Wrought Iron Fencing Isn't For Everyone

If you're thinking about using wrought iron for your next fencing project, you may have noticed that a few of its advantages and disadvantages are in direct conflict with each other.  So much so that before you get started, there's one thing you need to be clear on:

What's MORE Important to You?

  • Are you more concerned with privacy or expressing your personal style?
  • Do you prefer the greatest long term durability or easy routine maintenance?

Once you've got these and other similar questions sorted out, deciding whether wrought iron makes sense for your project becomes much easier. Let's take a look at each of those individually.

Low Maintenance Fencing Options versus Durability

Wrought iron fencing is an investment for years. Weather, normal use and routine maintenance impact how long the investment will last and how it will age over time. It's one of the more durable fencing materials, but requires more attention than other materials.

You need to perform proper maintenance to keep up their aesthetic appeal and structural durability. Perform iron fence maintenance at least twice a year, especially if your fence is in a high-moisture area.

Shailynn Krow, SFGate.com

Shailynn outlines 8 Maintenance Steps homeowners can follow to keep their investment in great shape and maintain its durability for decades.

These tasks can also be hired out to fence companies with the tools and expertise. A1 Fence and Gate Repair routinely repairs and refurbishes wrought iron fences that have been neglected or commercial fences in higher traffic locations that need additional maintenance.

Privacy or Personal Style

Wrought iron can be worked into an almost unlimited number of designs. With a wide variety of ornamental iron pieces, your fence can be customized to match your exact style from modern or antique.

They can be enhanced with swirls, topped with ornate spears, finials and other adornments. In addition, decorative paint can enhance ornate iron work well beyond the simple black on black color schemes that are most common.

Wrought iron shines when it comes to customization. Not so much where privacy is concerned. By it's very nature wrought iron uses an open design which provides very little in the way of privacy.

Wood and vinyl/PVC are traditionally the first choice for privacy. Vinyl and wood panels are readily available at most home improvement stores. Unfortunately, with these materials the opportunities for personalization and personal style are limited.

Hedges, cultivating vines or installing panel inserts are all viable work arounds, however, these add significant cost to the project.

Cost will always be a factor with wrought iron. It's more difficult to make, more difficult to install and every customization requires additional work by skilled craftsmen.

Summing Up Your Options - Consider the Whole

If you consider each of wrought iron's attributes individually, it might be a little difficult to make a case for using this particular material.

Here's the thing. You can't consider those attributes individually. You've got to consider the entire package. Its strength, security, versatility and longevity are all baked into the product and must be considered together.

No fencing product is ideal for everyone or every application. However, if overall value for the long term is a priority for your family or organization, then perhaps wrought iron fencing is for you.

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