actually like any of these ideas except the no-parking sign. Which I admit wouldn't do much to constrain toddlers or dogs, but my other ideas wouldn't either.

Interesting set of constraints. Unless you can convince the neighbors to let you slide the fence onto their property I'm really not convinced there is a good answer as posed.

...Going outside the box: open only one side, but park cars across the property behind the fixed fence? You'd have to play unstacking games, but many households with more cars than driveway width do so. That would let you use your sliding fence, opening only from one side.

(A row of killer robots programmed to step out of the way and resume their position?)

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  • Where do you get the idea that the OP wants to discourage parking?
    – brhans
    Dec 25, 2022 at 16:18
  • Just guessing at reasons why I might bother to put a fence across the front of my property. Cars, kids, and parking are the only ones that come to mind. Of those three, parking is the only one that I can come up with possible solutions for
    – keshlam
    Dec 25, 2022 at 16:43
  • Also, if the goal wasn't parking, a small swinging gate at each end of the fence would be a much simpler solution
    – keshlam
    Dec 25, 2022 at 16:46
  • Good ideas. Funny enough when I first moved in, I did have to tell my neighbors to stop parking in my driveway. He works on old cars and he always had extra cars that he needed to park. LOL
    – milesmeow
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:38
  • You’re right that one of the goals is to avoid playing the stacking game.
    – milesmeow
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:39
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Depending on your needs, something like a Texas cattle gate might work.

A sliding gate will need both of your neighbours permission if for the 40 feet. If you get new neighbours might have problems if they do not want the gate on their land.

A Texas cattle gate does not need to be high(1 to 6ft) so will not take up as much room as a swinging gate or needs your neighbours permission to use their land.

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  • I did some searching and it seems like a Texas Cattle gate is basically a swinging gate. That solution won’t work.
    – milesmeow
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:36
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    @milesmeow It is usually a gate made of steel pipes laid over a ditch, so cows won't cross, but you can drive over. Can make a swinging one, but it will pivot down instead of to the side. The pivots/hinges will be at the bottom, instead of at the side.
    – crip659
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:56
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You need two sliding gates.

|                                   |
|                                   |
|                                   |
|aaaaaaaaaaa →→→→→→→→→→→            |
|            ←←←←←←←←←←← bbbbbbbbbbb|
|           XXXXXXXXXXXXX           |

+--- 4.0 ---+--- 4.0 ---+--- 4.0 ---+

ps The scale on the horizontal direction is different from the scale in the vertical direction.

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Any sliding gate will have to slide - somewhere. So unless it can slide onto neighbours' land it'll be a lot less than 40' wide. Why you need a 40' wide gate isn't revealed - it should be included in your question.

20' seems to me to be more than enough for any vehicle - if it goes on the road, it can't be more than 8' or so, I think. Even with a turn off a 20' wide road, a truck/trailer would manage.

So, a sliding 20' gate on the garage side, sliding the remaining 20' behind a 20' wall would do the job, surely? That gives a straight run into the garage, and is the widest gate that slides - the place it slides into needs to be the same width as the gate itself, logically. Putting the gate anywhere else across would mean one with less width. Although one could always use the 'dead' space behind the wall for unencumbered parking - most vehicles are less than 20' long.

More info. would make this a better question to answer, though.

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