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Choice of timber

All our wooden gates and garage doors are designed for their attractively pleasing looks but especially to give years of service.   Their durability depends upon the structural components but most particularly on the integrity of the joints and this is even most important where automation is to be installed. The timbers we select meet all these criteria so your choice will largely depend upon your budget and the finish required, i.e. left untreated and allowed to weather naturally, painted, stained or oiled.

It should be noted that timbers are affected by climatic conditions and especially under the influence of UV-light, wind and moisture.

Iroko Chlorophora excelsa is a hard wearing tropical West African hardwood, naturally resistant to decay and attack by insects making it suitable for exterior joinery. It has excellent strength properties comparing well with Teak and many of the desirable features of Oak but is a cheaper alternative to European oak. Natural chemicals in the timber give it a slightly ‘oily’ surface. Iroko has a high durability rating making it extremely durable outdoors and treatments are mainly for cosmetic purposes. Iroko is often used for unpainted joinery. Golden orange to nut brown, weathers to silver grey patina within about a year if left untreated. Iroko could have a service life of 25 years or more.

Can be painted. Stained or oiled. Weight approx 630/660 kg/m3. Very Durable

SapeleEntandrophragma cylindricum is a reddish brown hardwood from Western & Central African rain forests. A commonly used tropical hardwood suitable for exterior use with an interlocking grain. Harder than Mahogany and in its resistance to indentation, bending strength, stiffness and to shock loads. It is practically equal with English/European oak although cheaper and less durable than Iroko or Oak. The end grains are porous and can make it more susceptible to movement but this can be offset with adjustable hinges. Sapele’s reddish brown colour which make very attractive gates and finishes well.

Especially suited to painting or stained to a mahogany or dark brown. Weight approx 620 kg/m3. Moderate hardness and weight. Moderately durable

European oak, Quercus petraea / robur hardwood, (Kiln Dried) is one of the most durable timbers, hard, heavy and very durable for exterior use. Light tan to biscuit with silver grey figure. Oak can be naturally prone to surface checking, shakes and splitting but this does not generally affect the integrity of the gates or doors and this in itself cannot be regarded as a manufacturing defect.  Oak can be treated with oil with UV filters to preserve its blond appearance or can be left untreated and will gradually fade, initially black as the natural oils are released and thento a silver gray portraying the characteristic charm. It is one of the most expensive hardwoods and should not be painted. Stainless steel fittings should be used. Weight approx 670/720 kg/m3. Very durable.

Air Dried Oak should be oiled to keep the moisture in thus preserving the drying process.

Idigbo (Emeri Hardwood) Terminalia ivorensis from West & Central Africa. Yellowish brown to light brown colour with the grain straight to slightly irregular and a medium to fairly coarse texture. with a straight to slightly irregular grain or interlocked. Its medium weight and outstanding durability make it particularly suited for Up & Over garage doors. It has excellent strength properties, being as strong and stiff as English Oak in bending, although considerably softer and less resistant to shock loads. Looks similar to Oak when treated and reacts well to finishing. Weight approx 540/560 kg/m3. Moderately durable.

DOUGLAS FIR Pseudotsuga menziesii, named after Scottish botanist David Douglas a coniferous wood but is moderately durable, moderately hard and clear from knots and defects. Originally native to western North America, they belong to some of the highest growing trees in the world. In their native environment they can grow to between 50 and 75m high, some occasionally as high as 90m. The sapwood and heartwood are quite different in colour: the sapwood in yellowish to reddish-white, fresh heartwood yellowish-brown to reddish-yellow in colour and darkens quickly to a brown-red to dark-red colour. The darker colouring often has a similar appearance to larch. The wood of the Douglas fir is medium-weight and, in comparison to other coniferous woods, fairly hard. The wood is very stiff and strong for its weight, and is also among the hardest and heaviest softwoods. It is subject to low shrinkage and has good stability. It is strong and elastic. The wood is also resistant against fungal and insect infestation and exhibits good natural durability when exposed to the elements. Accepts stains and finishes well. Weight approx 510 kg/m3

CEDAR Western Redcedar. Thuja plicata is not a true Cedar, but is called so in the timber trade and derives from North West of North America on the Pacific coast. The Native American Indians used the timber to make their totem poles, and monoxyla canoes, (up to 38m). Moderately durable but soft, Western Red Cedar is one of the world’s most unique softwood species, renowned for its natural beauty and durability. This exceptional wood has rich tones ranging from mellow ambers, to reddish cinnamons turning silver brown with age. Its texture is uniform and fine-grained, with a satin lustre. Western Red Cedar is an incredibly durable timber that’s perfect for the outdoors as it has a very high resistance to decay and is resistant to warping, twisting and checking.

One of the lightest softwoods available Light weight and soft timber contributes to low strength properties. Western red cedar will remain dimensionally stable under most weather conditions and is not prone to shrinkage or swelling. Due to its versatility, it can be used for both internal and external applications such as cladding, linings, joinery, windows and roofing shingles. Its low density offers very good thermal insulation and acoustic properties. Natural preservatives provide resistance to fungus and insect attack.

Needs to be fully seasoned in service prior to paint or stain being applied. This timber is not kiln dried. Weightapprox 390kg/m3.

Accoya® is one of the latest high technology advances in timber. The Accoya process takes sustainably sourced, fast growing softwoods and treats these in a non toxic process that ‘enables nature’ to create a durable and stable product with good environmental credentials. Its performance has been extensively researched over eight decades and shown properties that exceed those of the world’s best woods and yet it is manufactured by modifying wood sourced from well-managed sustainable forest without the introduction of toxins. The chemical structure of the wood is modified from the surface to the core, providing a class leading durable and exceptionally stable product.

We use Accoya® wood for tongue and groove boards used in tough weather conditions with extensive exposure to wet or damp environments such as for boat houses, doors or garage in sea facing locations. Good thermal insulation - 40% improvement in thermal efficiency compared to hardwoods.Minimal shrinking or swelling. Highly suitable for painting or staining.

Ironmongery: As with Oak, the standard recommendation is for good quality stainless steel* components to avoid corrosion.


MEDITE TRICOYA MDF is a revolutionary board which is extremely durable giving improved dimensional stability with excellent reliability properties resulting from advanced technology made possible by wood acetylation process combined with the manufacturing technology of Medite MDF. It is long lasting, has enhanced dimensional stability and more durable than oak, making it perfect for outdoor use in harsh climatic environments. It offers high strength, light weight and good insulation enabling it to be used in situations and applications where normal MDF panels cannot.

Medite Tricoya is also made using a high performance resin which is also zero added formaldehyde.


Opepe (Nauclea diderrichii) grows widely in West Africa a and is a very large tree reaching some 50 metres in height. The sapwood is whitish to pale yellow with orange or yellow heartwood which darkens on exposure to a deep gold or orange. The texture is course and the grain frequently interlocked, producing a striped figure. It is lustrous, very hard and moderately heavy. It is an exceptionally strong timber, very durable and very resistant to decay and good resistance to marine borers. Opepe is exceptionally strong timber, particularly suitable for exterior heavy construction purposes such as harbour work, piles, marinework and jetty decking. It is a good flooring timber and is used for both exterior and interior joinery.

It is a difficult timber to impregnate with liquids. Not regarded as a timber that requires treatment. There is small movement in service. Moderately resistant to preservative treatment.

Weight approx 740 kg/m3. Very Durable.