The last thing some people think about when they hear the term “wrought iron” is charm. In reality, a wrought iron fence offers homeowners a secure, low-maintenance fencing option that can add a beautiful decorative element to any home.
What is “Wrought Iron”?
We may think we know what “wrought iron” looks like, but few people are acquainted with the process of making this type of metal. Before steel was readily available, most metal objects were made from an iron alloy with very little carbon in it. Not only was this material malleable and tough, but it is also naturally corrosion resistant and could be easily welded to create strong structures. Used for everything from railways to warships, wrought iron was the most popular building material after wood in the late 19th century. Even the Eiffel Tower, Paris’ most famous landmark is made from a form of wrought iron.
Today, true wrought iron is not made on a commercial scale. What we know to be “wrought iron” is actually a steel product that is cast in molds to give it its characteristic texture and appearance. Fortunately, many of the appealing characteristics of wrought iron remain in the new less authentic products. Wrought iron fencing, for example, is cast rather than wrought, but is still corrosion resistant, easily welded and malleable.
Old World Charm for the New World
Wrought iron fencing was extremely popular in Europe, particularly in England, in the late 17th century. By the 18th century, ornamental fences made their way across the pond with new production techniques, landing primarily in port cities like Charleston, South Carolina. In fact, many homes in the Charleston area still have ornamental fences as an homage to the role the city played in shipping goods throughout the country’s infancy. The turn of the 20th century brought about a bit of a wrought iron revival as steel began to eclipse iron as the primary metal used in architecture. People hungered for the warmth of the old world charm wrought iron brought. That hunger has only grown as more and more homeowners are looking to wrought iron fencing to both protect and accent their homes.
A Fence Comparison
To understand the advantages of wrought iron fencing, it is important to consider how it stacks up to other fencing materials. Let’s take wood and chain link fencing as these are still the most popular types of fence installed in residential and commercial properties.
Wood fences are made from sustainable materials; they offer a natural aesthetic to a home and unparalleled privacy. They are easy and relatively inexpensive to install which is why they are so popular for handy homeowners. As attractive as this all sounds, one must consider the maintenance involved with having a wood fence. A wood fence is no match for sun, wind, rain, and humidity. Even rot-resistant wood such as cypress and cedar must be treated annually or biannually to maintain its appearance and structural integrity. As much as you love painting, staining or treating your fence, the cost of such treatments adds up over the 10-15 year lifespan of a wood fence.
Chain link fences are inexpensive and easy to install and offer security to residential or commercial properties. They are also resistant to corrosion and do not require regular maintenance. Chain link fences can last for 30 or more years, but no one ever looked at a chain link fence and thought to themselves, “Oh, that is a charming home.”
Now, consider wrought iron fencing. Although it should be installed by a fencing professional, wrought iron fencing is strong, corrosion resistant, low-maintenance, and offers a historic charm to your home’s exterior. It also makes it possible to grow vines or bushes along your fence line for added privacy or leave the fence open to show off your impeccable gardening skills. Best of all, an ornamental wrought iron fence can last up to 50 years or more. Imagine never having to think about your fence again once it is installed.
More than Just Straight and Black
When wrought iron was first created, you could choose between black wrought iron or black wrought iron. Because of the slag process in making the product, wrought iron took on a distinct black color. While characteristic black is still the most popular color, new technology has made it possible to choose from a variety of colors for your wrought iron fence. Now it is possible for the most adventurous color seeker to have a wrought iron fence in whites, browns, tans, grays, or even reds that are both fade resistant and low-maintenance.
Since today’s wrought iron is typically cast rather than traditionally wrought, fence posts can be made to match every possible design vision. Choose from a variety of shapes and sizes of decorative posts and pickets and top it off with one of the hundreds of final toppers made to look like spears, candles, knobs or any number of other shapes. You are no longer limited to what you typically think of when you imagine wrought iron. The choices are limitless, especially when you choose a fencing company that manufactures their own materials in-house the way Fallston Fence does.
If you are considering installing an ornamental metal fence, wrought iron may be just what you are looking for. Unlike what you have come to expect from this type of material, wrought iron fences are strong, durable, versatile, and low maintenance. Let the experts at Fallston Fence help you decide on the fence that is right for your home. Not only can we help measure your yard, but we can also guide you through the selection process of your custom-made, beautiful wrought iron fence. In the end, you will have a beautiful, durable fence that adds just the right amount of charm to your home.