Ornamental Metal Fence
With the exception of customized wrought-iron fencing available from specialty manufacturers, the metal-fencing market is now almost completely occupied by tubular steel and aluminum products. These fences are available in many styles (often mimicking classic wrought-iron designs) and prices. High-quality brands are virtually maintenance free.
Tubular metal fences offer an attractive alternative to forged iron. In the right setting they look sophisticated and ornate—from a distance some even look like ornamental iron.
Most installation packages include assembled infill sections (in 4- to 8-foot widths), posts, flanges, and the fittings to put them all together. Some systems are designed to accept rails in holes punched in the posts. Others are fixed with brackets mounted to the posts—a stronger method of mounting. Pre assembled panels require bay-by-bay installation and setting of posts. Order the material and wait for delivery before you begin laying out your fence line.
If you need to shorten a section to fit a narrow area, cut the infill first. Then cut the rails to length, making sure you have the same amount of material on both ends of the panel. If you’re fencing a steep slope and want the fence to follow the slope, make sure the style you’re purchasing can be racked (forced out of square) to follow the slope. If not you can install straight sections in a step-down design.
HOW TO USE ORNAMENTAL METAL FENCES
- Defining spaces: excellent; these fences set boundaries in style
- Security: very good if the fence is high enough and the infill spacing is narrow
- Privacy: poor; open infill provides very little privacy
- Creating comfort zones: poor; open infill does not filter wind or sunlight
You can hardly beat chain link for a long-lasting, almost maintenance-free fence. It is a great choice whether you need to keep kids or pets contained within a yard, to stop youngsters from wandering into a swimming pool, or just to define your property line in a no-frills, utilitarian way.
Constructing a chain-link fence is rather simple. You can fence in a moderately sized yard in a couple of weekends, and you’ll find all the tools at your local fence supplier.
Most residential applications will call for a 4-, 5-, or 6-foot fence. These are standard heights for chain-link mesh (also called the fabric), but you can order heights of 10 feet or more. The mesh is woven from 6-gauge to 11-gauge galvanized steel (6-gauge is thicker and thus stronger), and you can also find vinyl-coated fencing in a variety of colors. Vinyl sleeves are available for the posts, so you can color-coordinate your entire installation. Black or dark green vinyl coatings blend well with most landscapes (and may make the fence seem to disappear). Choose the mesh size to meet your needs—larger is cheaper, but smaller is harder to climb. Mesh 1 inches or smaller is recommended for swimming pool fences unless you insert wood or plastic slats into the fence.
Wood-slat inserts stained to resemble redwood make chain link an attractive backdrop for vines. Plastic and metal inserts also come in a wide selection of colors. One variety makes the mesh look like a closely cropped hedge.