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For centuries, wood fences have been the norm. From colonial times when early Americans built little white picket fences, to modern times where the six foot privacy fence reigns supreme in many neighborhoods. Wood fences are versatile and inexpensive to build. Fencing options have greatly expanded over the years, though.

Nowadays, there are multiple additional fencing materials available. Homeowners can select from chain link, wrought iron, vinyl, composite, cedar wood and metal fences to name a few to complete their fencing project. In particular, aluminum and steel fences have grown in popularity and are becoming a great alternative to your traditional fence choices.

The Differences Between an Aluminum and Steel Fence

Aluminum and steel fences are perfect options for both residential and commercial fencing projects. While you can’t go wrong with either choice, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type before choosing one. It comes down to what you need and want in a fence, and these two types of fences have significant differences.

Strength and Durability: Steel fencing is amongst the strongest fencing materials out there. If you want the most durable and heavy-duty fence around, you can’t go wrong with steel. Those relentless wind storms might pack a punch against other types of fences, but a steel fence is sturdy and holds up well.

This is one reason why a steel fence is an ideal match for commercial properties, too. If you want a fence that provides the ultimate protection from intruders, trespassing, or vandalism, steel is hands down your go-to fencing material. It is considered a high-security fencing option due to its heavy weight.

Aluminum is a lightweight material compared to steel. This feature makes aluminum easy to ship and cheap to transport. On the other hand, aluminum is prone to bend and dent easier than steel. From an architectural point of view, this is great. You can find plenty of decorative fence options made of aluminum with lots of beautiful twists and shapes. From a security standpoint, steel outshines aluminum in regards to strength.

Maintenance and Upkeep: Aluminum is a corrosion-resistant metal material, making it hard for rust to develop on an aluminum fence. Rust is the last thing you want on your metal fence. Rust leads to peeling, cracks, and bubbling paint. This redeeming quality means your aluminum fence can hold up for years. For extra quality and protection, a coated aluminum fence is an even better option.

When it comes to steel fencing, weather can get the best of it, particularly in a region with a high salt water content in the air. Remember how automobiles tend to get rusty along those seaside cities? The same goes for steel fencing exposed to salt water.

To safeguard a steel fence from breaking down due to rust, you can apply a rust-inhibiting primer or a powder coating that is designed to protect the material against corrosion. The maintenance doesn’t stop there, though. Steel fences should also be sanded and painted on occasion. In general, galvanized and powder-coated steel is your best chance at keeping rust away from your steel fence.

Installation and Cost: While many types of fences need to be screwed, bolted, or nailed together as part of the installation process, both aluminum and steel fences can be welded together instead. This process creates a strong bond between the joints of the fence, once again, confirming the strength of an aluminum or steel fence.

If you are on a tight budget, you will quickly discover that aluminum fencing costs less than steel. The end cost is dependent on a few factors, though. You will need to determine the height of your fence, the length of your fence, the total number of fence posts, and whether you need gates or not. You can add decorative components such as post caps to your fence for an additional cost as well.

Furthermore, if you are trying to go green, many homeowners love the fact that aluminum is recyclable, making it an environmentally-friendly fencing material. It is worth noting that steel fencing can be used for scrap metal.

Making a Choice That is Right For You

Many homeowners love their metal fences. They provide a sturdy property boundary without blocking the view and provide a classically clean look.

Ready to decide whether an aluminum or steel fence is right for your property? Remember to consider the differences between the two and which is going to work better for your unique situation. In particular, why are you building a fence, and what do you need in a fence?

Do you need a high-security fence?
Is the strength of the fence your top priority?
What weather conditions are in your area?
Do you have the time and energy for upkeep and maintenance?
What is your budget?

If you need further information about these two excellent fencing options, we would love to help. Contact our Denver building supplies specialists to learn more about aluminum and steel fencing.