Getting off the Fence: Aluminium or Steel Fencing?
One of the most common questions we get asked when someone is looking to build a fence can be deceptively simple. “Do I want aluminium or steel fencing? What’s the difference? Help!” It can be hard to arrive at a definite answer because the truth is that they’re both great options for different reasons, and it all comes down to what the customer is after. Which option’s unique benefits will best suite you is mostly dependent on your home’s needs. Here we’ll take you through some of the great features of both materials and how they can accentuate your home’s charm.
Aluminium – the Lightweight Champ
One of aluminium’s best features is that it’s naturally resistant to corrosion, making it a great fencing material. Since your fence is exposed to all kinds of weather, a durable and rust-free fencing material is important. Weighing in at about a third of the weight of steel, aluminium is also surprisingly resilient. Plus, aluminium can be a great option if you’re trying to be mindful about your impact on the environment. Aluminium is 100% recyclable. With the energy it takes to make one aluminium can from ore 20 recycled cans could be made.
Unfortunately while aluminium is resilient it isn’t as resistant to strong forces as other materials. If you’re looking for a strong security fence then aluminium may not be the best choice.
Due to its low weight, aluminium is a great choice for manual gates or low energy automatic gates. Plus, it’s considerably cheaper than steel so in a residential area it can be a more practical choice as style tends to be more important than security. Lastly, in coastal areas with salty air and high winds, it’s natural resistance to corrosion makes it a typically better choice than other metals.
Steel – Strength and Durability for Life
Steel is well known for its superior strength and durability. Although, steel is prone to rust when the iron content reacts with oxygen and water. Fortunately, steel that is likely to be exposed to the elements will usually come galvanised. Galvanised steel is a powerful material that can stand up to severe winds and is resistant to rust and pests. Industrial and commercial applications typically call for the strength of solid steel which is strong, but very heavy. For residential use, tubular steel can be a great option which provides most of the strength of steel with a fraction of the weight of solid steel.
As stated, regular, solid steel is heavy. Plus, if it isn’t galvanised it is prone to rust. Due to the manufacturing processes involved in making steel, especially if its galvanised, it will tend to be a more expensive option. But, if security is an important factor it could serve as a necessary investment.
Steel can be a great choice when high security levels are necessary or a more luxurious aesthetic is desired.
So, Which is Right for You?
Both steel and aluminium make excellent fencing materials, however, your needs will generally point to one being a better choice. While aluminium might not have the same strength as steel, it’s lightweight, cheaper and has flexibility in design choices. It’s also easy to install and great for a DIY project. The benefits of aluminium typically make it better suited to residential properties as a high level of security usually isn’t necessary. Steel, on the other hand, is generally best for industrial properties with its extreme durability against intruders or heavy weight.
Both steel and aluminium fencing can make fantastic additions to your home. Whether you’re after the lightweight convenience of aluminium or the heavyweight durability of steel, Southside Group can provide you with everything you need, even installation. If you’re still not sure which material is best for you, don’t worry! The friendly staff at Southside Group can help steer you in the right direction when it comes time for the final decision.