All About Aluminum To Get You Excited For Your New Fence

The metal that was once rarer than gold can now easily be in your backyard! Aluminum is inexpensive yet durable, making it the perfect fence material.

People are most familiar with aluminum as the trusty foil mainly used to wrap leftovers or cover food in the kitchen. That foil is made of the same stuff that aluminum panel fencing is made of, albeit in a very different quantity.

Back in the days of Napoleon, aluminum was in high demand and was more sought after than gold. This once-rare metal is now known to be widespread; it just needs to be taken from the compound alum. It is now readily available for use in constructing some very solid and reliable fences. Keep reading for some interesting information about aluminum that will help you make the decision to go with aluminum for your next fence.

Ounce for ounce

When price isn’t an issue, many people feel iron is a better material to choose for their fencing needs than aluminum. Iron may be heavier, but aluminum is still just as sturdy, while weighing (and costing!) much less. Aluminum is much more common that you think. Since 1825, it has been able to be extracted from key ores on our planet (http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele013.html). Aluminum is readily available, pliable and easy to manage, making it the affordable option for anyone who is taking a do-it-yourself approach.

Smarter than iron

It is true that aluminum panel fencing, with proper maintenance and powder coatings, will remain rust free. Interestingly, aluminum does rust, just not in the way you see with other metals. The act of rusting for aluminum doesn’t make the aluminum structure less sturdy. The “rust” that forms actually creates an extra layer that makes the metal stronger and less penetrable (http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2004-09/amazing-rusting-aluminum). This is not something that would happen on anything made from iron! Aluminum panel fencing will be powder coated, so there is no need to worry about rusting or corroding at all.

More than just fences

Aluminum is found in your kitchen wrapped around your leftovers, in your new fancy fence, and also in the sky! No, aluminum is not in the air we breathe – it’s in the airplanes that are flying overhead! In fact, in a typical Boeing 747, there are almost 150,000 pounds of aluminum (http://www.livescience.com/28865-aluminum.html). If this metal is strong enough for an aircraft, it must be an excellent option for a sturdy fence around your property.

Helping the earth, one can at a time

It’s hard to discuss aluminum without talking about one particular item that is all around us: aluminum cans. Cans of food, soda and other liquid food items are all made of aluminum for some of the reasons already discussed, mostly the low price of this metal. An important factor to note is the recyclable nature of aluminum. It is said that once you recycle a can of soda, it could be back on store shelves in its new form only two months later (http://www.livescience.com/28865-aluminum.html). That’s a great turnaround!

Of course, you won’t be recycling your aluminum fence any time soon. There is a good chance your fence will last much longer than you own your property, showcasing how strong, reliable and durable aluminum is when it comes to fence panels.

The 3 Main Reasons To Treat Yourself To Aluminum Driveway Gates

White Metal Driveway GateAluminum driveway gates are popular for a few very good reasons, including their functionality, ease of use and the safety and security of your property.

When it comes to driveways and entryways, a grand entrance is a lovely statement to make. For a gorgeous entryway to your property–whether it’s residential, commercial or even industrial–aluminum driveway gates easily tick all the boxes to meet your needs and desires. Aluminum is cost effective and durable, and it is an excellent choice for gates that are frequently opening and closing as this metal can withstand wear and tear with ease. Even better, aluminum holds up fabulously to harsh weather elements such as wind, snow, ice and salty ocean air.

Aluminum as a fence and gate material is a superior option. Besides the practicality of aluminum gates, they can also be styled to your property’s aesthetic and can be quite attractive. Driveway gates in aluminum are second-to-none thanks to the amazing longevity and durability of this metal. The convenience of being able to put them in as a do-it-yourself job is ideal and helps you be in full control throughout the entire process.

Functionality

There is one main function you need from your driveway gates: to open and close when your car is ready to enter or leave the property. It sounds pretty simple, and with driveway gates made of aluminum, it really is that simple! They will not only open and close, but they will do so flawlessly and with minimal upkeep necessary. You will get to choose how your gates open, whether they swing from the middle in toward the home or away from it, or perhaps you’ll opt for a sliding driveway gate that discreetly slides one way or the other to open.

Ease of use

When your driveway gate will be used multiple times each day, you want it to be easy to use. A driveway gate is probably not something you will want to have to get out of the car and contend with every day, so getting an electric opening mechanism will most likely be at the top of your list.  Be sure to choose a good-quality mechanism to go along with your high-quality fence. These openers can make your trips in to and out of the driveway very smooth thanks to useful features such as keypad entry systems, remote controls and motion activation.

Safety and security

Last but certainly not least, driveway gates in aluminum are a great addition to your property if you want to have an added layer of protection. We already know how sturdy and reliable aluminum is as a material, so imagine how tough your entryway will be to penetrate with these gates. The long panels of the gate deter any unsavory characters from climbing over the fence and accessing your premises, and no cars will enter your property unless you give them permission. You can also add different features to your gate to help keep your pets or children safely in the yard and driveway.

The privacy that a large driveway gate brings can give you peace of mind that your home or business is safe, secure and well taken care of at the largest entry point of the property.

Let Mesh Take Care Of Your Security Needs

metal fence expanded metalAdding mesh panels between your industrial or commercial fence can be beneficial to your company and your property.

Aluminum fences can add a great layer of security to any property, and adding mesh in between the fence panels provides even more protection. The mesh addition to commercial or industrial metal fencing is a strong piece of aluminum that covers the empty space between or below fence panels with small, mesh-like holes throughout the panel. There are a few scenarios where mesh is a must, such as for keeping the wrong people and animals out to ensure the safety and security of everyone in your buildings and everything that you have on your property.

Mesh prevents climbing and cutting

The safety and security of your property is the most important thing when considering fence additions, and mesh can help with this in several ways. Unfortunately, thieves and others with ill intentions will attempt to climb or cut through a fence. With the strong metal of aluminum and the added mesh, climbing over or cutting through the fence will be much, much harder. The holes in the mesh are so small that it will be impossible to have a good foothold to climb, and the strength of the aluminum will keep anyone from easily cutting through it and gaining access to your premises. These deterrents are enough to thwart any unfortunate incidents and can help keep your space secure.

Mesh stops unwanted animals from entering

Another way mesh can help is by deterring animals and pests from entering your property. Being outdoors, it is nearly impossible to keep all pests out, but mesh can definitely help with this. Mesh can be added to the bottom of the industrial metal fencing to create a sort of barrier from any animals roaming through on the ground. Mesh between the fence panels can help if your property has any pets that need to stay within the boundaries of the yard. This is more likely to be necessary if your property has homes or apartments on the premises.

Mesh keeps sports equipment where it needs to be

While on the topic of keeping things inside your property, think about different recreational activities. If your premises include any type of sporting or recreational field or areas where children play, there is bound to equipment and balls around. With regular aluminum fencing, balls could roll right through the space between fence panels and into more dangerous or hard-to-reach territory. With mesh blocking any balls or equipment from rolling outside of the boundaries of the property, everyone can stay safe and happy with ease.

Mesh on the entry gate gives added protection

One last place mesh can be beneficial is on the entry or driveway gate. This is often used when the door must stay secure with a lock and/or a code to enter or exit the premises. Mesh can stop people from being able to reach through the gate to open the gate door from the inside to enter the property. This keeps everything more secure and deters any unsavory activity.

Whether you decide to put mesh all around your fence or just at the entry gates, the decision will undoubtedly come with added safety, security and peace of mind.

Notes On Aluminum Gate Placement

The placement of entry gates is important to the flow, aesthetics and functionality of your property.

There aren’t too many choices when it comes to placing your fence on your property. You will already have an idea of where it should go, such as around your pool, front yard, back yard, or another specific part of the property. You will find out about any zoning rules or regulations from the municipality regarding how far to place your aluminum panel fence from the neighboring properties. However, the main choice you’ll have to make is where to put your gates. This includes your driveway gate and any entry gates for people to walk through. While the placement of these may seem obvious, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Ease of access

The first thing you’ll want to do decide is on which side of the fence you’ll want your entry gate. This depends on the purpose of the gate first and foremost. If you will need the gate to bring work equipment through – perhaps for farms or larger properties with necessary ground maintenance – the gate should be in an area that is easily accessible to the bulk of the property. If the gate is strictly for people to access the main building or home on the property, it’s easiest for the gate to be in line with the door of the building. Remember that it’s your fence and you get to choose where the gates go. If you feel having a gate for foot traffic and an extra gate in the back for equipment would be ideal, that’s what you should do! It’s much harder to change things once the fence has already been erected.

Size it up

The next aspect to consider is size. Driveway gates come in a few different choices and normally depend on the driveway size itself. If the driveway is quite wide but you only plan to need to open it one car’s width at a time, you can choose a driveway gate that helps with this. That means putting a gate that opens from the middle so you only need to open the left or right most of the time, or a sliding gate that only needs to be opened halfway before it closes behind the car as you pull through. As for the size of footpath gates, they usually come standard as a bit larger than a doorway itself. You can even choose to have a footpath gate built into the driveway gate if there is no room for the placement of a footpath gate. There are so many options, and a fencing professional will be able to help with the specifics of your unique situation.

Elevation matters

Elevation is important for gate placement so water drainage doesn’t ruin your fence. The posts of your aluminum panel fence will be secure, but enough water drainage could slowly erode surrounding dirt to make even the toughest fence less stable. Before putting up your new fence, take note of water drainage on your property. Head outside during the next rainstorm and take a look around to determine which areas might not be the suitable for fence posts. While looking around, you should also keep gate placement in mind. You won’t want the gates to be in an area that is constantly a muddy puddle.

Ultimately, you will want your gate to be the best way in and out, so it should be in a very useful area no matter the weather.

Landscaping And Your Fence

Shrubbery and other landscaping additions can make your yard pop, and they also help tie in your fence and driveway gate with the rest of the property.

Landscaping is important for both residential and commercial properties. For your own home, the landscaping can be as wild or tame as you’d like. After all, it is your own property and can showcase your personality as you please. When it comes to commercial properties, however, there is a bit more to keep in mind. One major concern for those with commercial properties pertains to what looks good to consumers and passersby while still proving easy to maintain.

Aesthetics

The beauty of landscaping rests in how well it complements the surrounding area. This means not only complementing the building on the property but also any fences or gates. Different commercial properties also require different types of fences, such as tougher, thicker industrial fences or extra-tall fence panels to help keep the property more secure. The aesthetics of fence landscaping for commercial properties is usually a minimalist style. Resisting the urge to overdo it with exotic plants and trees is beneficial for maintenance and upkeep purposes. This includes avoiding placing anything too extreme around the fence area. A shrub or small bush that goes well with the height of the fence is a good approach.

Best plants for the job

When it comes to your commercial aluminum fence, there are some plants that you may want to avoid. Beautiful vines can be tempting as they can add character to a building and property, but you must be sure you choose the right type of vine. English ivy or chocolate vine can actually cause more harm than good. As pretty as they are, they can be quite destructive and hard to get rid of once they grow out of control. When it comes to vines, choose a type that is easy to maintain. Always let the people at the nursery know where you are planning to put a plant so they can advise you appropriately. A commercial aluminum fence can easily hold up to beautiful plants such as climbing hydrangeas or, if you have more time to care for them, grape vines. This can give you the beautiful look of a vine without allowing them to overtake your fence and home.

Winter care

One last note on landscaping surrounding your fence pertains to your safety in winter. When winter-proofing your yard and fence, you will want to check any trees limbs that hang over the gates or driveway. This is helpful in case any strong winter winds put extra pressure on the plants and the fence, mainly because of icicles. When driveway gates open, they have the tendency to bump into any shrubbery in the vicinity. If any icicles have formed overnight, that could spell disaster! Icicles dropping from certain heights can cause damage to you and your car. Protect your property and your health by keeping the shrubbery well maintained.

You may choose to have a professional landscaper take care of your yard, or you might plan on doing it yourself. Either way, be sure to do a bit of research on the upkeep of the plants, trees and shrubs that you choose to ensure they can be easily maintained and will look good in every season. Having the right landscaping from the start can give your business and your property the look it needs to succeed.

Is Your Fence Holding Up Well To The Elements?

Aluminum fences do not require much maintenance. Frequent checks of the state of the fence can help maintain the quality through the harsh seasons.

When it comes to the upkeep of an aluminum fence, there is little that needs to be done, but this does not mean that you should neglect the fence altogether. Carrying out checks of your fence twice a year is helpful, especially in preparation for harsh seasons and times of extreme weather. Checking your fence won’t take too much time. The more frequently that you check it, the less time you’ll have to spend on any fixes because it will stay in much better condition. Performing seasonal upkeep is extremely important if you have a DIY aluminum fence. It’s up to you to ensure you have done the proper upkeep to the fence right from the start.

Coating

First and foremost, you are going to want to check the coating and paint on your whole fence. This Includes any locks, hinges and gates. The powder coating that is on most aluminum fences helps keep the metal in the best shape possible by stopping any rust from forming. Without a proper coating on the entire fence, rain or pool water could wreak havoc on most metals. The coating also keeps the metal safe from salt from the air if you’re near the ocean or from salt in the streets during icy conditions.

Going past all areas of your fence to look for any breaks in the coating will help you know what areas may need a touch-up. Ask the company you bought the fence from to suggest a good paint or coating to fix small areas that may have worn through the coating. Touching up should not take too much time and is suggested to keep the fence strong and beautiful for years to come. Semi-annual checks like this help to keep your DIY aluminum fence in the best condition possible.

Gates and locks

Next, you will want to focus on the gates and locks. This will not take much time because the gate is a smaller area, but it is just as important. Think of how frequently the gates are opened and closed. The hinges and locks get used a lot and will therefore have more wear and tear. Make sure the gates, hinges and locks are clean and functioning properly. Freezing temperatures can make them tight and hard to use, so you want them to be ready for winter action. The areas around the hinges in particular may need a touch-up of paint, not only aesthetic reasons but also to prevent rust.

You will want to make sure the gate itself doesn’t drag when it is opened as there will soon be snow around. If any parts drag on the ground, it puts extra weight in the hinges, and when there is snow to drag the fence through, it can be nearly impossible to open or close.

When it comes to any fence, especially a DIY aluminum fence, semi-annual checks and general upkeep are extremely important. A quick once-over of the fence and a few easy fixes before extreme weather sets in are all you need for your fence to hold up well to the elements.

What Should Come First: The Pool Or The Fence?

Forget the chicken and the egg conundrum. Deciding what should come first – the pool or the fence – can be answered by keeping a few factors in mind.

Building a new pool on your property is a major decision, one you have probably thought long and hard about. Whether your property is a single-family residence or an apartment complex, there are different rules and regulations that come with having a pool on the premises. Finding out the exact rules of your town or municipality is key when planning out the construction of your pool. Besides the pool itself, the other major construction you will need to carry out is a fence surrounding the pool area. The good news is that pool fence DIY is not too difficult and can be done with a little preparation.

The pool first

Building the pool before the fence has some major pros, the main one being the ease of digging the pool. The large equipment used to dig into the earth needs space, and having a fully erected fence in the way of the machinery is not ideal. Building the pool will also take longer than the fence, so getting a head start is often welcome.

Another key thing to remember when considering the timing of these projects is the research you must do before you even begin to build. This research involves looking into all of the rules and regulations of your town or municipality, building permits, and homeowners’ associations. You must account for this for the pool and the fence, so beginning the research on the fence while already building the approved pool is one good approach.

The fence first

On the other hand, beginning a pool fence DIY project before you break ground on your pool could also work in your favor. You will most likely have pool professionals coming in to do the pool job. While awaiting your time slot for their work to begin, you can begin the preparations for your fence. By this point, you will already know the size and layout of the pool, so you can begin testing different ways for the fence to work in your yard.

Take this time to get all the proper permits and follow all the rules and regulations to ensure you purchase the right type of fence for your needs. You can then take your time digging and putting in the posts. You should leave room for the machinery and equipment from the pool professionals to get through, but you can definitely get a good amount of the fence up around the rest of the yard in the meantime.

Both at the same time

Perhaps you are thinking that both your pool and your fence could be constructed at or around the same time. They won’t both take the exact same amount of time to construct, so working on them simultaneously could be a good idea. That way, if you need to dig any deep holes for your fence posts and the pool professionals are there, you can ask for advice or suggestions on equipment while you are working on your own project! Don’t worry if you already have a pool. As you can see, adding the fence after the fact isn’t detrimental to the functionality or aesthetic of the fence and the surrounding property. Whatever you choose to begin first, you will have a beautiful pool and surrounding fence in no time.