Norwalk Wrought Iron Fencing & Gates (562) 444-1438
Your Norwalk Fence Contractor carries many varieties and styles of of wrought iron fencing, also referred to as rod iron or decorative iron.
Decorative iron can be as simple as pickets set between two flat rails, or as elegant as scrolls, castings simulating vines, flowers, florets, animals, and even your initials. The concept depends on your taste and your wallet.
The least expensive wrought iron is comprised of stock panels that large manufactures sell in bulk. The stock panels may have stamped spear tops, curved spear tops for security fencing, flat spear tops, or in some cases arches or circles.
It’s up to you, with the help of our fence consultant, to determine what aesthetically fits your style, your home or business, and your budget.
Be careful though! Lately, too many fly-by-night fence installers sell junk fencing at a reduced price. It may look the same, but in less than 1 year you’ll probably see the rust and corrosion begin.
Building Your Wrought Iron Fence
Let’s start with your fence posts. Customarily, you’d want your posts set at about 8’ on center. This is the ideal spacing so the panels don’t bow or flex, and most stock panels are made 8’ long. Of course, if you’re using a three rail or four rail panel, or your rails are extra heavy, you can stretch that spacing.
The wall thickness of your posts should be minimum 14 gauge, (16 gauge if they are galvanized). Remember, though, that the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the post wall. So a 14 gauge post wall is thinner and weaker than an 11 gauge post wall – get it?
If you’re fence is in a planter, or constantly being hit by sprinklers, you might want to use a heavier wall, or better yet, us a different type of rust proof fencing.
Your pickets will come in various sizes, from 18 gauge wall (thin) to solid bar (get ready to add some zeros to that estimate!). You can also find pickets that are twisted, and you can dress them up with knuckles or accessories.
Picket sizes are generally 5/8”, ¾” or 1” square (1/2” square is really not worth the money). ¾” and 1” are usually installed in commercial fencing.
The spacing of the pickets should ideally be 3 7/8” apart. This spacing is for safety purposes; it doesn’t allow a child to get his head stuck between the bars (bring up any memories?)
Paint, Powder Coating & Galvanizing
Most cheap wrought iron coming from back yard installers will only have a prime and paint finish; sometimes not even a primer (primer helps prevent rust.) And the paint finish might usually be a cheap brand paint.
If you want a prime and paint finish, be sure that both coatings are good, rust inhibiting products. Also be aware you will need to re-paint your decorative iron fence more often to prevent rusting.
The next step up from prime and paint is powder coating. The fence panels and posts are sprayed with a colored powder, then sent through an oven which melts and bakes the powder into a hard finish.
Powder coating helps prevent rust and is made to last much longer than primer and paint fencing. However, as much as possible, the fence panels should be bolted to the posts when using a powder coated wrought iron panel. Welding the fence panels to the posts will burn off the finish, and rust will enter through these areas. If welding is unavoidable, be sure that a galvanized primer is used at the welds.
The most expensive finish is a hot dip galvanized or pre-galvanized finish. Galvanizing is what you see on most chain link fences, which is why they last so long without rusting.
Hot dip galvanizing means the already fabricated fence panel is dipped in a vat of molten galvanizing, which flows through the inside of the pickets and rails. (Note that all rails and pickets will need to have weep holes for the galvanizing to flow through or they will explode from the heat being trapped when they are dipped.)
The fence materials are then sand blasted and powder coated. Note that the finish might seem bumpy due to the galvanizing.
Pre-galvanized fence panels have a zinc coating, similar to powder coating, and then they are powder coated with color. The process leaves the wrought iron panels and posts with a very smooth finish.
Pre-manufactured wrought iron fencing.
There are some excellent wrought iron/decorative iron fence panels available that have excellent finishes and extended warranties (up to 20 years). Ameristar Fencing is one such product that your Norwalk Fence contractor has used extensively.
Many of the pre-manufactured fence panels are built to “rack” up a hillside, meaning the panel can shift from rectangular to trapezoidal to follow the grade.
The pre-manufactured wrought iron fence products are usually bolted together, which extends the life of the product (no welding, remember?) Many have tamper proof screws to keep the homeless guy down the block from selling it for scrap metal.
Affordability of Decorative Iron
Wrought iron is much more expensive than chain link. The exact cost varies greatly on the style and quality of the decorative fence you choose. I laid out just a few of the variables above. Simply let us know what your budget is and we can help you find something in your price range.
The Pros of Wrought Iron Fencing
Wrought iron and decorative iron fencing are much more aesthetically pleasing than chain link. A nicely designed fence can dramatically enhance the curb appeal of your house, and nothing says welcome more than a custom designed gate. It can give your house a unique flair and set it apart from the neighborhood.
The Downside of Wrought Iron Fencing
As discussed, wrought iron fencing can be cost prohibitive. It also can be a maintenance nightmare depending on the location, the environment (near pools, water, the ocean), the color (white rusts much more rapidly than darker colors).
Give is a call and let Norwalk Fence consultants answer your questions about wrought iron styles and pricing. We'll help you decide what is the best fit for your fencing needs. Call us at: