Fences, in general, come with a lot of benefits. Of course, they add an element of privacy. They keep trespassers out of your property. Yet they are still able to contain small pets and children. A wrought iron fence provides these exact same practical benefits, however they can accomplish something that chain link and wooden planks can't. They are just as sturdy as standard enclosures, but they also enhance the appearance of your backyard by becoming a visual part of the landscape as well.
Wrought iron fencing consists of handmade metal bars that can come in any size and shape, but it is often thought of as more ornamental than functional. It's true that these customized enclosures look beautiful. And like the name suggests, they are often shaped and fashioned by bending the metal into unique designs with creative flourishes. But just because they're pretty doesn't mean they're fragile. In fact, their metal-work is so sturdy and strong that you'll barely have to maintain it once installed. They weather well, and sometimes the more worn the material, the more authentically rustic the look. Plus, like chain-link, wrought iron fence provides a suggestion of privacy while still allowing passersby to admire your yard's landscaping.
However, just because you can see through it doesn't mean that security is completely gone. Most wrought iron fencing comes with sharp points along the top rail, adding to its old-fashioned gothic look. But these strategically placed spear-points can often be sharp and impossible to scale. Therefore, even if trespassers are tempted to climb it (which they often aren't, due to the intimidating appearance of these tip-points), they will have a hard time doing so. Though these spear-points can deter trespassers, you also have to keep in mind the function of the wrought iron fence: if it's simply there to look nice, and you have children running around your backyard, you may not want to select a "pointed" railing due to its hazardous potential.
There is no such thing as a maintenance-free product, and wrought iron fencing is no exception. Though difficult to damage, they may need small repairs as time goes by. The amount of maintenance is often dependant on their function and location. Are they gating a swimming pool? Then there will be more chances for rust or pitting. If they are in a northern climate surrounded by lots of rain, snow, ice, or salt from the slick roadways, then this will also affect the metal. Plus, since the iron-work is usually extensive and curved, water is likely to settle into hard to reach creases and joints.
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However, you can buy a galvanized model that won't discolor or rust. You could buy a cheaper aluminum look-alike, though they come with their own repair problems and don't have that authentic appearance. The best way to avoid corrosion is by applying a rust-resistant finish every few years, which can also help ward off small surface scratches. If rust does occur, wash the infected area, remove it with steel wool, and apply wax to avoid further corrosion. If there is flaking, then use touch-up paint for these small blemishes. And always oil those hinges and latches to keep things running smoothly.
Since wrought iron fence is custom-made, it isn't cheap. In fact, it can range from $50-$250 dollar per a section, depending upon the design, the ornamental craftsmanship, the size of the section in terms of height and width, and the overall installation. And larger gates for your home can cost even more. However, you don't have use it just to surround your entire yard. If you still want the look of this hand-crafted metal, but don't want to pay the hefty prices, try to be creative with your installation. With a simple one-time purchase, you could have a driveway gate leading up to your home. If it fits your interior design, it could be used as elegant stairway railings. Or if you have a balcony, what is more traditional than a one-of-a-kind metal balustrade?