Aluminum Vs. Wrought Iron Fencing: Which To Choose?

When it comes to choosing a fence for your yard, design plays a major role in your decision. For many, the preferred design is that of wrought iron rail fences. Nowadays, there is a second choice that gives you a similar look – aluminum rail fencing. The following guide can help you decide whether to install the traditional iron or the look-alike aluminum.

Cost is a factor

Aluminum fences generally cost less than wrought iron, simply because the cost of the metal and the labor involved in the casting process is less. If you can find wrought iron for a similar cost as aluminum, this may not be a concern since the installation is similar for both types of fences, resulting in a comparable labor cost.

There are maintenance concerns

Overall, wrought iron will require much more maintenance than aluminum. Aluminum doesn't rust, and the color is applied using a heat process so it rarely flakes or fades. Wrought iron will eventually flake and need repainted. If rust occurs, the area will need to be carefully sanded and sealed against further rust before it is repainted. If you want an install it then forget it fence, aluminum is your better option.

Design matters

Both aluminum and wrought iron fences are available in a range of designs, including custom designs made to your specific orders. Some people do prefer the heavier look of wrought iron, though. Wrought iron usually has cylindrical pickets, while aluminum may have square due to a different cast process. Both can have decorative finials or curlicues added, so overall both can be forged to match your design preferences. For this reason, you shouldn't base your decision solely on looks.

Durability is a concern

When it comes to withstanding age and weathering, aluminum is the clear winner since – as mentioned above – it doesn't rust. Where it may not stand up is to trauma. Wrought iron is overall a stronger material that is less likely to dent or bend if it is hit by a heavy object, such as a car or falling tree. It isn't immune to bending, though, just more resistant than aluminum. If this is a concern, you may want to go with wrought iron.

Weight issues

Generally, weight isn't an issue for the main fence but it can be an issue if there is a gate attached to the fence. This is usually the case with automatic or moving gates, usually at the base of a driveway. In this case, a lightweight gate is preferable so it doesn't stress the opening mechanisms. For this reason, you may want to go with the aluminum option if you are installing an automatic gate on the fence.

For more information, contact Affordable Fence & Screen or a similar company.