An aluminum fence is unsurpassed when it comes to strength, beauty and durability. It can be custom designed and powder coated, with any color, to give your fence beauty and elegance. Aluminum fence is the king of fences, hands down. It will however cost you a bit more.
Manufacturing Aluminum Fence
It all starts in an Aluminum plant where the furnace melts and shapes molten aluminum into hollow pipes, angles, brackets, sheets etc. Aluminum fabricating companies like Ideal Aluminum, Ameristar, etc buy these raw materials and shapes them into the panels of your fence or gate. Once the structure is ready, the powder coating begins. The structure is passed through, what looks like a car wash. This is actually where the powder coating process begins (instead of paint). The process is completed when the aluminum fence panels are baked in an oven and then a cooled. Many larger manufacturers like Ideal Aluminum provide limited lifetime warranty on their products. They have set the industry standard for quality aluminum fence products.
Now let’s get into the details about aluminum fence pickets, rails, posts and panels. There is no industry standard or a naming convention when it comes to naming the different styles of aluminum fences. So we will try to give dimensions instead of names or we could give both.
Aluminum Fence Tips
If you plan on purchasing an aluminum fence, it is probably a good idea to do a little planning. Study the landscape of your property and make verify that the surface is level. If it is not level you may have to step the panels of your fence. If the pickets on an aluminum fence panel are welded together and not screwed, then installing such a fence on an uneven ground will create a stepping effect from panel to panel. So for uneven ground, it is best to have pickets screwed to the rails and post so that they can be aligned and racked to give the fence line an even look.
The strength of the metal frame depends on the quality of the aluminum and its thickness. Most of the manufacturers follow some basic industry standard by grading their products into three:
The residential being the thinnest and industrial being the toughest.
Aluminum Fence Color
Although aluminum fence can be powder coated with any color, when custom ordered, but the most frequently ordered colors are, Black, White, Bronze and Hunter Green.
Aluminum Fence Size
The residential grade panels are generally 6ft wide x 5ft high with 1/2″ pickets and 1″ rail. Commercial and industrial grade aluminum fence will vary a little from manufacturer to manufacturer. Usually with panels taller than 6ft and wider than 6ft and with 1/2″ pickets and 1 1/2″ rails.
Gates and Aluminum Fence
It is possible to build all kinds of ornamental gates with aluminum. You can custom order any design gate to enhance or match the accent of your home or building. Some of the manufacturers, who fabricate aluminum gates, also build steel gates, if the need was to arise. The manufacturers usually stock or have a catalog of design to choose from. But with aluminum, you can design your own gates and have it custom ordered. Pickets and rails in a gate are usually welded together to make it more impact resistant. You definitely do not want to have a gate with pickets and rails screwed or riveted on. It must be welded.
Aluminum Gate Types
There are three main types of gates
- Single Swing
- Double Swing
- Slide Gate
- Estate Gate
Each estate gate is designed and engineered for every application. Every estate gate is fully welded with heavy framework to eliminate deflection and sagging. The manufacturers also provide walk gate to match the fence style. Walk gates usually have the same look and style as the fence itself. They might just be welded instead of screwed on or riveted. All welded frame allows for strength and durability while not compromising the look. In addition to the standard walk gates you can design your walk gate with an arched top, rings, finials, and scrolls to accent your entrance.