Ornamental fences have been used for many years contributing to the architectural beauty many buildings. In the past ornamental fencing was made from wrought iron and forged by blacksmiths but today things have changed, modern materials being used instead and current production techniques. Different components are made from materials like steel or aluminum using fasteners, locking rods or even welding.
Ornamental fencing can be used as a way of protection but you have to know exactly the height of the fence, the picket spacing, the fence style and even the material components.
Applications for residential areas
Ornamental fencing can be used for different objectives like keeping pets or children in an area which is safe for them and away from pools or other dangerous places. There can be local building codes that require you a certain height or product features for your fence.
- The standard height for residential fences is somewhere between 3’ and 6’ high.
- There can be no problem in designing the fences with pickets above the top rail or if you want with the top rail over the tops of the pickets.
Applications for commercial and industrial areas
Security is a top priority for business installations. This is why fences should be:
- Over 6’ high.
- In different styles and with rail configurations and picket tops to prevent illegal access.
Ornamental fencing is often made from steel components which are welded or assembled so that it can resist to different kinds of weather, climbing children, abuse from vehicles or power equipment. Even if steel is a widely used material, people are finding aluminum as a convenient alternative for their fence. Even if it’s not as rigid as steel, aluminum is much better when it comes to corrosion and requires low maintenance. The following are three types of materials used for ornamental fencing:
- Welded steel – The steel components are non-galvanized and in order to form a section, they are welded one by one. After the welding, the section will be primed and painted. When the sections are done, they are welded to the posts and finally the parts of the weld are covered with primer and paint. It’s possible for the welded parts to get some rust but that’s not a problem because with a wire brush and some paint, everything can be solved. Instead of galvanized steel, it would be much better to use polyester powder coated finish for the panels and keep the welding to a minimum at the work site. Welded systems are produced by many small shops and because of this it would be better to look twice at the warranty and reputation of the manufacturer.
- Systems with assembled components – The major producers on the market make this kind of systems. After the steel components come out from the machines, they are covered with a polyester-coat finish. When this part of the process is done, the components will be put together into sections using drive rivets or retaining rods. These sections will be then attached to the posts with brackets lowering the risk of rust. There are manufacturers which prefer to assemble the panel first and only then apply the polyester powder coat finish.
- Aluminum ornamental systems – The aluminum components have the same manufacturing process like the steel components. When the process is done, they are powder-coated and put together in sections using screws. These sections will be attached to the posts using brackets or holes. In areas where environments are harsh or corrosive chemicals are used, aluminum is the best material for ornamental systems.
Before buying the material for the fence, it’s better to think how much time you will invest in maintenance so that you can know what is the best choice for you .
- Welded and painted steel – It has the highest requirements for maintenance. Every one or two years you’ll need to brush the fence and re-apply the paint, depending very much on the color you have chosen.
- Systems with assembled components – They are covered with tough powder-coats that help to prevent red rust problems. These systems come with a warranty of at least 10 years that covers problems in materials and workmanship. Because of this you’ll have no routine maintenance to perform during this period.
- Aluminum ornamental systems – A warranty is available for these systems but it’s limited to the lifetime of the coating.
Using ornamental fencing you’ll have the possibility of an individualized installation for your architectural design. Style can be improved with rings or finials becoming an expression of your tastes.
It’s the core piece of the entire fence and because it’s moving it can be susceptible to sagging, sticking or slipping out of alignment. The gates which are professionally engineered will perform proper operations and have all the security conditions.
- Gates can be made so that they match your ornamental fencing.
- Different projects will say that the gate needs to distinguish from the rest of the fence and others will require that it blends with the ornamental fencing.
- Electric systems can be used for easy access.
- Codes for swimming pool fencing say that gates should be self-closing so that they protect the children.
Picket, post and rail sizes
The sizes of these three components will be important for the strength of the fence. If larger pickets, posts or rails are combined, the fence can be more stable and a lot more secure. On the other hand, the size of these will also increase the prices so a middle way would be to balance these considerations.