Fencing, once considered a confining barrier and a possible affront to neighbors, has gained popularity in areas where residential and commercial lots are small and close together. Ornamental metal fencing constructed of wrought iron, aluminum or steel provides an attractive option to consider when some separation is desired but total privacy is not required. Fencing of this type can be used in both residential and commercial applications and comes in a variety of styles and finishes. New designs and materials allow homeowners and business owners to add security to their properties without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
The traditional favorite ornamental metal fencing is wrought iron. A wrought iron fence or pool enclosure consists of handmade metal bars that can be fabricated in any size or shape and have as many fanciful details as an owner desires. Initials or decorative elements, such as a fleur de lis or a star, can be added to personalize wrought iron fences and gates. Though often thought of as purely ornamental, wrought iron fences are functional, as well. They are not affected by rot or termites, as wood fences can be; they are easy to maintain with an occasional coat of paint; and many people feel the patina of natural weathering enhances their charm.
One benefit of ornamental metal fencing is that it keeps children and animals in while allowing them to see out. This expanded view adds a feeling of space and openness to a small yard. Ornamental metal fencing also allows people walking or driving by to get a glimpse of the home or business and its landscape features. In addition to the aesthetic value that metal fencing adds, it also adds monetary value to the property it surrounds.
Aluminum is another popular material for decorative fencing. It can be made to resemble the simpler styles of wrought iron fencing, but it costs less and does not rust. These qualities make it a practical choice for rainy climates or swimming pool enclosures. The lighter weight of aluminum makes installation easier, which may further reduce the cost. Aluminum fences come in traditional and contemporary styles for home or business use.
Another practical material for ornamental metal fencing is steel, which looks and feels like iron but, like aluminum, does not easily rust. Steel fences are stronger than aluminum fences, but they cost less. All components of a steel fence are dipped in zinc and finished with a powder coating for durability and ease of care. Manufacturer’s warranties of 20 years are common. Styles with a traditional or contemporary look are available; however, steel fences tend to be more clean-lined and lack the extravagant ornamentation of wrought iron.