Ornamental Fence Materials
There are many issues to consider when it comes to making a decision in terms of what type of material your ornamental fence will be constructed with. If there is very little activity around the property line where the fence will be installed, a good American made aluminum fence will most likely suit your need just fine. However, many homeowners and property managers fail to consider one very important issue when making their decision: Aluminum fence panels are almost always only 6’ wide because they are not strong enough to be manufactured any longer. This requires purchasing more ornamental posts and digging more post holes than steel fence panels which are typically 8’ wide. Even at 8’ wide, ornamental steel fence panels are have 4 times the strength of aluminum fence panels.
Why do people by aluminum fence? First of all, it’s all you can find at the local big box store. People think, “well if that’s all there is, that’s all there is.” The consumer is just looking for a decorative metal fence and just doesn’t know about the galvanized steel alternative that does not cost much more. The big box home improvement stores sell aluminum fence exclusively for the same reason they sell all their products. Because it’s cheap and they make the most margin on it.
Ornamental steel fencing has the benefits of a wrought iron look without the maintenance. The vast majority of locally fabricated wrought iron fence is not galvanized and will often begin to show surface rust in a matter of months. Painting even a small fence run of 40 lineal feet of iron fence every few years is no fun and requires a good deal of time and money.
Even more than the rust issue, adjustability or rack-ability is the primary advantage of steel fence vs wrought iron fence. Most domestically manufactured, prefabricated ornamental steel fence panels are adjustable to follow the grade of the land. The typical steel fence panel is installed 2” off the ground, and remains 2” off the ground throughout the entire fence system. A 2” gap is just enough ground clearance to get a weed whacker under the fence if installed on grass.
For the reasons above, ornamental steel fence is the most specified type of ornamental fence by architects and planners for projects that require strength and longevity. Such projects include: Corporate headquarters, airports, universities, housing authorities, courthouses, police stations, churches, hospitals, parking lots and public parks.