Metal Gates and Railings - How to Measure guidlines – Bespoke Gates And Railings

How to Measure

Width Meaurements:

If you have any doubts about measuring the gap where you wish your railings and or gate to be positioned then ask a builder to do an accurate measrement for you.

Please be as accurate as you can in measuring the gaps you wish us to provide railings and gates for. Steel railings are not forgiving and there is little room for adjustment if the measurements you provide to us are wrong.

Whether the gap you wish to fill is 2 metres to 20 metres please provide measurement of the gap to us to the nearest milimetre (mm).

For shorter gaps we recommend you provide three measures, for example between 2 posts.

If the gap is a long distance then one measure will be sufficient. It is best to do all measures with one person holding each end of the measure tape.

Take your tape measure and ensure it is level along its length and not kinked or buckled in any way.If bushes or other obstructions are in the way and force you to curve the measure around them that will not be good enough, this will not provide an accurate measure. The measure tape must be straight and do not guess to make up for any instance where the measure cannot be held straight.

Provide the nearest mm measure, being "close enough" is not a good measure and may cause your railings to not fit the gap being either too long or too short and there is little play in adjusting the railings to fit. Some good careful time on this measure is your part to ensuring you will be satisfied.


WARNING ! - The client must not use a cloth or plastic measure device or any other device other than a metal tape measure or  other accurate measuring device. Plastic and cloth material measures are used for short or for rough not accurate measures as the measure can stretch and therefore provide an inaccurate measure that can be inaccurate to many cm's over a longer distance and can make the installation of your steel structures compromised or even impossible.


Height Measurements:

Be careful to consider the coping (caps on wall posts) as in the image of the two pillars above. The overhang needs to be considered so please measure how far the coping overhangs the area you are measuring.

if you do not wish your railings to be as high as the coping then the coping will not be an issue, however consider any post tops or crooks that you may have requested in a design as they will be higher than your railing and are of course usually fitted to the posts at the ends of your railing run or gate and may cause an issue on installation if they meet with or take the same space as the coping/wall cap or other obstruction.



We need to know the measurements as above for each of your railing runs. A "run" is a section of railing between any two main start and end points. For example the image below shows 4 runs. However a run can also be different sections of railing between a start and end point where the nature of the railing length needs to vary, for example the first 3 metres may be on level ground and then the next 3 metres on sloping ground requring stepped or raked railings, forming two railing styles and therefore two runs.



Measures of gaps and posts requirements:

We need to know some easy to communicate details about the environment the railings or gate are to be installed into. A picture is a good idea. We need to see if the railings or gate is to be installed between an existing gap between two pillars or walled sections or perhaps there is no walls to fix to. We need to know if you wish to have a pillar located by a wall to install a railing panel onto or if you wish for a steel post to be positioned by a wall and the railing panel connected to the post. See the image below where one the right side the railing section is connected directly to a pillar and the left side the railing is connected to a post.

Reasons for having a post connection and not connection directly to a wall may be for legal reasons to do with planning perhaps if your building is listed and or perhaps a pillar cannot be used as a gas mains may run alongside the wall underground where a pillar would be located. Or the pillar may be further out from the wall for this reason.

From the pictures, measures and information you provide to us we can discuss the method you wish the railings or gates to be connected and installed and ensure that the correct numnber of end posts and intermediary posts are provided with the correct fittings for your installation.

A consultation with a builder on how best to secure your railings in position will determine what you advise us to create for you.

If the railings are to be fitted ontop of a wall or gate and or railings to be fitted to a surface that is not secure and is crumbling or not sturdy then please consult a builder. if you secure railings or a gate directly to a wall then consider that in the instance of a gate that is in use the side that supports the weight of the gate needs to be very solid and secure, otherwise the gate will start to pull away from the wall it is connected to. For this reason we do not advise the weight bearing side of a gate is connected to anything but a steel post that is secured to the ground. Railing panels can however be connected direct to a wall but it is your responsibioity to ensure with the help/advice of your builder that the railing panel can be safely and properly secured to a given wall or other surface. Otherwise a post is advised.


Uneven ground:

Please advise if the ground the railings or gate to be fitted to is even or uneven. A gate for example needs to be able to open free of obstruction. If the ground is not level then the ground will need to be prepared to as level to enable a gate to be opened. If that is not possibke then the gap below the gate needs to be adjusted to account for the uneven ground, however a large gap can look strange and allow pets out and small keen people in so defeating any security intenions. Again consult with a builder.

Advise us of any uneven ground also for railings. We leave an 80mm gap at the bottom of our railing sections. However that can be reduced if you are confident the ground is totally flat along the railing run, usually to the minimum bottom gap of 50mm (5cm). If the ground is not dead level then please either ensure your ground is level or let us know where in a given railing run the ground may vary.

Get s spirit level to the ground and carefully consider the ground, you maybe very suprised to find your ground that looks level is not level at all !

Level and accurate ground information is important for surface mounted posts fixed to solid ground through plates fitted to the bottom of steel posts and bolted to the ground.

Posts cemented in place where around 30% of the post height is secured in concrete underground may give more room for adjustment of the posts as they are fixed in position and also potentially more room for error also. Either way the adjustment of height can be adjusted to some small extent to allow for uneven ground.


Sloping ground:

Please let is know if a railing run in full or in part is to be installed on sloping ground. if straght railings are installed down hill they wont look right and may not fix to intermediary and or end posts in that railing run.

For sloping gorund we can provide either stepped sections of railings or raked railings, see the examples below:


Stepped Railing Panels, examples (above).

Raked Railing panles (above).

For such slopes we need to know the degree of angle of slope and your preference to stepped or raked railings. Stepped railings will need the slope to broken into horizontal sections long enough for a post and railing panel and may therefore need a builder or landscaper to work the ground to ensure it is stepped or put in place a stepped section of secure walling. Or the ground may need to be worked to be of a constant angle so that a set of raked railings can be created to fit between posts.