About Timber Movements


We would all love timber to keep it’s look and shape over the years but the truth is, unless looked after, it won’t. Timber moves as the mositure content changes within. This causes timber to shrink or expand.


When the air is humid, moisture is released from the timber and can cause shrinkage. On the same hand, during wetter months, the timber can take more moisture in and cause the timber to expand. Hardwood timber (such as Iroko) is naturally denser than softwood, so is therefore much less likely to expand or shrink compared to pine.


For the majority of our customers, your gate (either in hardwood or softwood) will always remain looking the same. Although the timber could be moving, you will not notice any change to the look or performance of your gate. The reason being is how your gate is constructed. During the manufacturing process, the frame has rebates set within where the cladding sits. As the cladding boards are entered there is a gap (approx thickness of a penny) where each board has the ability to shrink or expand. The gap is within the “V” groove so you can’t see it. It is extremely rare for any of our gates to suffer damage caused by expansion (causing warped boards). It would be more likely to notice actual gaps between the cladding boards.


Looking after your gates is key to all of this. If you have received your gates from us with a stain/ paint already applied it would be wrong to think the gates are going to last with no annual maintenance. The best gates are restained or painted twice a year. We would recommend in Spring and Autumn. This will give the gates the protection it needs to prevent expansion/ contraction and keep the gate looking like new! During this, if the gate has any holes caused by knocks etc, simply use a wood filler and treat. This will prevent water getting in to damaged areas.


It is not the end of the world! Your gate will be OK, you just need to give it some time. If the gate is showing visible gaps between the cladding (or shrinkage) you will need to wait for the boards to expand. If this is during summer, it may take till Autumn for the timber to take enough mositure. Once it has done, stain/ paint the gates (with suitable outdoor wood protection). Allow 24 hours to dry and apply a second coat (unless otherwise stated depending on brand you have chosen).

If the gate has warped then we need to reduce the moisture level in the timber. You can leave the gates to do this naturally or remove the gates and place in a dry, covered area. You may need to add additional screws/ glue to pull the boards back in but this must be when the gate is looking close to normal. Only then can you stain/ paint the gates with two coats.


The better you maintain the gates, the longer they will last. Hardwood is less likely to move over softwood so is easier to maintain. Look after them by treating them twice a year, you will not see any movement and have a great looking gate for many years!


Stunning service from start to finish with text and mail updates on build progress, Then when the gate arrived I was really pleased with the quality of the build. Would buy again.

Stuart Steadman


This is the second gate we have bought from Gates and Fences. We were very happy with the first although the queue at that time was long, they kept in touch all the way until it was delivered as and when promised.

We like the quality and finish of the first so felt quite happy to wait for the second and we were delighted when it was promised and also delivered in a much shorter timespan.

Communication throughout the process was excellent and the care taken to ensure that our order was accurate and contained everything we needed. Well Done!

Stephen Cook


Quality product and excellent service. Very pleased with my new side gate which is solidly built and will clearly last many many years. The ordering process was efficient with clear and helpful responses. I’d definitely use this firm for any future needs.

Lance Pitts


Easy to use website, well followed up with email progress reports as build progressed. Arrived on promised date, friendly crew unloaded gates.
Builder confirmed good quality gates and hinges/fittings also look good. Gates have now been installed and we are very pleased with the way they enhance the kerb appeal of our house.

Harry Richardson


I received regular updates on progress hence able to plan fitting easily (gate is for busy hotel) The gate was well packaged, everything was present and correct. Build was very good, it’s a decent weight and I think it’ll prove solid enough to cope with the use it’ll get for many years.
Visually it’s excellent and has already drawn several admiring comments.
Overall a super service and quality product.

Paul Burrough


Very pleased with my gate purchase worth paying the extra for a quality and sturdy gate.
Made to measure and fits a treat. Communication and update along the way was excellent,never known a business keep you as well informed as Gates and Fences.
Delivery was spot on tracked to my door. Recommend to all and if needed would definitely buy from this firm again.
Many thanks

Gary Rawlings


Very rarely these days do you get great service and a great product.
From initial contact to manufacturing and Subsequent delivery I was kept up to date. Paul Jones was very helpful and patient and gave excellent help re how to size etc prior to ordering.
Installation advice was also invaluable and as a result I purchased the correct fixings and completed the job.
Thank you.

J Graham


Our gate was super. Lovely quality & well made wood & ironwork.
Delivered in testing times & easy to fit !
Couldn’t fault it !

Kevin Hardy


A properly made gate built to last.
The whole experience was excellent, I was helped measuring the opening, discussing the options and finally choosing the right gate. I was kept informed during the UK manufacturing process, order was shipped as arranged, all well packaged. Hanging the gate (on my own) was possible, the instructions could be a little clearer but help is at hand via telephone. After sale service is also first rate. Overall – Very impressed 5 *****

Toby Arnold


From my first phone call to delivery, the information, advice and general communication was excellent. I was firstly advised that there might be a 4-6 week lead-in time but the gates were delivered in 4 weeks from ordering. That is 1st class service. E-mails kept me informed of the start of the manufacturing, to the end of the process of staining, oiling, quality control to delivery date. Well done.

Ron Wallace


An excellent product at a reasonable price. Right from my first enquiry the company was very professional. They helped confirm my calculations for a bespoke size and kept me informed every step of the way. Quoted 5 weeks the our gate arrived in just 3. Product was of good quality and arrived well protected against damage. I found the website very good too. All in all very pleased with our purchase. Andy Boulter

Andy Boulter


Excellent service, easy to follow website for ordering,
kept informed throughout manufacturing and delivery by email. Arrived exactly when they said and well packaged. Definitely use again in the future.

Janet Huntley


From placing our order to receiving the end product the service we received was excellent.The customer service team were very informative and helpful.
The quality of both the gates and fence panels are excellent . They are very well built and the craftsmanship is brilliant . Our order arrived well packaged and on our agreed date. They look fantastic. We are very impressed and would certainly use gates and fences in the future and would be happy to recommend them.
Richard and Julie

Julie Burnett


I ordered a side gate from Gates and Fences as they were one of the few companies that could offer a bespoke gate at a reasonable price. I was very pleased with the quality of the end product, and it arrived well within the advertised turn-around time.

Cheryl Robertson


After completing the on-line order information, the company were very quick to respond and clarify my requirements.They did this by email and it a was a very efficient process. I was updated by email throughout the manufacturing process right up to when the side gate I ordered was delivered. Although I have not installed it yet, it looks magnificent ‘a beast of a gate’, but very good looking. I would highly recommend this company.

David Longley


Need advice? Speak to our friendly team on 0800 6124 965

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