Three Grades of Aluminum Fence Panels: Which is Best for You?

Aluminum fence panels are incredibly flexible. You can choose from three grades of fencing: residential, commercial and industrial. Examine all three and determine which is best for your application.

residential-railing-great-fenceIndustrial-Commercial-Fence-Great-Fence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential, Commercial, Industrial: What’s the Difference?

Selecting the best aluminum fencing is not difficult. At its simplest, you will select a fence based on your application. You’ll typically select residential fencing for a home or a light commercial installation. For a business with higher traffic, choose the commercial type. If you need serious security, you can buy industrial fence panels. Here is a closer look at each type.

Residential fence panels come in 5’, 6’ and 7’ widths with heights of 36”, 42”, 48”, 54”, 60” and 72”. Most residential fence panels have pickets spaced 3-13/16” apart; Styles 7 and 8 have double pickets, which means they’re spaced 1-5/8” apart. Residential fence panels are great for your backyard, garden or swimming pool. Note that pool fencing is subject to safety regulations that vary by jurisdiction.

You can get commercial fence panels in widths of 5’, 6’, 7’ and 8’, and like residential panels, they come in heights of 36”, 42”, 48”, 54”, 60” and 72”. The difference is in the pickets and the rails, which are larger than you get in a residential fence. The pickets are spaced the same except in Styles 7 and 8, in which case they are spaced slightly tighter than on a residential fence panel at 1-1/2”. Commercial aluminum fence panels contain 20 percent more metal than competing brands for additional strength and endurance.

Industrial fencing panels come in 6’, 7’ and 8’ widths, with heights in even feet from 4’ through 10’. Pickets are spaced at 3-11/16”, which is slightly closer than in residential and commercial panels, and at 1-1/2” in Styles 7 and 8. These are the heaviest fence panels for ultimate strength and security. Use industrial fence panels for schools, shopping centers, hospitals, storage facilities, and other high-traffic applications. You can select outward-facing spears for even more security.

A Host of Options

You can customize all our fences for looks and additional security features. It is possible to order any fence panel in a variety of colors and finishes. Choose gold, bronze, white, black, hunter green, or sandstone with a gloss finish, or opt for white, bronze, khaki or black in a satin finish. Color is applied in a powder coat that will not fade, chip or crack.

Add finials to top each picket. You can also add decorative rings to some fence panels or large scrolls.

You can include solar post lights on 2″ x 2″ posts and 2.5″ x 2.5″ posts. These add a soft glow to fence posts at night. Post ball caps add a distinctive touch to your fence. These are available in the same colors and finishes as our fencing panels. Like the fence panels, post ball caps are rust-free and made in the United States.

We can also supply fencing with a dog panel at the bottom. A dog panel is fabricated into the fence panel. This adds a rail and has pickets spaced at about 1-1/2”.

These are just some of the options available on our aluminum fence panels. Shop our site for more great ideas.

Protecting Your Facility with Curved Security Fencing

For increased security, purchase curved security fencing. This fence has pickets protruding at a steep outward angle to thwart potential invaders.

If you’re looking for enhanced security, you should consider ordering industrial fencing with curved pickets. You can purchase aluminum industrial security fence panels at heights from 7 feet up to 10 feet in increments of 1 foot.

security-fence-install

The Basics

Industrial security fence panels and gates provide that additional level of security that some customers desire. It protects your property from all but the most determined individuals. The top of the fence features pressed spears protruding outward at a 51-degree angle. It’s not easy to climb over that! At the same time, the fence still looks good, unlike unsightly fences that are topped with barbed wire.

You can order industrial security fence panels at heights from 7 feet to 10 feet in 1-foot increments. A standard installation has vertical pickets spaced 3-5/8” apart. For even greater security and more privacy, you can get close spacing, which is 1-1/2” apart.

These fence panels feature four horizontal rails, two of which are placed low and two of which are up high. They measure 1-5/8” on a side, with 0.10” sidewalls and 0.07” top walls. Vertical pickets are 1” square with a 0.062” wall. The fence is made from high-strength 6005-T5 aluminum alloy with a minimum strength of 35,000 psi.

Options

While the standard panel is 6 feet wide, you can also order 7-foot-wide panels in any standard height or 8-foot-wide panels with a 7-foot height only. Like all of our fences, these industrial fencing panels come in a variety of nine combinations of colors and finishes. We apply color to these fence panels using a powder coating process that provides an exceptionally durable finish.

You can add a beautiful accent to your security fence with optional rings of distinction. We add these ornamental rings between the two top rails of your fence.

Stairs or slopes on your property are not a problem. Industrial aluminum curved picket fence panels come in three configurations to accommodate almost any terrain. Order standard panels for relatively flat terrain. You can order rackable panels for slopes up to 30 degrees and heavy rackable panels for very steep inclines. Feel free to contact us if you’re not sure what to order for your property.

Gates and Locks

Your gate can be as secure as your fencing. Order industrial aluminum curved picket single- or double-swing gates for entryways.

Single-swing gates are available in various widths from 36” to 84”. Order double-swing gates for entryways from 6’ to 14’ wide. You can select gates in the same colors and finishes as our industrial fence panels.

Two styles of hinges are available. You will need one pair for each gate, which means you must purchase two pairs for a double-swing gate. The Tru-Close hinge has an internal stainless steel spring that makes it self-closing. This hinge has adjustable tension to vary the speed at which it closes. It is made from reinforced polymer and is self-lubricating. It won’t rust, bind or sag, and it eliminates the need for an external gate closer. You can buy the Tru-Close hinge in either black or white. The heavy-duty gate hinge will swing in either direction. We recommend this hinge for heavier / wider gates, including single gates over 6’ and double gates wider than 12’. This hinge comes in the same colors and finishes as our fence panels.

Installing a DIY Aluminum Pool Fence

Aluminum-fence-around-pool

A DIY aluminum swimming pool fence makes your pool area safer, protects your property, and looks great. You can save money by doing it yourself.

There are several good reasons to install an aluminum pool fence, and if you’re remotely handy, consider installing it yourself. An aluminum DIY pool fence looks great and can save you a lot of money. Aluminum is strong, and it’s much lighter than competing materials.

There is one more reason to secure your pool with aluminum fencing: it looks great! You can choose from a variety of fence styles, add ornamental touches if you like, and select from a number of colors and finishes.

Rules, Regulations and Safety

Your community might issue requirements for pool fences. Check with your local government before moving ahead with a pool fence. If you have a homeowners’ association, they might have something to say about this, especially when it comes to styles and colors.

Many communities follow the pool fence code issued by the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA). The fence and gate for a pool must be 48” high or more. Horizontal rails must be 45” apart, and pickets should be spaced at intervals of less than 4”. The clearance between the bottom rail and the ground should be less than 4”. Gate latches must be high enough from the ground that children can’t reach them. BOCA code sets this at 54”. The code calls for self-closing, self-locking gates that open away from the pool.

For your self locking gate, you need to purchase a Magna Latch gate lock for its self-latching feature. The lock is high up, beyond the top of the fence, where it’s secure from small hands. The Magna Latch is key-lockable as well, and it remains locked even under force. You also need to install a self-closing gate hinge. This hinge is spring-loaded, and you can use it with both single and double gates. It’s easy to install and make an initial adjustment. This hinge won’t stain, sag or rust.  You, or whomever is installing your gate, can decide on-site which way the gate swings.

Working with Aluminum Fence Panels

Aluminum is great for a DIY pool fence. Thanks to its light weight, it is easy to carry around and maneuver during installation. Aluminum is very strong. It doesn’t rust or corrode. Unlike some other materials, aluminum doesn’t require upkeep – just install it and forget it. Aluminum stands up well to temperature extremes, neither becoming brittle and breaking in cold weather nor suffering when it gets hot outside.  For salty climates, it is recommended that you wash down the fence once a year with water from a hose.

Pool Fence Styles

Several fence styles are available for pools. Style 3 has a smooth top rail. It’s rackable for use on slopes or with stairs.

Style 9 has a smooth top and, at 54 inches in height, is the most popular pool fence/gate style. The pickets extend to the top rail. The bottom rail extends flush to the bottom of the pickets. This style can be customized with ornamental rings running under the top rail. This fence is rackable for slopes and stairs.

Style 10 also has a smooth top, with a bottom rail running flush to the bottom of the vertical pickets. This style is heavy rackable, which means you can use it for steeper slopes and even stairs.

Buying and Installing an Aluminum Fence is Easy

Easy-installation-and-maintenance

It is not that hard to install an aluminum fence. You’ll save money, and your fence will require virtually no maintenance.
If you’re remotely handy around the house, you should seriously consider installing your own aluminum fence. You’ll find the aluminum fence cost to be generally quite competitive, and once installed, you can forget about it because it will virtually take care of itself.

Should You Install Your Fence Yourself?

The vast majority of our customers install their fences themselves, and it is the first experience installing a fence for most of them. Unlike some other types of fences, aluminum fence panels and gates are designed for self-installation. There is no need for a crew of carpenters and laborers to trundle about heavy materials and build a fence from scratch.

Start with the installation manual that is available on our website. This provides all the information you need to prepare to install your aluminum fence. If you have questions, just call us for support. We recommend self-installation if you have someone who can assist you. If you would prefer not to do it, you should be able to hire a handyman in your area to do the work. Once you’ve determined the required materials, you can calculate your aluminum fence cost and place your order.

Posts

Post installation is one of the biggest tasks in installing an aluminum fence. You need to dig holes and cement the posts into place. Order our welded plates if you need to mount your fence to a surface such as a deck or porch. The post product pages on our website indicate the post lengths needed for various fence panel heights. You’ll need holes of at least 6” diameter for posts up to 2.5” square and at least 8” for posts from 3” to 4” square. The amount of cement you use will depend on the hole depth and diameter. The cement bag should have a chart to help you determine this.

You may need to terminate a fence at a wall or column, or perhaps you want to use your own wood posts. You can purchase straight mounts or horizontal swivel mounts for these purposes, and we even have vertical swivel mounts for stairs and slopes. These mounts are also useful if you’re connecting aluminum fence panels of various heights or if you’re racking panels in a sloped installation.

Gate and Fence Installation

It is best to install gates before fencing panels. Set your posts and then attach the gate. After that, you can start to mount the fence panels. Set your gate so you have about ¾” of space between the gate and the post.  (Larger gates using our heavy duty hinge require more spacing.)  This ensures proper gate operation. Check the spacing carefully before determining the location of any gate holes. Position the hinges and drill the holes, and then fasten the gate using the provided screws.

Once the posts are set, you will insert the fence panel in the slot in each post. Use the included self-tap screws to make the connections through posts and horizontal rails. Check for proper alignment at least after installing every four sections. You may have to cut a section with a hacksaw if you don’t need an entire 6’ section of fencing. In this case, you must cut a notch to make the connection with the post.

That’s it in a nutshell. Take some time to study the installation manual and you should be able to easily install your aluminum fence.

Latches, Hinges and Wheels for a Driveway Gate

Aluminum-Driveway-Gate

Driveway gates offer security and look great at the same time. You can use various latches, hinges and wheels for easier operation of your gate.

Adding aluminum driveway gates can keep unwanted vehicles and people outside your property where they belong. You can use various hardware items to aid in their operation.

Hinges

You can purchase various types of hinges for your gate depending on your needs. A double gate up to 12 feet wide comes with two standard gate hinges. This hinge allows for about ¾” of space between the gate post and the upright. Double-swing gates wider than 12 feet require a heavy-duty gate hinge.

The heavy-duty hinge is made in America from aluminum. You can get this hinge with powder-coated color to match the color of your gate. It comes complete with receivers, a J-bolt, a plate and bushings. This hinge is easy to install and it allows your gate to swing in either direction. The hinge carries a lifetime warranty.  The Heavy Duty Gate Hinge is operator friendly and recommended for single swing gates 7 feet wide or wider and double swing drive gates 14 feet wide and wider.

A self-closing hinge will automatically close after you pass through it. This hinge is not recommended for automated gates. The self-closing hinge has adjustable tension. It is made from molded, reinforced polymer, which means it will never corrode or rust. It is UV-stabilized and self-lubricating. There’s nothing like its convenient and reliable operation, and a self-closing hinge eliminates the need for a spring closer. The hinge won’t sag, bind or stain. It’s easy to install and carries a limited lifetime warranty.

Latches

You can use a number of types of latches depending on your requirements. The Lokklatch is a general-purpose latch that can be used with all-aluminum driveway gates. This key-lockable latch is made from durable polymer with a stainless-steel tongue. The Lokklatch eliminates unsightly padlocks and has a limited lifetime warranty.  The LokkLatch is key-lockable from one side of the gate.

The Lokklatch Deluxe requires a key for either entry or exit, adding another layer of security. This is a perfect solution for security-minded individuals and businesses that want to secure their perimeters. The Lokklatch Deluxe has a detachable polymer push rod and includes a fitting jig.  As an option, you can obtain multiple units that are keyed alike. This highly polished latch will not rust.  This lock is key-lockable from both sides of the gate.

The Lokklatch Magnetic is an elegant solution to securing your gate. This latch has concealed fasteners to enhance your gate’s beauty. It is vertically and horizontally adjustable to account for any ground movement or sagging. The latch’s ergonomically designed handle operates by pulling and turning it 45 degrees. The gate has dual six-pin re-keyable locks, eliminating the need to carry around a jumble of keys for different gates. The magnetic latching mechanism doesn’t jam, which is something that can occur with mechanical latches. The latch will close even in the locked position, and it fits both left- and right-hinged gates.

Gate Wheel

A gate wheel supports a larger, heavier gate as it opens and closes. The wheel has a stainless steel spring and bracket. The wheel itself is made from sturdy polyurethane and travels well even on rough surfaces. It is swivel-mounted for smooth operation. and attaches at both sides with included stainless steel screws for extra strength. You can easily flip it around depending on which way a gate opens. The assembly is powder-coated for a durable finish in either black or white.

Installing an Aluminum Pool Fence During Cold Months

Pool-Winter-Months

If you install an aluminum fence around your pool while it’s cold outside, you’ll be ready to enjoy your pool in safety when the weather turns warm.

Winter is a great time to build an aluminum pool fence. When warm weather finally arrives, your pool and its users will be safe and secure. It’s easy to install an aluminum fence. The materials are light, strong and easy to maneuver.

A pool fence gives you two levels of security. It provides security for your pool and its users, and it also prevents children and pets from entering the area and possibly drowning.

Restrictions and Regulations

Many communities have specific requirements for pool fences. Be sure to consult with your local building codes before planning your project. You should also check with your homeowners’ association if you have one to ensure that you comply with all regulations.

Pool fences are subject to the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) code. An aluminum fence and gate must be at least 48” high. Horizontal rails are required to be 45” apart. Picket spacing should be less than 4”. The bottom rail must be less than 4” from the ground, while gate latches must be 54” or higher off of the ground. Gates should be self-closing and self-locking, and they must open away from the pool.

Benefits of Aluminum Fence Panels

Aluminum is a wonderful material for a pool fence. It is lightweight and easy to maneuver during installation. This means it is easy to install yourself, which can save you a lot of money. Aluminum is a strong and highly durable material that is impervious to corrosion. It doesn’t become brittle and breakable when the weather turns cold, yet it manages to remain sturdy at hotter temperatures.

Safety Features

When mounting an aluminum pool fence, you can add features that provide extra protection for small children. A Magna Latch gate lock is a self-latching device that extends past the top of the fence where kids can’t reach. You can lock it with a key if desired, and there is no way to force it open. A self-closing gate hinge is spring-loaded to automatically close both single and double gates. It’s a snap to install and adjust. This hinge will not rust, nor will it stain or sag.

Fence Styles for Swimming Pools

You can choose from several styles for your pool fence. These panels all have pickets spaced at 3-13/16”.

Style 3 has a smooth top. It has three rails with the bottom flush to the ground. The pickets have alternating heights for a staggered effect. You can add a dog panel to this design, which adds a rail and has pickets spaced tighter to keep dogs out of the pool area. You should order this style with a height of 54” or higher. This fence is rackable for hills and stairs.

Style 9 has a smooth top with uniform picket heights that run flush to the top of the fence. The bottom rail is flush to the ground. You can add a dog panel to this fence. Ornamental rings that are placed at the top of the fence are also available. This fence is rackable for hills and stairs.

Style 10 has a smooth top and a bottom flush to the surface. It is heavy rackable for sharply sloped areas.

Dog Panel Option not allowed

The dog panel / puppy pickets which is an optional decorative item should not be added to your panels or gates enclosing a swimming pool because it does not comply with BOCA.  The added short pickets would essentially allow a child to use the panel or gate as a ladder and get into the pool area unaccompanied by an adult.

An In-Depth Look at the Finial

Finials add a great look to aluminum fences. The finial has existed for a long time, first gaining prominence 1,400 years ago in Asia.
Finials can add an extra shot of style to your aluminum fence, but looking good is not their only function. When you cap off your pickets with finials, you’re extending a tradition of at least 14 centuries. In addition to looking good, finials add extra security to your aluminum fence.

Black-Finials
The Ongoing History of the Finial

Broadly speaking, a finial is an ornamental fixture that can cap off various structures, including fences. You can even spot them on flagpoles and curtain rods.

The finial has come and gone many times over its long history. It first appeared prominently around 711 A.D. as part of the Asian structure known as a pagoda. This is a building with an odd number of floors that is built around a staircase. You will find a central finial at the very top of the building and smaller finials decorating the eaves. Finials evolved to take various forms consonant with the Buddhist religion. They also served as lightning rods. Finials were common in Renaissance and Gothic architecture, where they were used to provide weight to maintain the alignment of buttresses.

Finials appeared on American furniture during the Queen Anne period in the early 1700s, at which time they frequently took the shapes of urns and flames. They were usually found on taller pieces of furniture, such as bookcases, bedposts and clocks. These were commonly made from wood, although more precious materials such as ivory and brass were also found. They fell out of fashion around the beginning of the 19th century. Finials are becoming more popular again on items such as curtain rods and lamps. They come in a multitude of styles and are often found on lamps, where they have the function of securing the lampshade to the base.

Pineapples have long been depicted in finials. The fruit was only served on special occasions in colonial times. Bedposts were often topped with pineapple shapes as a symbol of hospitality. Pineapples were also associated with seafarers, as captains were known to spear pineapples on porch railings.

The fleur-de-lis, or flower of the lily, was a symbol of French royalty, starting with its inclusion on the shield of Louis VII. Kings of England also used the fleur-de-lis. With its three petals, the fleur-de-lis is also associated with the Holy Trinity of the Catholic Church.

Finials for Your Aluminum Fence

Finials add an attractive touch to aluminum fences and gates. Their dimensions vary by the type of fencing in question. Residential finials measure 5/8” on each side, while commercial finials are ¾” square and industrial finials are 1” on each side. Their heights vary between 4-1/4” and 4-3/8”. You can include finials on fence styles 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8. Finials for aluminum fences are made from heavy aluminum. They are powder-coated for a long-lasting finish.

A pressed spear finial resembles an arrowhead with indentations on each side. With its pointed tip, this finial adds a layer of security against fence hoppers. The type A finial is narrow and pointed with a round top. Type B finials have a fleur-de-lis shape, and a flat cap finial bears a simple rectangular shape with a more contemporary look.

Powder-Coated Aluminum Fencing Holds Up to Damp, Unseasonable Weather

Damp-weather-fenceHot-weather-fence

 

 

 

 

 

 

A powder-coated aluminum fence offers a variety of colors and will stand up to unseasonably warm and damp weather.

Communities throughout the Midwest, East and South have seen temperature records shattered as unseasonably warm, moist weather has prevailed in the approach to Christmas. Wood fencing can succumb over time to fence rot from moisture in humid locales, but this is not an issue with aluminum fencing. This is particularly true of powder-coated aluminum fences, which perform noticeably better than their painted counterparts.

Powder-coated fencing comes in a variety of colors and finishes. Glossy finishes can be found in sandstone, hunter green, black, white, bronze and gold, for example, while flat finishes come in natural colors such as bronze, khaki, black and white. The advantage to all these powder-coated finishes is in their superior resistance to weather. In particular, powder-coated finishes resist corrosion, offering ratings of at least 7 on scribe or cut edges and minimum blister ratings of 8 by the ASTM D 1654 standard.

Powder Coating: The Basics

Powder coating is the application of multiple layers of color as a dry, free-flowing powder. The powder is applied by an electrostatic process and is then heat-cured to form a smooth, strong skin over the aluminum fencing.

Powder coating adheres to aluminum better than other types of coatings. It is essentially immune to rusting, even when subjected to extreme cold or brutal heat. It will maintain its color and finish even against salt and humidity.

Besides its practical and esthetic advantages, powder coating is more beneficial to the environment. Less energy is used in the powder coating process compared to other coatings. In addition, waste materials from powder coating can be recycled or disposed of in a way that is not harmful to the environment.

Powder coating is also less harmful to the people who apply it. Liquid spray paints can emit carcinogens during application, which is not the case with powder coating. In addition, liquid paint necessitates the use of a solvent to maintain binders and fillers in liquid form. Solvents can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can endanger both workers and the environment, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Powder coating is dry during application, which means it emits far less of these materials.

What to Look for in a Powder-Coated Fence

Several parameters identify the key properties of a powder-coated aluminum fence.

The paint film thickness is a basic indicator of quality and durability. Look for a dry film thickness of at least 0.8 mils.

Specular gloss is a measure of shininess or how well the material reflects light. Low gloss measures 19 or less, medium gloss is 20-79, and high gloss is 80 or more.

Dry film hardness measures resistance to permanent deformation. An ASTM score of H is typical. Look for a score of F to indicate a more durable level of hardness.

Adhesion indicates how well a coating adheres to the surface. There should be no failure when measuring dry, wet and boiling water adhesion. The coating should see no removal of film from the substrate due to impact. A good benchmark for abrasion resistance is an abrasion coefficient of at least 20.

A coating should not blister when it is exposed to chemicals such as window cleaners or detergents. A superior coating will show very few blisters after 3,000 hours of exposure to humidity and salt spray.