A Host of Reasons for Choosing Aluminum Fence Panels

Reasons to choose fencing

You can build a fence from a host of materials, including wood, wrought iron and steel. Why should you choose aluminum? Let’s drill down a bit on that topic. We think you’ll come away convinced.

Aluminum doesn’t rust or corrode like other metals, and it doesn’t require periodic treatments like wood does. On top of that, colors are applied by a powder coating process and stand up to punishment. We sell fences in nine colors and two finishes.

Wrought iron looks good, but it’s costly and prone to rust.  Steel is also subject to rust and corrosion.  Both wrought iron and steel are heavy, which makes them hard to install, especially on your own.

Aluminum Fences Are Safe and Secure

You can buy a GreatFence.com aluminum panel fence that meets the BOCA code for pool enclosures.  You can order aluminum fence panels with dog panels at the bottom to prevent pets from passing through. For ultimate security, order industrial aluminum fence panels with curved pickets. The pickets face outward, thwarting potential intruders.

Aluminum Fences Are Versatile

Our standard posts are pre-punched for quick and easy fence connection, but you can order blank posts with metal mounts for certain application needs like angles and pivoted fence panels. This allows you to rack fence panels to match slopes, hills and stairs. We can also supply the hardware to attach a fence to a structure. Our corner posts are pre-punched on adjacent sides to easily make a right angle.

Curves and sharp angles are no problem. You can place fence panels at shallow angles with prepunched line posts. Our swivel mounts enable you to form almost any angle to accommodate irregular shapes on your property.  This is done be mounting 2 panels to 2 sides of the post at an angle.

You can install an aluminum panel fence with posts set in holes in the earth with concrete.  For decks, porches and similar applications, simply purchase our deck mounts or welded plated posts and you can bolt the fence to a flat surface.

We sell aluminum fence panels in three grades. Residential aluminum fence panels are perfect for your home or pool. Commercial aluminum fence panels are made with more metal and larger members to withstand higher traffic. Industrial aluminum fence panels are even heavier and offer the ultimate security.

GreatFence.com offers a variety of gates to match your aluminum fence. We sell single and double gates in all grades, up to 28 feet wide.

It’s Easy to Order and Install Our Aluminum Fence Panels

You can order aluminum fence panels online from GreatFence.com, or call us and we will take your order over the phone. We ship most orders within 2-1/2 weeks, although certain items may take a week longer due to fabrication time. We don’t import our fence panels or gates. We fabricate all of them in our Michigan factory.

Nine out of ten of our residential customers install their own fences. You can also hire someone to install your fence. Our system makes it easy for a handy person to install our aluminum panel fences. Our downloadable Installation Manual explains the entire process.

If you run into any problems or have any questions at all, just phone us at 888-379-1312 for quick and courteous service. We don’t just sell fences – we sell solutions, and we are here to help you. We are also available online through our contact page.

Choosing Aluminum Fence Panels for Your Business

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It’s hard to beat an aluminum fence for toughness and durability. That’s why you should strongly consider commercial aluminum fence panels for your business. Commercial aluminum fencing is sturdier than residential fence panels, and it stands up better in high-traffic areas.

Aluminum Fencing for Security

You can build a fence for your commercial application from a variety of materials. Aluminum is one of the best for several reasons.

It’s hard for an intruder to gain a foothold on an aluminum fencing panel, regardless of the grade. With pickets spaced at intervals smaller than 4 inches, it’s difficult to climb over a commercial fence panel. Regardless of the style you choose, these panels have few horizontal rails that a person can use to climb over the top. Compare this to a chain-link fence, which offers a host of footholds.

For enhanced security, add a security mesh to your commercial fence panels and gates. This is factory-welded to a sturdy frame that you can bolt to the fence. No one will be climbing this fence!

For the ultimate in security, choose industrial aluminum fence panels with curved pickets. The top of each picket opens outward at a 51-degree angle to thwart even the most determined fence climber. Industrial aluminum fence panels are also sturdier than residential or commercial fence panels because they’re made with the most metal. You can select industrial fence panels in heights of up to ten feet.

Wicked Pickets

You can add security to your fence with double pickets. Styles 7 and 8 both boast this feature. With double pickets, even the most dogged climber will fail to gain a foothold. These tightly spaced pickets also keep out most small animals. You can also add a dog panel to your fence. This is fabricated right into the fence at the factory. The dog panel option adds a rail near the fence’s bottom, and between the rail and the bottom are double pickets that Fido can’t penetrate.

Another way to add security is to choose a fence style with spear tops. No one wants to climb a fence only to discover sharp spears at the top that can poke and prod. Spear tops look good, too, unlike the unsightly barbed wire that crowns some commercial and industrial fences.

Installing and Maintaining Aluminum Fence Panels

Commercial aluminum fence panels just make sense from a business perspective. They’re simple to install and are light and easy to maneuver. They require no welding on-site. You can easily trim panels for width.

Fence posts are pre-punched for most applications, so you can quickly and easily insert and set the fence panels into the posts.  You can configure a fence to fit almost any angle through the use of horizontal swivel mounts. Slopes and stairs are no problem, either using vertical swivel mounts.

Aluminum fence panels require virtually no maintenance. Colors are applied with a powder coating process that stands up to punishment. The panels will never rust, unlike wrought iron or chain links. You don’t need to periodically paint, stain or otherwise coat aluminum fence panels as you would with a wooden fence. Simply put, aluminum just makes sense.

Why Choose Aluminum Fence Panels for Your DIY Project?

DIY (do it yourself) fence

There are many fencing options on the market, including aluminum, vinyl, steel, wrought iron, wood, and chain link. Each has its benefits. While we won’t pretend that aluminum is the best choice for every single application, its benefits are numerous. Aluminum is particularly good if you plan to install the fence yourself.

Vinyl Fencing

You can buy vinyl fencing in many styles. Vinyl is a strong, durable material, which gives it a leg up when it comes to warping, rotting and blistering, and clearly it doesn’t rust. It is easy to install and requires little maintenance.

Wood Fencing

Everyone likes wood. It has a natural look, and if you want a traditional fence, wood is hard to beat. Wood looks nice and it’s quite versatile. It makes a good privacy fence, or you can put up classic white pickets to frame your front yard. Wood comes up short for a DIY project because it’s heavy and hard to carry around and position. It requires quite a bit of maintenance, and you may need to treat it or stain it, for starters.

Steel Fencing

Steel is nothing if it isn’t strong. It works well with racking applications on slopes or uneven surfaces, and installation is reasonable if you ignore the amount of weight you’ll have to lug around. Steel doesn’t come cheap, and it’s not particularly versatile. It has little use as a privacy fence. Over the years, steel can be subject to rust.

Wrought Iron Fencing

Wrought iron has a reputation for tradition, durability and beauty. Wrought iron doesn’t require much maintenance, although it is prone to rust for obvious reasons. It lends itself to flourishes and decorations. The problem with wrought iron is the installation – the material is quite heavy! It is also expensive.

Chain-Link Fencing

Chain-link fencing is inexpensive and, if you’ll pardon the pun, it wears like iron. It requires little maintenance, although it does rust over time. Chain-link is pretty easy to install, too. The knock on chain-link is the looks. It may look fine wrapped around a schoolyard, but it doesn’t do much for your front or back yard.

Aluminum Fencing

In our opinion, we’ve saved the best for last! Aluminum fencing is affordable. It’s versatile, it comes in a host of styles, and it needs hardly any maintenance. You really can’t beat a DIY aluminum fence. Aluminum has an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio. It’s easy to flip the panels around during installation. You probably won’t need help during your installation, but if you do, we’re just a phone call away. You can use aluminum for a variety of applications, from swimming pools to yard enclosures and even for commercial and industrial use.

You can choose from a variety of colors and finishes for your aluminum fence to blend into the background or stand out and define a space. You can choose to add butterfly scrolls and other ornamentation, just as you might do with wrought iron. Optional finials cap off the pickets with beautiful designs. Add a dog panel for extra security for your pets. The possibilities are almost without limit. You can also select from several gate designs to complete your fence project.

Safety and Your Swimming Pool Fence

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It’s easy to install your own pool fence, but remember that your DIY pool fence has an additional function beyond that of other fences. You want your fence to look good, and you often seek security. However, a pool fence has one additional function, and that is to prevent people from entering the area and possibly drowning. This especially applies to children.

Kids love swimming, but pools don’t always love them. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 390 children younger than 15 died from drowning in swimming pools and spas in 2012. Almost 300 of them were younger than years old.

Pool Safety Considerations

Any barrier can be compromised. Don’t think of your pool fence as an impermeable barrier. You still need to watch the kids, but a fence or other barrier can give you a bit more time to find a child before something untoward occurs. The CPSC states that a barrier must keep a child from getting over, under or through when an adult is not present.

Don’t erect a barrier near a structure or an object that someone could use to help climb over the barrier. It’s best not to use a structure as one side of a barrier, especially if one can enter the pool area through a door or even a window.

The BOCA Code

Pool fencing is usually constructed to meet the code published by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA). The BOCA swimming pool code is designed to enhance the safety of your pool enclosure. GreatFence.com makes it easy for you by selling pool fence materials that meet the BOCA code. Nevertheless, be sure to consult your local government, which might have additional requirements.

In brief, here are some of the highlights of the BOCA pool fence code.

The top of your DIY pool fence should be at least 48 inches above the ground, although it’s worth noting that the CPSC recommends a 5-foot high barrier. A 4-inch-diameter sphere should not be able to pass through the barrier.   You must have 45 inches of free (VERTICAL) space between the horizontal members of the panel or gate.  This is required to make it difficult for a child to use the fence/gate as a ladder and climb over the barrier.

Gates should conform to the same standards as fence panels, and they must be lockable. The gate should open outwards from the pool area, and it should be self-closing and self-latching. If the release mechanism of a self-latching device is less than 54 inches from the gate’s bottom, it must be located on the inside of the gate—the pool side—at least three inches below the top of the gate. Also, there should be no opening in the gate that is greater than a half inch within 18 inches of the mechanism.

Building Walls as Part of a Pool Enclosure

There are specific requirements when you use a wall of a dwelling as part of the enclosure and the dwelling has a door leading to the pool area.

Any door leading to the pool must have an audible alarm. Consult the BOCA code for specific requirements. Doors leading to the pool should be self-closing and self-latching, just like the gate. The release mechanism must be at least 54 inches from the floor, and the door must open away from the pool area.

Preparing for Your Aluminum Fence Installation

are you prepared for installation

The aluminum fence panel is a great thing, providing both beauty and security for your home and its surroundings. It’s not hard to install an aluminum fence, and it’s even easier if you follow a few simple steps to prepare for it.

Check With Local Authorities and Utilities

Communities often have local regulations, and these can differ. You may be limited in the type or height of fencing you can install, and sometimes you can’t put up a fence at all. Note that there are very specific requirements for fencing around swimming pools.

Depending on your community, you may have to erect your fence at an offset, such as a certain distance back from the property line. It’s a good idea in any case to know where the boundary lies. You can hire a surveyor to determine this.

Check with your homeowners’ association if you have one. Associations often issue regulations for fences. These may stipulate the materials you can use along with design elements and possibly colors. These rules can be quite specific.

If you will be digging, which you will have to do if you’re planning an in-ground fence installation, it is essential that you contact local utility companies, which commonly run electric and gas lines underground. You have probably seen signs posting phone numbers to call before you dig. Make the call, or check the company’s websites for contact information.

You will be digging post holes as deep as three feet. Striking utility wires or pipes can be a disaster, causing damage and holding up your fence installation. In addition, you don’t want your fence running on top of utility lines because if the utility company ever needs to dig, your fence will be the first thing to go. Remember that holes for gate posts will generally be deeper than those for fence panels because of the weight they will bear.

Choose the Right Grade of Fence

You can buy fencing in three grades: residential, commercial and industrial. A residential aluminum fence panel will make a fine fence for most homes. Commercial fence panels have larger pickets and horizontal rails, and they contain more metal. These are good for high-traffic and retail applications. Use industrial aluminum fence panels for maximum strength and security. You can’t beat them for schools, hospitals and other high-traffic situations requiring additional security.

Prepare the Area

Walk the lines where you plan to install your fence. You can stake the corners and string lines along the proposed fence route. This can tell you if something isn’t going to work very well or if the planned fence will have a cockeyed configuration. You will also see potential obstructions that you can move or plan around.

Take the time to measure out the fence run. Mark the places where you will install fence posts. You can mark these with a bit of paint, or you can drive stakes. Be sure you make your marks at the post centers. After you make your measurements, go back and do them again. You want to be absolutely certain they are correct.

Remember that your installation should start with the gate. Place your gate posts and work outward from there.

Tips on Installing an Aluminum Driveway Gate

installation worker

Adding an aluminum driveway gate to your fence project is the icing on the cake. In addition to the beauty it brings to your property, a driveway gate adds an extra layer of security. With a bit of planning, you can install your driveway gate with minimum fuss and maximum benefit.

Planning the Installation

Think about the placement of your gate and the layout of your driveway and the street. Try to place your gate in a manner that leaves you a place to wait in your vehicle and out of the traffic flow while you open the gate (or the gate opens itself if you plan to automate it).

You may also desire some space inside the gate where one or two vehicles might be parked. Think about the placement of the gate when it’s fully open. Depending on the layout, there could be objects or obstructions in its path. Obstructions might occur due to an uneven surface or the slope of the driveway, or your car could be the object in its path. The last thing you want is to install a beautiful new gate that you can’t open properly.

Think about the way you plan to have your gate open. The gate can open outward toward the street or inward onto your property. If your driveway slopes upward, an inward-opening gate might not open fully or at all. Meanwhile, an outward-opening gate could conceivably open into traffic on the street. You should also think about situations that might arise, such as piles of snow that can accumulate after a snowstorm. Those piles might keep your gate from opening for several days or even longer.

Installing the Gate

Plan carefully and work methodically when you install your aluminum driveway gate. Remember that the gate should be the first thing you install, even before you install the fence. Take care to center your gate over the driveway. Set the posts first. Measure the distance between the posts, and then do it again. To paraphrase the old carpenters’ expression, “measure twice, dig once.”

Put down two stakes across the driveway and run a line that traces where the gate’s bottom will be when you hang it. Check that it is level, and be sure you have flat ground in the area where the gate will hang. Small obstructions or slopes can cause big problems when the gate swings open.

Make the post holes and fill them with concrete to about 2 inches under the surface. Wait for the concrete to harden before hanging the gate. Make your post holes 6 inches in diameter or larger for 2” x 2” and 2.5” x 2.5” posts, and at least 8 inches for larger posts.

Use a level and plumb line so you’re sure the posts are square to the surface; this will help you ensure that the gates will hang properly. Measure the distance between the posts one more time when you’re filling in the concrete.

If you have pillars, think about using posts instead of attaching the gate to the pillars. Set the posts right behind the pillars, and make sure once again that it will open the way you desire when you place them.

Secure Your Driveway with a Residential Double-Swing Gate

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When you order aluminum fencing panels, it is easy to include a double-swing gate to secure your driveway. Aluminum is light and strong, which makes it great for a large gate, and you can choose from a number of colors that match your fence. GreatFence.com has aluminum driveway gates for sale in many attractive styles, and you can select from several useful options.

Residential double-swing gates come in styles to match your chosen fence. You can select a flat or nearly flat top or get an estate gate that adds elegance along with increased security.

Hinges

If you haven’t upgraded, your order for double-swing gates up to 12 feet comes with two pairs of standard gate hinges. Use the heavy-duty gate hinge for wider gates. This matches your gate color and includes receivers, a J-bolt, a plate and bushings. With this hinge, you can swing your gates in either direction.

The self-closing gate hinge incorporates an internal spring that automatically swings the gate closed.  The self-closing hinge has adjustable tension. It’s made from molded, reinforced polymer, is UV-stabilized and is self-lubricating. It won’t rust, bind, stain or sag.

Locks and Latches

You can select from a number of locks and latches for our aluminum driveway gates for sale.

The Lokklatch is a general-purpose latch. Made from polymers and stainless steel, it will not rust. Like all Lokklatches, it comes key-lockable and can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. With the Lokklatch, you will not have an unsightly padlock hanging on your gate. It fits all of our gates.

The Lokklatch Deluxe locks automatically when the gate closes and requires a key to open. It has a detachable polymer push rod, and multiple units can optionally be keyed alike so you don’t have to carry a bunch of keys for multiple gates. It’s highly polished and won’t rust.

The Lokklatch Magnetic is a fully adjustable, self-latching lock that you can mount without milling, drilling holes or welding. It has dual six-pin cylinders that you can re-key. It is designed with ergonomics in mind, requiring just a 45-degree turn of the handle to open it. It can be operated with one hand and has a lever handle on both sides of the gate. This convenient lock will self-latch even when locked. It accommodates gate movement and sag, and it won’t jam when closing. It has no visible fasteners and requires just one drilled hole for installation.

The LokkBolt is a locking, stainless steel drop bolt that is perfect for double-swing gates. It includes bolt-retention grooves so the bolt won’t strike or drag across your driveway.

Custom Gate Sizes

We supply gates in non-standard widths. Residential double-swing gates are available up to 12 feet wide. If you need a width we don’t sell as standard, you just need to measure the daylight opening measurement (DLO). To determine your DLO, measure from inside to inside of the surfaces to which you will mount your gate, such as two gate posts. Order the next larger standard gate size and note on your order the DLO you require. We’ll do the rest.

No Matter the Fence Shape, We Cover all the Angles

It would be very easy if every piece of land were a simple rectangle, but the world is not that simple. The good news is that you can install aluminum fencing panels in almost any conceivable shape. Some flexible fence mounts can help accomplish nearly any job.

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Swivel Mounts to the Rescue

Horizontal swivel mounts make it easy to install aluminum fence panels at almost any angle. These are made from cast aluminum alloy. They won’t rust, and you can buy them in the same color as your fence panels. When used alone or in combination, horizontal swivel mounts and regular straight mounts can make just about any turn that’s not a right angle. You can mount swivel mounts to any surface, such as a structure or column, and you can mount them to our blank posts and end posts. That last part is important; you will not be mounting your swivel mounts to pre-punched posts, so order accordingly.

We include a couple of stainless-steel Tek screws to attach a swivel mount to a blank post. You’ll need to go elsewhere and buy longer anchor screws if you’re attaching the mount to some other surface. If possible, wait for your order to arrive to determine what is best.

You should order two swivel mounts for each horizontal rail in the fence panels you’ve selected. For example, you’ll need four swivel mounts if your fence panels have two horizontal rails, and you’ll need a blank post for each angle. Similarly, with three horizontal rails, you’ll need six swivel mounts plus one blank post.

You can make slight turns of less than 10 degrees using standard mounts, in which case you can get pre-punched posts.

We sell both horizontal and vertical swivel mounts. You should opt for horizontal swivel mounts for angles rather than vertical swivel mounts, which are used for steep slopes.

Installing Your Angled Fence

You should choose normal, pre-punched posts and straight mounts for angles that are smaller than 10 degrees. Just insert the horizontal rails of the aluminum fencing panels in the holes in the post. Turn panels as needed to accomplish the angle, and then set the panel-to-post connection with the self-tapping screws that come with your order.

You can make a connection of around 30 to 35 degrees with a single horizontal swivel mount, and using two of these allows you to make an angle of up 70 degrees or so. It does no harm to use two horizontal swivel mounts, so if you’re not sure about the angle you’re making, just use the two swivel mounts to be on the safe side. You should also use two horizontal swivel mounts when installing a circular fence, unless it is a really big circle.

For moderate angles, you can mount panels to either side of a post using swivel mounts on one side and straight mounts on the other side of the same post. For bigger angles, use swivel mounts on both sides of the post.

Note that you cannot use end posts for angles. These are pre-punched near the top, and you won’t be able to align the post properly with the fence panel.