It can be a lot of fun going to fencing showrooms and shopping around for the right fence for your home. But what should you look out for when testing out the fencing samples in the showrooms? And what are the right questions to ask to enable you to tell quality from shoddy materials and workmanship?
There can be vast ranges in the levels of quality that different fencing companies are capable of providing, so it is important that you know what to look out for – follow these tips (and feel free to use them to check out the fencing in our showroom – we’re confident we’ll match up)!
In order to get a fence that will stand the test of time, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting high-quality materials.
Aluminium and steel are both great options for durable fencing, but it’s important to know the difference between the two, as well as the difference in quality that you can come across.
- Aluminium is a relatively inexpensive fencing material when compared to steel, so the price of the fencing should reflect that when compared to similar steel options
- Aluminium is also a relatively lightweight metal, so if security is a high priority for you in your fencing, make sure the fencing contractor uses high quality and thick aluminium slats or tubes. At Fencemakers for example, the Australian aluminium we use is significantly thicker than the imported aluminium used by many other contractors. Feel, tap, lift and swing the fencing samples and ensure the aluminium feels strong and not flimsy or easily pliable.
- Steel should feel much heavier and sturdier than even the highest quality aluminium
- While steel is a robust and durable metal, low quality and un-treated steel can rust over time in wet and humid weather conditions, so ask if the steel has been pre-galvanised to make it rust-proof
- Ask too if the steel used in the fencing is Australian or if it is imported. Imported steel tends not to be pre-galvanised. The other important difference in imported steel is that the seam of the steel is at the edge of the tubing, which often splits after exposure to the elements.
Colour / Paint
Most people don’t go for the silver look of aluminium and steel – they want their fencing coloured to match the style of their home. If this is the case for you, ask about how the fence is coloured – is it painted, coated in vinyl or powder coated?
Powder coating is the best option to go for here as the colour is treated onto the metal using a five-step process that minds the colour to the metal. As well as giving the metal an extra layer of protection and durability, it also means that the colour will not chip or peel off – which isn’t the case for paint or vinyl coating.
The quality of the welds at the joining points of the fence is one of the most important factors you will need to consider. This determines the strength and durability of the fence, and you don’t want the welds to start coming apart over time.
When examining the welds in the samples that the vendors in the showroom provide, look out for:
- Any imperfections, like bubbling, cracking and metal beading that does not look uniform in size and shape. While it is virtually impossible to create a weld that is perfectly uniform, it should look clean and neat with no gross imperfections
- Pay particular attention to any areas where oxygen could get into the interior of the weld, as this can lead to oxidation, which can make the weld brittle
- As you examine each sample, push and pull on the joints to ensure that they feel tough and sturdy. There shouldn’t be any give at the welded joints, as this may is a sign of a weak or improper weld
- Another very important question when it comes to the welds on steel fencing is to ask if stainless steel is used in the welds. Even if you’ve covered this question when asking about the steel used in the slats or tubing – many companies use stainless steel there, but scrimp on quality and use mild steel for the welds. This effectively means the structural part of the fencing is not rust proof and could mean you having to fork out for fixes and replacements sooner than you thought!
Screws, hinges and other fixtures
Similar to ensuring the welds are stainless steel – even if the fencing contractor has assured you the steel they build their fencing with is stainless, ask again more specifically about the screws, hinges and bolts they use. Are these stainless too? If not they will rust quickly and need to be replaced after a season or two in the rain and/or humidity in Perth!
Fencemakers Offers High-Quality Fencing Installations
Here at Fencemakers, we pride ourselves on creating aluminium and steel fences and gates that are of the highest quality in Perth and Western Australia. We are committed to excellence in every fence and gate we create, and we offer a two-year written guarantee on any fence or gate we install.
Get in touch with us today or request an online quote so we can start creating the perfect fence to suit your needs. Or visit our showroom in Malaga and feel free to quiz us on all of the questions above!