Instead of swinging in or out, the seamless, virtually invisible gate in this vertical fencing system sinks into the ground within seconds. Designed to take up as little room as possible for tight outdoor spaces, the ‘Fancy Fence’ system aims to streamline accessibility for gated properties, enhancing security without completely blocking views into and out of the fenced-off area. It’s pretty cool to watch the slats disappear into the ground once the gate is activated – just don’t start driving forward too early, while the slats are still partially up!
The system is available in steel posts, HPL sheets and agglomerated quartz slabs, depending on the look you’re going for and the amount of privacy desired. The steel post system in particular is strikingly minimalist, free of horizontal fasteners, available in 24 colors so the slats can be custom-matched to the style of your house or business. The ‘HPL sheets’ are high-pressure laminates, offering the look of wood with added strength and longevity. Agglomerated quartz is an engineered composite material made of crushed stone bound in resin, so it’s lighter than it looks and also comes in a range of colors and textures, including a metallic oxide and patterns resembling marble and slate. All three options can be mixed and matched.
As the gate descends, it’s temporarily stored within a watertight reinforced concrete vault with a drainage pump for stormwater and a load bearing beam. On the surface, the vault is covered with removable plates and a service opening for maintenance purposes. The mechanical parts are protected so they still operate in rain and snow The gate can be opened or closed with the push of a button, but if the power goes out or the system malfunctions, you can access a manual mechanism to operate it. It takes about five seconds for the gate to open or close. In addition to the main gate offering vehicular access, you can install an ‘invisible’ hinged walkway gate that blends into the rest of the fence.
After an initial inspection ensuring there are no tree roots or buried infrastructure in the way, it takes just 24 hours to install the complete Fancy Fence system. And if you’re concerned about safety, since it’s not hard to imagine daredevils attempting to jump over the gate as it’s in motion, the system includes sensors that cast a laser from one side of the gate to the other. If the beam of light is broken, the safety system automatically stops the movement of the gate.
No doubt, the system is unnecessarily complex for the majority of properties, but it’s fun to watch in action, and no fully appointed high-tech smart home would be complete without it. Somewhere out there, somebody with a lair worthy of a Bond villain is whipping out their credit card to add it to their collection of secret features.