An Outback aluminum fence is a great way to protect your property with a classic look that never goes out of style. Elegant and secure, an Outback fence is easy to install with basic materials and tools, and they work well with many different types of properties. Additionally, Outback aluminum fence panels can also be used to secure a pool or backyard area from nosy neighbors and the general public, and you can even customize your Outback fence with optional ball caps and gate options that range from simple frames to ones with rings, arches or finials.
But it’s also true that an Outback aluminum fence isn’t your only option. Aluminum fencing comes in many different styles and designs, and each one gives your home a chance to stand out with a bold and beautiful look. Compared to traditional wooden fences, aluminum fencing has more of a modern feel while also giving significantly more security than other types of fencing. And the best part is that aluminum fencing is largely open, so you don’t get that common trapped-in-the-yard feeling that comes with opaque fencing.
Furthermore, Outback aluminum fencing, as well as all aluminum fence designs, are much more robust, secure than wooden fences, and they need virtually no maintenance at all. Aluminum can’t rust or erode under the weather, meaning that you’ll get decades of faithful protection and use from your aluminum fencing — a stark contrast to other types of fencing that need constant attention and care.
Your Aluminum Fence Design Choices
Commonly sold in panels that can be easily connected around your property, aluminum fencing comes in varying heights, such as 36″, 42″, 48″, 54″, 60″ and 72″, so that you can go with the right height for your security and aesthetic needs. If you’re looking to secure an area, higher fencing is recommended, though lower fencing could be just right in the front of your property to give a less imposing look.
Beyond sizing concerns, you’ll also have to decide on the style and number of rails you want. While aluminum fencing is rigid enough, many designs, such as an Outback fence, have more than the top and bottom rails, adding a third or fourth rail near the top or bottom of the fence panel. In general, the more rails, the more ornate and decorative the fence will look.
Many of the popular styles are fairly similar, with the main differences being the number of rails and pickets, and the finishing touches up top or on bottom. Some pickets may extend to the top or over the top of the panel, with spears above the top or second rail. From flat tops to exposed spears or finials, or even a flat top with spears such as the Outback aluminum fence, there’s no shortage of ways to complete your home’s outdoor look.
Color is also something to think about. While black may be the most common because it’s reminiscent of old wrought iron fencing, aluminum fencing is available in bronze, white or with gold accents on finials and other ornamentation to really dial up the style.
While other colors may also be available, resist the urge to go with a color that’s too out there as it may drastically clash with your landscaping or home. Black is great for homes in areas with a lot of greenery or landscaping, while white or bronze is best for desert areas or lighter colored stucco or stone homes and landscaping.
An important consideration is also whether or not you need commercial grade or residential grade fencing. Residential aluminum fencing is less robust and lighter than commercial fencing, though you can certainly get commercial grade fencing for your home and vice versa. Typically, residential fencing means 5/8″ pickets, while commercial fences have pickets that are 3/4″. Residential fencing also comes in six foot panels and commercial fencing tends to come in larger, eight foot sections.
Outback and More – Aluminum Fence Design Styles
As the simplest and most popular style of aluminum fence, the Floridian fence has two rails, one at the top and one at the bottom, with pickets that extend the entire panel. Without any ornamentation, a Floridian fence is a clean and classic design that works just about anywhere. It’s also the most unimposing style due to its limited features.
Another popular aluminum fence design is known as the Sierra. With a third rail near the top and the bottom rail moved up a bit, a Sierra fence is more elegant than the Floridian with pickets that extend to the top rail and slightly past the bottom. It’s also the foundational design that the Outback is based on.
Indeed, one of the most common variations of the Sierra is an Outback aluminum fence. Instead of pickets that all extend up to the top rail, every other picket is speared in between the top two rails, adding extra ornamentation but without the exposed finials that block arm-resting up top. It’s a more elegant look than the Sierra or Floridian, but the function is largely the same.
A slightly different take on the Outback is the Carolina, which is basically an Outback without the speared finials that extend up past the second rail. It’s sort of like a Sierra and Outback if you got rid of the distinctive finials of an Outback aluminum fence.
Another popular type of aluminum fence design is the Appalachian. It has the same three rails as the other fences mentioned, but the top two are shifted down, exposing the speared finials on each picket. It’s a more menacing and secure look, and the signature feature is the exposed spears up top that discourages climbing and other behavior.
A similar version of the Appalachian is the Manhattan, which is essentially an Appalachian with alternating picket spears above the two top rails. If you have an increased security concern, the Manhattan or Appalachian is a good option.
For another fence option that’s a mix of the Outback aluminum fence and the Sierra, a Puppy fence adds another rail at the bottom and twice as many pickets below the third rail — perfect for keeping pets inside and assorted animals out. You can also get an Appalachian with twice as many pickets, which is basically a cross between the Puppy fence and the Appalachian.
Those that want a more regal or elegant look can opt for the Castle, which is essentially an Appalachian fence with arched spears that invokes medieval architecture. Like other aluminum fencing that prevents climbing, the Castle is a great way to bump up security while also bringing in design features from a bygone era.
For maximum ornamentation and elegance, there’s the Elegant Arch and Cathedral. Featuring three rails with two up top and an open bottom, both the Elegant Arch and Cathedral come with striking designs and an imposing look. Opt for the Elegant Arch if you prefer larger swoops and bends, or go with the Cathedral for interlocking bends that adds a sophisticated, old-European feel to any property line or boundary.
Installing Your Outback Aluminum Fence
Regardless of the fence style you choose, such as an Outback aluminum fence or something more or less ornate, installation is much easier than traditional wood fences that often have to be built and installed at the same time. Your fencing will come with instructions and diagrams, but anyone that’s worked with a fence before can likely jump right in.
Before you can get started, it’s important to prep the area. Posts will need to be situated every six feet (or eight feet for commercial fencing), and don’t forget the gate if you’re adding one. Make note of where sprinklers and underground lines are running and ensure that your new fencing won’t interfere. When in doubt, call your utility company so that you can avoid any damage during installation.
It’s also a good idea to check your shipment to ensure that everything’s present and accounted for. You don’t want to do all the up-front work and realize you’re missing caps or hinges, so a little prep goes a long way.
When you’re ready to get started, lay out your fencing around your property and work your way around, driving a stake at the end of each panel and using string to ensure straightness. Holes should be marked every 72.5″ and dug 6″ wide and 24″ to 42″ deep (dependent on frost line) with a post hole digger.
Attach each section of the fence by sliding the notched rails of the fencing panel into the holes on the post, using a 1″ self-tapping screw to secure the post to the rail. After putting the post in the first hole, simply plumb the post with a level and mix concrete to pour down the hole, filling the remaining 2″ with packed dirt up to the surface
To keep everything in line and to prevent the process from getting away from you, install only one post or panel at a time, then go back and adjust each post to ensure that the fence is straight and that there’s a nice, smooth flow. If you wait too long, the concrete will dry, so work as you go to get the best fit and finish.
For more on how to install an Outback aluminum fence or any aluminum fence for that matter, consult the aluminum fencing experts at Aluminum Fences Direct or check out our DIY fence installation guide.