Aluminium and steel can both be used for high quality fencing and gates. However, as most people aren’t up on the properties of various metals you may be finding it difficult to choose between the two! There are pros and cons to both aluminium and steel fencing, which make each of them better suited to certain premises more than others. While they are both durable, choosing the most appropriate fencing material for your specific needs will ensure that you are satisfied with your fencing for years to come.
Aluminium Fencing and Gates
Aluminium is a lightweight, durable, and versatile material. It’s not susceptible to corrosion, so aluminium fencing and gates will look great for years despite being exposed to the elements. At Fencemakers we also apply a unique and specially designed coating to our aluminium fencing during manufacturing to ensure even higher quality and longer lasting durability.
Another benefit of aluminium is that it is a less expensive material than steel, so with the rising cost of steel it has become a popular alternative. And if you should ever decide to replace your aluminium fencing you can be safe in the knowledge that your carbon footprint will remain low as it is 100% recyclable.
The drawback to aluminium is that it can be easily bent, so it’s not as effective for fencing in premises that require tough barriers or security, such as industrial or commercial settings. It is best used for aesthetic purposes, such as residential garden, yard or pool fencing. Its resistance to corrosion makes it the ideal choice for seaside or waterside homes in particular.
Steel Fencing and Gates
Steel is a strong, powerful and long-lasting fencing material, perfect for protective fences. It is heavy and resistant to damage and wind. Most steel fences are also galvanized and treated with powder coating to prevent rusting. Fencemakers only uses pre-galvanised Australian made Bluescope steel in it steel tubular fences. Steel is impact resistant, so it is the perfect material to use for security gates. If you’re looking to purchase a fence that will last for a lifetime or more, steel is the way to go.
Tubular steel is another option that has become more popular. Manufacturing fencing and gates from tubular steel bars with hollow centres will give you that tough steel exterior, but will make the gate more lightweight, making is more suited to high-traffic commercial and residential premises than solid steel fencing and gates.
Due to its weight, steel fencing may be more difficult to install than aluminium fencing, and less practical for home and family uses, making it a better fit for industrial premises. It is also more expensive. However, the peace of mind from installing a steel fence may be worth the additional cost if you’re protecting valuable stock and machinery within.
What’s Right for You?
Aluminium and steel are both high-quality fencing materials. However, as outlined above, as a general rule of thumb aluminium is more appropriate as a finishing touch to your home’s exterior, while steel is more appropriate for protection where targeted break-ins are likely to occur. Your budget is also an important consideration. Aluminium is less expensive than steel, but it is still visually appealing.
For commercial and industrial fencing, steel fencing is preferred because of its strength and durability. However, aluminium fencing is still a good option if your budget is limited. It will still work to keep intruders out or deter them from crossing the barrier into the property.
Maritime and seaside premises have the unique problem of saltwater and coastal winds to deal with. While steel is sturdier and more resistant to wind damage, salty coastal air can accelerate rusting. In these cases, stainless steel fencing or aluminium is the best option. If you are concerned about the potential for rusting because of close proximity to the coast, Fencemakers can guide you on various additional coating options, for instance an additional zinc primer powder undercoat, which can ensure your steel fence will last the test of the elements.
by Matthew Suter, Managing Director, Fencemakers.