portable pool fence

Why Portable Pool Fences Aren’t Safe

Now that summer is nearly here, it’s time for more sun and fun in your backyard areas. But if you have a backyard pool or spa, you’ll need a robust fence to control who has access to your pool, especially when you’re away. After all, unless your property line is sealed, children may make their way into your pool without your knowledge, and that can lead to an accident or worse.

Unfortunately, some homeowners may errantly think that a portable pool fence is a good alternative to a permanent fence that can block access in the absence of a supervising adult, but they’re often less safe and can introduce a whole new set of dangers to your pool area. Additionally, many states and municipalities actually require safety pool fencing that abides by specific guidelines as to height, rigidity and installation — and you likely won’t be able to satisfy those demands with a portable pool fence, nor should you want to.

The reason fencing is needed is that children may be enticed towards the pool even if it’s not swimming time. The glistening of the water and toys or other items in the water can draw young children in — and they won’t know that no one’s watching them if they have easy access to the pool from the backyard. 

The Dangers of Drowning

While it’s every parent’s biggest fear, drowning in a backyard pool is exceedingly common. In fact, after accounting for birth defects, drowning is the number one cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Even if your attention is only misplaced for a second, a child can often make their way to the pool without being spotted, particularly when there are obstructed sight lines involved. 

It’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends being vigilant whenever there is a pool on the premises — even in the case of a hot tub or an inflatable pool. And, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drownings under the age of 4 happen almost 70 percent of the time when there was no expectation that the child would be in the pool area; in almost half of the instances, the child was last seen inside the house, not in the backyard or around the pool.

The Importance of a Pool Fence

Whether your backyard pool is a permanent, in-ground pool or a temporary portable pool, a fence is required. Even if you’re just setting up a pool for the day and you plan on being around, you’ll need some kind of pool barrier to prevent small children from accessing the water in those times when adults are distracted or elsewhere. 

That’s because most drownings for children under the age of 4 occur in a pool or spa at home. While each story is different, there are certain commonalities that typically start with the child wandering out of the house and into a pool area that wasn’t fenced off from the home. Sometimes they slip out a door — other times they crawl out windows or through doggy doors — and it’s often the case that the parents or a chaperone was unaware the child was even outside.

More than a quarter of the time, drownings happen at a neighbor’s or a friend’s house. There may be no national safety pool fencing law, but some states and cities are wising-up to this danger and mandating that all pools within their jurisdictions have sufficient fencing. If your state or city doesn’t have this requirement, it’s still a good idea to have a fence around any pool or hot tub in the backyard.

Pool Fencing Requirements

From portable pool fencing to permanent installations, a pool fence should be at least four feet tall and have four sides, completely encasing the pool itself. Even if you have fencing around your backyard or the pool is in an area that seems safe, you’ll need a fencing option that can keep any unauthorized access out, especially when you’re not around.

In addition to certain height requirements, a pool fence must be climb proof. That makes many portable pool fencing options a no-go since they’re not locked into place by concrete and other permanent fixtures. Sure, you may save some money on that portable pool fence, but it’s not really providing the safety that you might expect. If there are any nearby obstacles that children can stand on to gain leverage or to help them scale the fence — or otherwise compromise the design — that portable pool fence may be little more than a short-lived barrier to unwanted pool access.

The vertical slats on pool fences must also be no more than 4 inches wide, which helps keep small children and pets from squeezing through the gaps. Some poor fencing options may feature slats that are too wide or that lack the strength to resist prying, which negates the whole point of a pool fence in the first place.

As for the entrance into the pool area, experts suggest that the fence should have a self-latching and self-closing gate that opens away from the pool area, and that the latch itself should be situated towards the top of the fence, or at least 54 inches from the ground. That will put the latch out of a child’s reach, but still make it easy for adults to get in and out.

For those times that the pool is not in use, the gate must be able to be locked — either with a mechanism on the handle itself or a simple padlock that can be threaded through the gate — preventing anyone from accessing the area. It’s also a good idea to keep all toys and items out of the pool when it’s not in use. Toys may entice a child to enter the pool area on their own, and getting everything out of the pool communicates that the pool is off limits.

What About Alarms or Pool Covers?

It’s an unfortunate truth of pool drownings that there’s rarely an indication that anything has happened at all until a body is found. Any sort of struggle or thrashing about is often too quiet to break the din of the day’s festivities, and a secure fence is still the best way to prevent unauthorized access to any pool area. 

But an alarm can help give you an additional layer of protection along with that fence. Alarms can be placed at the pool gate, at the back door, or on ground-level windows, though a pool alarm is something that listens for screaming or a sudden burst of activity in the pool, alerting you so that you can spring into action before something happens. 

Some may believe that pool covers represent an alternative to a pool fence, but a cover is much less safe than you may think. To provide security, a pool cover must not be easily pulled up or retracted more than a few inches. The pool cover may be huge and heavy, but if a child can slip under a corner, that cover isn’t providing any sort of actual security. Additionally, the cover itself needs to not collect water on top since children can drown in as little as a couple inches of water. 

Note that typical solar and winter pool and spa covers are not security covers and shouldn’t be treated as such. Additionally, floating covers may be the worst of the bunch because a child could try to climb on top, getting sucked down as their weight pushes the cover in.

A Portable Pool Fence Isn’t Good Enough

Given the requirements and what you need from your pool fence — four feet of height, four inches between each slat, a self-latching and self-closing gate out of the reach of children, a lock and no climbable features — it’s true that a portable pool fence is wholly inadequate. Most temporary fencing isn’t rigid enough to adequately protect your pool from unauthorized access, and over time it can get even worse as that temporary fence starts to wear and wiggle to a point where it may not provide any meaningful protection at all.

While parents should always be around whenever kids are in the pool, it’s hard to keep 100 percent of the focus on the pool area. You could always assign a water watcher, but if they’re on their phone or involved with other activities, they’re not giving their undivided attention. A permanent pool fence is one of the only proven ways to minimize the chances of an unfortunate accident, and when combined with other strategies it can help make that backyard pool a source of fun and excitement, not cause for worry or dread.

Beyond a good fence and some kind of pool supervisor, it’s also a good idea to outfit young children with life jackets or other buoys that can help keep them above water if they should inadvertently fall in. To help enhance their swimming skills, it’s a great idea to enroll your children in swim lessons — or demand swim lessons or certifications for all kids that swim in your pool. 

For the adults, it’s a good idea to get CPR training so that if an accident does happen, an adult can help. And if your child goes missing, make it standard practice to check the pool first. Time is of the essence, and seconds can mean the difference between life and death.

All that said, the first place to start is with a secure and strong pool fence. Here at Aluminum Fences Direct, we sell robust aluminum pool fencing that you can install yourself at home. Click here to get started.

swimming pool fences

Pool Fencing Ideas for Your Unsecured Pool

Whether you’ve had a pool for years and your existing fence is in need of replacement or you’re considering adding a backyard pool but you’re unsure of where to start, you’ll need a fence that is both safe and matches your desired aesthetic. The good news is that there’s certainly no shortage of pool fencing ideas for you to draw on, and instead of leaving you with a blight on your backyard, they can actually enhance the feeling of your outdoor area while also helping keep that pool safe for you and your family.

But the problem is that some types of pool fencing are hardly ideal for the task. Fences that are too low or not robust enough to prevent unauthorized access may not be safe enough for daily use, especially if you have kids or pets. It’s also true that pricing varies wildly from the bottom of the market to the top — and price may not indicate security or reliability, so it’s important to consider everything before making your final decision.

After all, a permanent fence around that backyard pool is a big decision, and going with a temporary solution is no way to safeguard that pool. In fact, many fences are more decorative than functional, merely indicating that a given pool is off limits but not actually preventing that unauthorized access that could lead to some kind of accident. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, your neighborhood likely does, and if you’re away on vacation and an accident happens, you’ll wish you would have spent more time on those swimming pool fence ideas.

That said, just about every pool fencing idea has some value. The secret is to match your needs with the fence you get so that the fence does not only what you need it to do, but that it also doesn’t disrupt your backyard area with more clutter and things that you don’t want around your pool area. But you’ll have to do something. After birth defects, pool drownings are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and four, and it only takes seconds for a child to slip by undetected and into the pool area, even if they were last seen in the home.

Here are some pool fencing ideas to keep in mind as you make your decision.

Wooden Pool Fencing Ideas

Fences have been made from wood for hundreds of years due to their lightweight but rigid structure that acts as a great property boundary and a way to signify to others that a given area is off limits. 

But when you’re working with wood, just about anything is fair game. From DIY fences to commercial options that may feature prefab sections that can be easily installed at home, a wooden pool fence can provide a classic look — but due to its exposure to nearby water from the pool, they’re also prone to splitting, cracking and rotting, which can jeopardize the integrity of the pool fence itself, as well as introduce hazards to nearby swimmers.

Sure, a raw wood fence looks great and rustic, but if there are splinters all over the pool deck and all that splashing and water inevitably causes the wood to rot, you’ll end up with a deteriorating pool fencing idea that is hardly up to par. To prevent chipping and rotting, most people end up treating or painting that wooden fence, but that also means keeping up on maintenance and ensuring that the wooden fence is kept clean and dry before real damage starts to happen.

From lattice fencing to traditional pickets, wood fences run the gamut from quaint and cozy to huge vertical behemoths and everything in between. Unfortunately, they’re not an ideal pool deck fencing idea because the sustained water exposure can lead to damage in short order even with proper maintenance and care.

Glass Pool Fencing Ideas

For a great pool fencing idea that looks good and provides the necessary security that pool deck areas need, today’s glass pool fencing is made from thick sheets of safety glass called balustrades that are much heavier and more durable than traditional glass. Featuring some kind of metal posting structure to provide rigidity and support,  glass pool fencing is ideal when visibility is important.

Unfortunately, glass fencing is also super expensive, running as much as $200 per foot. It’s also a huge maintenance pain as those glass panes attract dust, fingerprints and other grime that will be highly visible through the transparent glass. But if you don’t mind the price and the almost daily need for cleaning and maintenance, a glass fence is one of the most visually striking inground pool fencing ideas because it provides the safety you need while preserving sight lines.

Vinyl Pool Fencing Ideas

Providing a nice alternative to wood fences that need lots of care and attention to prevent the water from rotting and destroying it, vinyl pool fencing ideas are similar to wood in look but without the ongoing maintenance need. Instead of having to keep up with painting, vinyl fencing offers a cheap way to get the security you need without the annoyance of maintenance. 

The best part is that vinyl fencing comes in various colors and designs so that you can meet your exact aesthetic need. However, vinyl fencing won’t fool any close-up scrutiny as vinyl looks like wood from a distance but hardly passes muster up close. But if you’re okay with the look of vinyl, it could be a great pool fencing idea as it should last longer than traditional wood fencing, particularly around a pool area that’s exposed to so much water. 

That said, vinyl fencing is typically a solid barrier with non-existent or small openings that don’t do a great job at letting the wind through. If you live in a windy area, a vinyl fence could be vulnerable to wind damage; the same thing that makes vinyl fencing bad in windy areas is also what makes it bad for visibility, so if sight lines are important you may want to go with another option.

Alternative Pool Fencing Ideas

Alternative pool fencing options are also available, but for various reasons they’re not ideal in most situations. 

There’s bamboo, which is a strong and durable pool fencing option — and they even resist termites. They look great and can provide a unique look for your backyard pool area, especially if you’re going for a tropical theme, and they also can help dial up the privacy around your pool area. However, if you live in a dry area that’s prone to wildfires, you may want to rethink that bamboo option. They combust quickly, which can put your home at greater chance of catching fire in the instance of a local wildfire.

While it won’t win any aesthetic awards, mesh pool fencing is another viable pool fence idea, though it may not leave the same impression of our other options. Primarily used as a stop-gap until you can get permanent fencing up around your pool, mesh fencing is relatively cheap and provides a similar see-through look of glass without the expense. But it’s also one of the less secure options and a sharp object or a knife may be all that’s needed to compromise the security.

The Real Deal – Metal Pool Fencing Options

For many homeowners, the only real fencing option is a metal fence. They’re strong, preserve sightlines and look great, and they’re more affordable than you may think. The three main metal options are iron, steel and aluminum. 

The first option, iron, has been used for centuries as fencing around homes and public places, though it’s immensely heavy and hard to work with. Iron will also corrode outside, so it requires regular maintenance to prevent rust and rotting. Today, wrought iron has been largely replaced by lighter, cheaper and more efficient metals.

Continuing with the strength angle, tubular steel is a relatively lightweight metal option compared to iron, though it’s still not immune to weather, wetness and the damage that comes with it. That’s because just like iron, steel rusts, and you’ll need to spend much of your time applying primers and paints to ensure that your steel fence doesn’t deteriorate over time. It’s also relatively expensive.

Which brings us to our final option: aluminum. Unlike iron and steel, it won’t corrode or rot, making it a great option around the wet areas of a pool deck. Aluminum can also be used to create looks reminiscent of old wrought iron fences, which is always a great option wherever you need a secure and stable fence. Rather than wood or vinyl fencing that blocks off the sight lines, an aluminum fence is secure enough to prevent unauthorized access while still retaining visibility from inside the home and out from the pool area. 

Because it won’t rust, aluminum pool fencing needs virtually no maintenance to protect its integrity, and it also comes in various colors so that you can match your aesthetic need. If you’d like a classic wrought iron look, black paint can’t be beat. But for more desert landscapes or buildings with lighter hues, a white fence can dial up the security while also blending with its surroundings, giving you the utility you need without disrupting your landscaping.

While aluminum fencing may not be the most private option, it does strike the balance between security, maintenance and cost that other options don’t. But inside or outside of that fence you can easily add shrubs or other plants that can give you privacy while the fence provides the protection and security that you need. 

For more on your aluminum pool fencing options, browse our dozens of styles here.

pool fencing requirements

Pool Fencing Requirements by State

A backyard pool is one of those staples of fun in the sun during the warmer months of the year. But regardless of how often you use your pool, it’s unfortunately a hazard 365 days of the year. After all, it only takes a second for a child or pet to wander into a pool area and inadvertently fall in, leading to an accident or worse. Even if you don’t have children of your own, kids or other people could gain access to your pool if it’s left largely unsecured for much of the year, and that could represent a legal liability that you probably don’t want to deal with.

The good news is that you can avoid it all with a proper fence around your pool. In fact, many states and municipalities have pool fencing requirements that stipulate how backyard and public pools should be secured, and if you have a years-old pool you may be running afoul of the law without even realizing it. In addition to swimming pool fencing requirements, you may also need to post signage in some areas, so it’s important to look into your local municipal and state pool regulations to ensure that your pool area is on the up-and-up.

Note that regulations and pool fencing requirements can change at any time, so if you have any questions its best to reach out to the local authorities to verify if your pool area meets all the required laws. While commercial pools have more stringent requirements that may require adequate signage and warnings around the pool deck, residential pool owners can often satisfy their needs with a pool cover, fence and gate. 

Federal Pool Fencing Requirements

While adequate pool fencing may be the best way to prevent unauthorized access in a pool area, there’s only one real federal pool law. Known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), the law was named after a 7-year-old that drowned in a hot tub after getting stuck by the suction of the drain. Despite her mother’s best efforts, she was not able to break free, leading to the law that was signed by President Bush in 2007.

But the law goes further than spas. It states that all pool drain covers manufactured after December 2008 must meet the new standard, as well as requiring pools with one main drain to add a suction-limiting vent system, a gravity drainage system, an automatic pump shut-off system or disabling the drain itself.

Other federal laws include accessibility standards for public pools, though residential pools are not subject to these requirements. However, just because there’s not a federal law doesn’t mean that you may not have pool fencing requirements for your above ground or in-ground pool, particularly with regard to height or other safety needs. Even if your state or municipality doesn’t require it, pool fencing is one of the best ways to prevent a pool-related accident, and anyone with a backyard pool should seek to secure it with a fence.

Alabama

Since adopting the 2009 International Building Code, Alabama residents are subject to the pool fencing requirements outlined in Section 3109. Some counties have more restrictive regulations with regard to signage and fencing — including Baldwin, Jefferson and Mobile — so if you live in those counties you’ll have to investigate further.

Alaska

No pool fencing requirements for residential pools.

Arizona

If a pool is located at a residence where a child younger than the age of six lives, Arizona requires that a fence or barrier must surround the pool area. It must be at least five foot tall with no openings other than a door or gate larger than four inches in diameter. It must also not be located next to climbable features and sit at least 20 inches from the edge of the pool. Other pool fencing requirements depend on whether the pool area is entirely enclosed, as well as self-closing and self-latching gates.

Arkansas

Aside from requiring the same self-closing and self-latching gates of many other states, Arkansas requires fencing around all four sides and carries a pool fence height requirement of at least four feet with gaps that are no bigger than four inches. The fence should also not feature more than four inches of space between the ground and the bottom of the fence.

California

According to California Health and Safety Codes, residential pool fencing must be at least five feet tall with no more than two inches of space between the fence and the ground. The gaps in the fencing must not be any larger than four inches in diameter, and the fence itself must not be located near obstacles and surfaces that can be used to climb over the fence. If there are any gates, they need to open away from the pool area, as well as being self-closing and self-latching with the latch at least five feet off the ground to prevent unauthorized access.

Colorado

No statewide pool fencing requirements for residential pools, though the city of Denver requires fencing that is five feet tall without openings more than four inches wide, and the pool must be visible from the exterior of the fence. Self-latching and self-closing gates are also required.

Connecticut

According to the Connecticut State Building Code, pool fence height requirements are at least four feet high with a maximum of two inches of space between the ground and fence. Any horizontal members must be located on the pool side of the fence with a maximum opening of four inches in diameter.

Delaware

No pool fencing requirements for residential pools.

Florida

With the passing of the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act in 2009, the state’s pool  fencing requirements stipulates that fences must be at least four feet tall without gaps that a young child could fit through, nor be located close enough to surrounding features that can be climbed. They have to be separate from other yard enclosures unless the enclosure also meets the requirements, as well as being at least 20 inches from the water. If gates exist, they must open away from the pool and feature self-closing, self-latching mechanisms that can’t be reached by a young child on the outside of the gate.

Pool Fencing Requirements for Other States

Note that while we’ve covered nine states here, there are 41 other states that potentially have pool fencing requirements and other laws the books governing residential pools. But when in doubt, and for the security and safety of kids in the area, every pool — residential and public — should feature a robust pool fence to prevent unauthorized access. 

For more on meeting your pool fencing requirements with a strong and robust aluminum fence, check out our affordable pool fencing options here.

Who Is the Best Aluminum Fence Distributor?

What makes the best aluminum fence distributor? There are plenty of aluminum fence distributors out there, of course. How do you choose which one is the right one, the one that will transform your home into a safe and secure place that has great curb appeal, the one that will transform your hazardous backyard pool into a danger-free zone, and the one that will increase the value of your property because of the quality of design, materials and installation?

We’ve broken this question down into five categories: where can you get the best quality aluminum fencing materials? Where can you find the widest variety of aluminum fencing styles? Where can you get the best pricing for aluminum fencing? Where can you get the most comprehensive aluminum fencing installation support? And where can you find an aluminum fencing company you can trust? We’ll answer each of these questions in detail below, but we’ll give you a hint as to what the answer is: Aluminum Fences Direct. 

Quality of Aluminum Fencing Materials

By choosing aluminum for your fencing needs, you are making a wise investment. Aluminum has many attractive features that other materials don’t have: it’s superior to wood fences, vinyl fences, steel fences, and wrought iron fences. 

Aluminum Strength

When it comes to the fence around your yard or pool, you want something strong. Fences look good–there’s no doubt about curb appeal–but they also keep your yard safe. A strong fence is a fence that will keep in kids and pets, but also keep out unwanted strangers as well as wildlife. The rail across the top has to be strong in case someone (your teenagers, maybe?) try to hop the fence and you don’t want it bent. But the pickets have to be strong, too, so that your younger children can pull them apart and squeeze through and go out into the street. 

You might be surprised to learn that aluminum is very strong material, indeed. Instead of imagining soda cans and tin foil when you think of aluminum, think of car parts, airplane frames, construction equipment and so much more. Yes, pound for pound, steel and iron are stronger metals (but we’ll talk about the downsides of steel and iron below) but when it comes to a strength competition between aluminum and wood, or aluminum and vinyl, aluminum comes out on top every time. 

We use 6000 series aluminum for all of our fence panels and posts, with properties that are unsurpassed by other manufacturers. That’s us: Aluminum Fences Direct.

Aluminum Maintenance

Let’s talk about the maintenance that you have to put into an aluminum fence: there is none. Literally, there’s nothing you need to do to maintain your aluminum fence (unless you include hosing off grass clippings or mud from the yard). You’ll never need to paint, polish or patch our aluminum fences, ever.

Why is this? Two reasons: the first is that aluminum is a corrosion-resistant material. Unlike steel and iron (see? we’re talking about them now) aluminum doesn’t rust. It’s not because of any treatment we give to aluminum, either: aluminum can’t rust because of its chemical properties. Rust happens when iron oxidizes, and aluminum has virtually no iron in its composition (unlike steel and, well, iron). In fact, while aluminum does oxidize, its oxidation actually acts as a protectant seal for the aluminum underneath.

The other reason that our aluminum is so corrosion-resistant, however, is that we do actually give it a powder coating (because there are other things that can corrode a metal than just water and oxygen). We coat all of our products using an environmentally-friendly electrostatic powder that leaves them extremely durable. It does not emit the large amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that is common in the liquid coating process, which damage the atmosphere. Our coating is guaranteed to meet and exceed the most strict performance guidelines of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA-2604) against corrosion and fading, keeping your purchase looking beautiful and maintenance free.

Again, that’s what you can expect with the best aluminum fence distributor: Aluminum Fences Direct.

A Wide Variety of Aluminum Fencing Styles

When you’re looking for aluminum fencing, it’s almost never a purchase you’re making purely for security reasons. If you just wanted a cheap way to keep things out of your yard you could put in unsightly and low-quality chain link, after all. No, when you’re choosing an aluminum fence because it not only keeps your property and yard secure, but also because you like the way it looks. Let’s face it: aluminum fences look great. 

And we have every style under the sun. 

If you want a standard, solid, good-looking fence, then you need search no further than the Floridian or Sierra, both with clean lines. Want something with a little more architectural detail? The Outback and Carolina styles both have unique top profiles that take a standard fence to the next level. Want spiked pickets at the top of your fence? We have lots of options for those, from the straight-topped Appalaichian to the jagged Manhattan to the very strong XP (eXtra Picket Fence) to the Castle, which arrays its spiked pickets in a gentle but distinguished curve across the length of the panel. And if you want a fence specifically for animals in your yard we’ve got you covered with the Puppy, which has narrowly-placed pickets at the bottom to make sure your pup (or other pets) won’t go astray. And, of course, if you want something much more ornamental, there is the Elegant Arch, which has gorgeous arching pickets overlying a spike, and the singular Cathedral, which is perhaps the most regal looking fence in our catalog.

But don’t think it stops there, because we don’t settle for second best when it comes to style offerings. You can customize your fence–any of the styles mentioned above–with a wide arrangement of accessories, including Monarch, Victorian or Imperial finials to replace the press-point topped pickets. We also have Ball Caps for the top of your posts, and even Solar Caps to spread a little light into your well-fenced yard. There’s optional scrollwork that can be added to a fence to give it a little panache.

And, of course, not all our accessories are necessarily about style: we also have a variety of items that make a good fence great just in terms of usage. These include the Lokklatch Magnetic, the Ornamag Lockable Latch Double Sided, the Magna Latch, and many more latches, mounts, and mount covers that will turn a regular fence into a perfect one.

And what aluminum fence distributor has all of this? You can only get it through Aluminum Fences Direct.

The Best Pricing on Aluminum Fencing

You would expect the best aluminum fence distributor to have the best aluminum fence pricing, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Aluminum Fences Direct. Our aluminum fencing starts as low as $42 a panel! 

We have better prices because we’ve got the wholesale prices. You’re not working through a middleman who marks up the price of your aluminum fence. These are the rock bottom prices, the best you can find anywhere.

Want a comparison? HomeAdvisor says that the average aluminum fence panel comes in at $60 per panel. And we’re starting at $42. They say that ornamental panels can go for as much as $240 per panel. Our top-of-the-line styles get under that price by as much as $40 per panel. 

Add on top of that our Rewards Program that gives you gift cards for sending us pictures of your beautifully completed fence or by referring others, and you’ve got the best pricing on aluminum fencing, period.

Comprehensive Aluminum Fencing Installation Support

If you’ve looked around at getting an aluminum fence, you probably get some real sticker shock when you find out the cost of installation. HomeAdvisor says that the price of paying installers to put in your aluminum fence can be anywhere from $15-$40 per foot. That can be upwards of $4000 for a fence, or more! That’s enough to make anyone question whether they want an aluminum fence or not.

At Aluminum Fences Direct, you save that money because you’re the one installing the fence. Don’t let that scare you! If you’ve even done a little bit of work around the house or yard, you’ll be fully capable of installing a fence. And we’re here to give you absolutely as much support as you’re going to need with our comprehensive aluminum fencing installation guide. 

You can read it all now. It’s not hard–we promise. We tell you exactly what tools you’re going to need (don’t worry, they’re nothing difficult) and then we describe in step-by-step detail exactly what to do and when. We give you illustrations to help you map out your yard and design your own fence, figuring out where you’ll put your gates, where you’ll put the posts, and how many panels you’ll need. Once you’ve got that figured out, you order the fencing and we ship you everything you’ll need including all the hardware. 

Then you just follow the easy instructions and before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful fence that not only looks great but actually adds value to your property. It’s true: a fully installed fence will make your house appraise for even more money than it did before. So if you can get the benefit of that, and save yourself $4000 in installation costs, why wouldn’t you choose Aluminum Fences Direct?

An Aluminum Fencing Company You Can Trust 

We’re a company you can trust, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Our website is overflowing with the positive reviews we’ve received from customers who have used our aluminum fencing, installed it themselves, participated in the rewards program, and are enthusiastic enough to send us a message telling us what a good experience it was. You can find all the reviews here, but here’s a few highlights:

We are very pleased with the entire process from start to finish. From the initial estimate to delivery, and following the installation instructions, the process was smooth. Now fully installed, the fence adds safety for our child and dog, increased curb appeal to our home, and resale value. The fence was easy to work with, lightweight yet strong and blends in with the existing landscaping.

We have received lots of compliments from the neighbors, friends and family. It was well worth the investment and would use Aluminum Fences Direct again without pause.

Thanks again and it was great doing business with you.

Anthony W.

Wall Township, NJ

December 2020

Or this one:

Buying our fence from Aluminum Fences Direct was a GREAT decision. They were awesome to work with. Very helpful and their price was the best anywhere. I loved the videos they sent for installation purposes. They made putting the fence up ourselves so easy. I highly recommend Aluminum Fences Direct to anyone.

Dave M.

Jackson, MO

September 2020

And the reviews keep coming in!

Made in the USA

Other companies will say that their products are “made in the USA” but what they mean is that they’ve assembled the pieces here. For Aluminum Fences Direct, we don’t want to sell you a product shipped from China or Mexico where we can’t control the quality. We want to know that when we send a fence panel out of our warehouse, it is going to satisfy the customer in every way. That’s why all of our fencing comes from a supplier who not only assembles their products right here in the Carolinas, but gets the actual aluminum itself from local manufacturers. It truly is Made in the USA, and that means “quality”.

Test Us

Want to be sure that we’re the best aluminum fence distributor? Put us to the test. You can contact us by email or phone–and yes, that phone will be answered by not only a real-live human being, but a human being who knows a lot about aluminum fencing. So give us a call and see if we know our stuff. We guarantee that we do, and that you’ll get the customer service that you deserve.

 

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Why Are Residential Aluminum Fences So Expensive

You’re a savvy shopper. You’ve probably been looking around at various options for that fence you’ve been wanting to install. You’ve seen the beautiful photos, admired the look of some and had your doubts about others. And if you’re on this site you’ve probably been looking pretty closely at aluminum fencing, but maybe you’re not sure about that sticker price.

It’s true: residential aluminum fences can be expensive. There’s no getting around that. But the key word there is that they “can” be expensive. They don’t have to be. There are ways to get a gorgeous aluminum fence that will look great around your yard, enclosing your pool, gating your driveway, all for a price that is downright reasonable. 

But first let’s look into aluminum fences and figure out why they’re so expensive, and we’ll see what can be done to cut the cost. There are two big factors in price when it comes to aluminum fences being so expensive: installation and markup. You might look at the price of an aluminum fence and feel that it’s not that bad only to find out that, with installation, it’s way out of your price range. What do the numbers tell us?

Aluminum Fence Installation Cost

HomeAdvisor did a study of aluminum fence prices and they found that installation costs alone for your fence cost anywhere from $15 to $40 per foot! Now that’s a wide range, and the reason for that is because every yard is different and different yard footprints are going to be more difficult than others (for example, that $40 price is probably a yard on a steep slope, or with a lot of curves and angles, while the $15 is probably a flat, level square.) But still, $15 per foot–at the bottom of the range!–is an awful lot of money when you start measuring out the perimeter of your yard.

Let’s take an average yard for our calculations. If it’s a medium yard, say a quarter acre, then that puts the perimeter at 417 feet (and for making the math easier let’s just call it 400). 400 feet of fencing around your quarter acre yard. That’s going to be $6000 for installation alone! It’s no wonder that people think that aluminum fences are expensive. $6000 is a lot of money to begin with, and then to realize that it’s only the installation cost: not materials, not permits, not property line surveys or other utility inspections. And then realize that we’re basing that $6000 on the base low-end estimate of $15 per foot! If you’re on the high end, that’s a $16,000 installation bill.

Almost makes you want to rethink getting an aluminum fence, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, there’s a solution coming up that will take that price WAY down. We’ll get to it in a second. First, let’s talk about the markup on aluminum fencing.

Aluminum Fence Cost Markup

Aluminum fencing is a beautiful, low-maintenance, secure and attractive addition to any home. But if you don’t shop around, you can end up paying a lot more for it than you need to. 

Let’s look at HomeAdvisor again, we see that they’re putting the price of a standard panel of aluminum fence at $60. (They define a panel as a 4’x6’ section of fence. A panel of fence is what goes between the individual posts.) That might sound reasonable if we’re looking at it on its own. $60 for a panel is only $10 per foot, but going back our average quarter-acre yard that’s a $4000 fence. That’s still an awful lot of money (and it doesn’t include that crazy $6000 installation bill we talked about). 

But let’s look at what happens when you go to a seller that only deals in aluminum fences–like Aluminum Fences Direct! That same 4’x6’ standard panel (let’s use the Floridian fence, because it’s a good, basic fence) is only $53. That $7 may not seem like much, but it puts the price of that quarter-acre fence at $3533–nearly five hundred dollars cheaper than the standard price that you’d pay from the average fence installer. 

And that’s only where the markup starts. HomeAdvisor puts the price of an ornamental fence at $15-$40 per foot (so we’re looking at an ornamental-fenced yard anywhere between $6000 and $16000!) But here at Aluminum Fences Direct you can look at the prices of our most ornamental fences and see that the prices are much lower. Our Elegant Arch fence comes in at $18 a foot. So does our Castle fence. The Manhattan or Appalachian fences are ornamental and they’re only $11 per foot. 

See, when it comes to aluminum fences, there’s the mainstream fencing companies who stock all kinds of fences and charge you extra for aluminum. Or there’s Aluminum Fences Direct who specialize in aluminum fences and can therefore get you fences for much cheaper with no difference in quality. 

Aluminum Fence Pricing vs Other Types of Fencing

It’s important to note that if you’re in the market for a metal fence, aluminum is going to be a lot less expensive than your other options. Take a steel fence, for instance. HomeAdvisor puts the price of a section of steel fencing at $180 to $350. (A section is measured differently from a panel, but that works out to $22 to $47 per foot.) That puts our hypothetical yard, now surrounded by steel fencing, at between $8,800 and $18,800! So while you can put steel around your yard, do you really want to pay out that much money for it?

Plus installation costs of steel fencing, which they put at between $30 to $50 per foot. Per foot! This fence is really getting out of hand. 

Or how about wrought iron? That’s a good looking fence, too (though it does require some serious maintenance to keep it from rusting.) That’s $24 to $30 per foot in materials and $24 to $44 to install. So, you’re not saving money on the wrought iron, either.

So is Aluminum Fencing Really That Expensive After All?

Well, we’ve done the math and we’ve found that the aluminum fencing is definitely cheaper than steel. And we’ve done the math to find that it’s definitely cheaper than wrought iron. 

And we’ve done the math to show that Aluminum Fences Direct’s prices are definitely better than the national average that is marked up by fence companies who don’t specialize in aluminum like we do. 

The big question, then, is what about installation? That’s where a lot of the price was. 

That’s the beauty of Aluminum Fences Direct. We give you all the tools, all the know-how, all the information that you need to be able to install the fence yourself. Will it require getting your hands dirty? Yes. Will it save you $6000 (at a minimum)? You bet. 

Following our complete and trusted DIY Fence Installation Guide, you’ll be able to install the aluminum fence yourself, no need for professional help. It doesn’t require much. Some string, stakes, a post hole digger, a little concrete mix and a Phillips screwdriver. Really–we’re not kidding. That’s all there is to it.

Are Aluminum Fences Expensive–Or Do They Pay For Themselves?

While we can’t break it down into numbers as evenly as dollars per foot, we know from years of experience (and Realtors will back us up) that curb appeal is what sells a house. If you have an attractive aluminum fence surrounding your yard then your home value just went up. It will appraise for more, because you’ve improved the property. It looks better, it has better security, it protects your kids and pets, and it keeps out wild animals (and roaming criminals). 

So while you are making an investment into the fence of both your money and your labor, you’re not only getting a beautiful addition to your home, you’re getting a piece of property that is worth more. So it really doesn’t seem expensive at all; it seems like a prudent investment.

 

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How Strong Are Aluminum Fences?

Aluminum fences look great and add value to the home, as well as making the property more safe and secure, but how strong is aluminum? When people think of aluminum they often think of an aluminum soda can, because that’s the application we encounter aluminum most frequently.

Or do we? Aluminum is actually all around us and we often simply don’t recognize it. Our cars are full of aluminum parts, as are power lines and even the interior of computers. But perhaps the biggest usage of aluminum is in the construction industry. From ladders to doors, from bridges to skylights, and all manner of internal structure in both residential and commercial buildings, aluminum is a mainstay when it comes to construction technology. This is because it is lightweight, strong, and easy to maintain.  

Aluminum Fences Are As Strong as Wrought Iron, But Lighter Weight

As mentioned above, the things that come to mind when we think of aluminum are soda cans and tin foil, but an aluminum fence is every bit as strong as a wrought iron fence! It is sturdy, can withstand bumps and bangs, protects your home from those who would try to bend open the pickets or jump over the rail. It is absolutely comparable in strength with an iron fence, but there are big differences that fall in aluminum’s favor. 

Aluminum Fences Are Resilient to Weather

Aluminum fences are far more resistant to water corrosion, rust and decay than a wrought iron fence. Iron rusts easily, and even a little chip in the paint will soon start to oxidize and turn a beautiful post into an unsightly red-orange eyesore. But aluminum won’t rust and with a powder coating will be resilient to all bumps and dings–you’ll never need to paint an aluminum fence. The sun can bake it, snow can pile up against it, and icicles can dangle from the rail, but you’ll never need to worry about the weather damaging an aluminum fence.

Aluminum Fences Are Maintenance Free

As mentioned, you never need to do upkeep on an aluminum fence, as you would with a wooden or an iron fence which requires a new paint job every year. The only maintenance you’ll ever need to do on an aluminum fence is perhaps spraying it down with the hose to get grass clippings or mud off the bottom. But that’s it! They are sturdy and take care of themselves. 

Grades of Aluminum Fencing

Not all aluminum is the same. The key is to use the right product for the right project. Here we’ve broken down some of the differences between the main grades of aluminum fencing that you will see.

Residential Grade Aluminum Fencing

Whenever you are choosing a grade of aluminum fencing, the first thing to keep in mind is that most of the qualities of appearance are going to be similar. You’ll be able to find the same colors, the same powder coatings, and many of the same styles. Obviously, with residential grade aluminum fencing you’re going to find a wider variety of ornamental styles than, say, in industrial fencing. But the overall look of an aluminum fence is going to be the same regardless of grade.

Residential grade aluminum fencing is strong and lightweight, very durable and needs no maintenance. It is made specifically to be shipped and installed as fencing around your property, so it is meant to withstand any bumping, grinding, or rubbing associated with being jostled around on a worksite. That’s likely the time in a residential fence’s life that it’s going to take the most abuse. And if you’re worried it’s not strong enough to take some weight of a person jumping over it, we know that’s going to happen in the life of a fence (especially if you’ve got children or teenagers). A residential grade aluminum fence can take that weight.

Pool Grade Aluminum Fencing

Pool grade aluminum fencing is aluminum fencing that has been made to a stricter standard: the BOCA code (Building Officials and Code Administrators). These are rules that are specified for the building and safety of residential construction. There are BOCA codes for everything from electrical to plumbing to foundations, and there are BOCA codes for pool fences. 

While BOCA codes vary by municipality, they generally state that a pool fence must be at least 48” high. Some cities require 60”. Spacing between the pickets cannot allow a 4” sphere to pass through, but that is the minimum. Many pool grade aluminum fencing companies put the pickets at 3” to be on the safe side. (The reason for this rule is to stop the curious toddler from squeezing through the pickets and getting into the pool unsupervised.) 

Other than the codes for height and spacing, however, the strength of a pool grade aluminum fence is typically the same as that of a residential grade aluminum fence. (And don’t worry about any water damage from the pool water or chemicals. Aluminum pool fences can withstand anything like that.)

Commercial Grade Aluminum Fencing

Commercial grade aluminum fencing is more heavy-duty and is designed with an eye more on protection and security. This type of fence, while it still may look in style like a residential grade aluminum fence, will typically be in place for more than decoration and is designed to handle rougher abuse. The aluminum used is heavier and stiffer, with the intention of stopping commercial-style incidents–a bump from a vehicle, the scaling of a determined burglar, or the collision of falling inventory or equipment. Areas that see high traffic from vehicles, equipment, and people ought to look into commercial grade aluminum fencing.

Industrial Grade Aluminum Fencing

Industrial grade fencing is an even stronger and more durable aluminum than commercial grade, made from thicker material. Industrial grade fencing is used not so much in different types of businesses than commercial grade (for example, don’t think a regular business needs commercial grade but a factory needs industrial grade). But the difference is that industrial grade aluminum is used in applications that see more use and wear. For example, a commercial facility with commercial grade fencing might have an industrial grade fencing gate for continuous use.

Steel vs. Aluminum Fencing: What You Should Know

So how strong are aluminum fences versus steel fences, and what do you need to know about them? Here are some comparison breakdowns:

Strength Comparison: Steel vs Aluminum

When it comes to strength, there is no doubt that, pound for pound, steel is stronger than aluminum. This is not to say aluminum is weak, just to say that steel is a very tried-and-true material that is made to withstand almost anything. While both materials are durable, steel is more resistant to impacts and dents.

Corrosion Comparison: Steel vs Aluminum

Aluminum is nearly impervious to rust, and it needs no coating or treatment to make it rust-resistant; it is just a property of the material. Steel (or “carbon steel” as opposed to stainless steel) usually needs a treatment or coating or even paint to make it rust and corrosion resistant. When it comes to lifespan of a fence, a galvanized and powder-coated steel fence has about the same life as an aluminum fence, which is to say: more than fifty years, at a minimum.

Weight Comparison: Steel vs Aluminum

In this category, aluminum comes through as the clear winner. It’s the tradeoff that steel has for being the stronger metal. Steel is approximately 2.5 times heavier than aluminum. (This varies based on the specific alloys being tested.)

Appearance Comparison: Steel vs Aluminum

When a metal fence is installed and in place, whether it is aluminum or powder-coated steel, they are virtually identical. It would take a material scientist to tell the difference in a lab (or someone weighing the fence). When it comes to appearance, there is no clear winner because they are identical for all intents and purposes.

Price Comparison: Steel vs Aluminum

It may surprise you to know that when it comes to raw materials (which fluctuate with the market) steel is a cheaper substance than aluminum. HOWEVER, when it comes to the actual fencing available for sale, aluminum will always be significantly cheaper than steel. 

Another benefit when it comes to price is that, because aluminum is so much lighter than steel, the price of shipping aluminum is considerably lower than the price of shipping steel. 

Also, aluminum is a more malleable metal, and is easier to bend and shape into various architectural and ornamental designs than steel, making the entire process of getting an ornamental aluminum fence easier and cheaper than getting an ornamental steel fence. So if you’re looking for an ornamental look, aluminum is going to be cheaper still.

 

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Everything You Need to Know About Aluminum Fencing

If you’ve ever looked into fencing, your eyes have probably lingered a little while on aluminum. Maybe you’ve noticed them without even realizing the fences were aluminum. An aluminum fence is an attractive, beautiful fence, with great strength characteristics, but unlike other metal fences (like steel or iron) it’s also remarkably inexpensive and lightweight. You’ll find that there are a lot of benefits to aluminum fencing. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about aluminum fencing.

Why Choose An Aluminum Fence?

So why should you choose an aluminum fence? There are a lot of reasons. For starters, they’re great to look at. They add beauty and appeal to your home, pool, or business. They’re also strong–very strong–and can take a beating if they need to. Unlike other metals, and also wood, they don’t need any special paint or treatment to maintain. In fact, an aluminum fence is so good that adding one to your property will increase the property value. And you can’t beat the price.

Beauty

The first thing you’ll notice about an aluminum fence is how attractive it is. Aluminum is straight and strong, with clean lines and a nice finish. One of the best parts of aluminum fencing is how many styles you can get. When aluminum is manufactured it’s a very malleable metal and can be made into any shape. This allows you to get all of the gorgeous details that are associated with wrought iron–all of the architectural details, the finials, the scrollwork and the ball caps–but without all of the drawbacks that come with iron (like high maintenance and high weight). 

Some of the designs that you can get in your aluminum fencing styles start with the very basic, like the Floridian, with it’s long straight lines. The Sierra and Carolina styles step that up a bit with added rails and different spacing to give it a more intricate design, and you can even add to that design with the optional rings that come in Sierra fences. If you’re looking for a spiked fence–that classic, sophisticated look–then there are several varieties to choose from, including the Appalachian and the Manhattan, both with spear tops, the latter with alternating heights. The Outback style goes a slightly different direction giving us both spear tops and a top rail. Either way you go, you also have the option of exchanging the spear tops for sculpted finials: the Monarch, the Victorian, and the Imperial. These give interesting new looks to the already intriguing styles. 

And if you really want to increase the wow factor there are the very ornamental styles like the Elegant Arch or the Cathedral. These sophisticated looks draw the eye and attract the attention of anyone passing by. 

No matter what fence style you choose, you can get it in any of three finishes: black, white or bronze. All three have a semi-gloss powder coating that will never chip, peel, or flake. And there is the option for adding gold to your finials, for that extra flair.

Aluminum fences can really look like just about anything, but they’ll always have a uniform quality and attractiveness that will add appeal to your property.

Strength and Durability

Aluminum is a very strong and durable material, and is very resistant to damage from the weather or accidents. 

Our aluminum fencing is made from 6000 series aluminum with properties that exceed that of other manufacturers. One thing we pride ourselves on is that, unlike other fencing companies, we do not import material from foreign markets, like China and Mexico, to get lower grade and cheaper material. All of our fencing is not only assembled in the United States, but the aluminum itself is manufactured right here in the Carolinas. We do this to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of quality.

All of our aluminum is coated with an environmentally-friendly electrostatic powder coating that makes them extremely durable and rugged. This prevents corrosion and fading. But another remarkable thing about the metal itself is that aluminum doesn’t rust. Unlike iron and steel, aluminum cannot rust because it contains little to no iron atoms, and rust is iron oxide (or, iron combined with oxygen). And the kicker is that while aluminum also oxidizes, the oxidation is a benefit: oxidized aluminum creates a powerful coating on the surface of the metal that prevents any damage to the core of the item itself. 

An aluminum fence in a backyard or driveway can stand up to any amount of activity common to household life, including impacts from soccer balls, bumps from a lawnmower, even teenagers climbing over the top of them. And if you’re in a more active area, we have commercial and industrial grades of aluminum special for those types of places. Commercial grade aluminum is made for high-traffic areas that might get bumped with car bumpers or nicked by equipment or impacted by inventory. And industrial grade aluminum is made for the most rigorously-used applications, such as the gates at a shipping-and-receiving dock, or an auto lot. So really, there’s a grade of aluminum for anything you want, no matter how tough you need it. And it all still looks as good.

Pool Fences

While we’re talking about strength and durability, we should also talk about pool fences. Pool fences are not only beautiful, and not only able to withstand the corrosion of chlorine and other pool chemicals, but they are also made to a higher standard of quality. 

Aluminum pool fences meet the BOCA code (Building Officials and Code Administrators). This means that the fence must not allow a 4” sphere to pass between the pickets, and there must be no less than 45” between the pool fence rails. The fence must be at least 48” tall, and the gate must be self-closing and self-latching. All of this is done to ensure that small children (and animals) can’t squeeze between the pickets and fall into the pool. 

Low Maintenance

One of the main benefits of an aluminum fence is the fact that you’re going to need to do very little maintenance over the lifespan of the fence. In fact, other than the occasional hose-down to remove mud or lawn clippings, you won’t have to do any maintenance. The powder coating will last the life of the fence.

Now compare that to what you’d need to do with either a wrought iron or wooden fence, which will require paint at least every couple of years, as well as sanding and scraping. Even a steel fence will need some maintenance because it can rust and needs to be well studied to make sure that it gets no nicks or dings in its coating. 

Increased Property Value

Now after all of these benefits, it’s probably no surprise to learn that adding a fine aluminum fence to your yard will increase your property value. There is nothing that has a more direct impact on the value of your home than curb appeal, and aluminum fences have curb appeal in spades. Once you install your aluminum fence, you’ll have instant equity–thousands of dollars of value added to your property overnight. 

And that’s not to mention the fact that your fence will be a welcome addition to the entire neighborhood. By increasing the look and appeal of your home, you’ll be adding to the value of the whole street, and making your neighbors very happy. Pretty soon they’ll be looking into getting aluminum fences of their own. 

But an aluminum fence doesn’t add property value just because it’s gorgeous, although it is, but because it is safe and secure. When you install a fence you’re installing a security system around your home and that security system will make you and your family safer, whether you’re worried about pets escaping, kids getting in the street, children falling in the pool, or burglars scaling the fence to get in your yard. It’s all going to be safer with an aluminum fence, and that safety means your house is more valuable.

Price

With all of these benefits you might have come to the conclusion that an aluminum fence is quite expensive. After all, if it’s so good, it’s got to be pretty pricey. Well, not only is an aluminum fence cheaper than most of its counterparts, but at Aluminum Fences Direct we also make sure that the price stays low by acting as a wholesaler and cutting out the middleman. There’s no markup on our fences, so while the average price of an aluminum fence panel in America is $60 (for a 6’ x 4’ panel), at Aluminum Fences Direct you can get that same panel for as little as $42. 

But the price difference doesn’t stop there, because the real place where aluminum fences can get expensive is in the installation. If you hired a company to install your fence, the installation costs alone would be, according to national estimates, between $15 and $40 per foot of fence! But at Aluminum Fences Direct we encourage our buyers to DIY the installation, so when you’re fencing a yard you’re saving anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000. And that money you’re saving is still going into the property value of your home–it’s sweat equity. 

Don’t think that because it’s DIY installation it’s going to be hard and have a lot of hidden costs (and that you’ll end up hiring a general contractor to do it). We hold your hand through the whole installation process to make sure that you get the aluminum fence of your dreams at a price you can afford. 

Should I Get An Aluminum Fence or A Steel Fence?

We’ve talked all about the great things about aluminum fencing, but you might still be wondering: if aluminum is so great, might steel be even better? And yes, steel is definitely a player in the fencing game. But we think that you’ll find that steel pales in comparison to aluminum when we’re putting them head-to-head.

Aluminum vs Steel: Beauty

Aluminum and steel fences look very similar, there’s no doubt about that. But what you may be surprised to learn is that steel can’t do all of the things that aluminum can do (or, at least, it can’t do them at a reasonable price). Therefore, many of the styles that are available in aluminum cannot be found in steel, primarily because aluminum is more malleable. Now, when we say malleable, don’t think of aluminum foil. But in the manufacturing process, there is a point at which aluminum is more easily shaped and molded into its stylistic forms than steel could be. This is especially true of the curves, circles, arches, and other ornamentation. Yes, if you wanted to pay a lot for highly ornamented steel you could, but you’d have to order it custom. They just don’t make it standard.

Aluminum vs Steel: Strength

When it comes to strength, all things being equal, we have to give the award to steel. Steel is a stronger metal in terms of impacts and the amount of weight it can bear. The question is: does the difference matter? Is the strength of aluminum so low that it will bend and dent easily? The answer is no. A residential aluminum fence is sufficiently strong for anything that a residential aluminum fence needs to withstand. And, if you’re talking about more rugged applications, that’s where the commercial and industrial grades of aluminum come in. There really is an aluminum solution for everything.

Aluminum vs Steel: Corrosion

When it comes to corrosion, there’s no contest: aluminum just doesn’t corrode. Steel rusts, plain and simple. Yes, steel is going to probably be powder coated to prevent rust, but then you always have to be wary of tiny nicks and flakes in the coating, because the smallest rust spot can corrode out the core. 

Aluminum vs Steel: Weight

Steel weighs more, but if you’re leaning toward steel you may ask why the weight of steel even matters. After all, it’s just going to be standing in place and no one will ever need to lift it. Why should the weight of the material make a difference. It’s because there will be times when you need to lift it: during shipping and installation. And steel is not only heavier, it’s 2.5 times as heavy as aluminum. So if you’re shipping a few hundred feet of fence panels and posts, and calculating the shipping costs, just imagine the price difference for something weighing two and a half times the other. And all of that shipping cost comes out of your pocket. (It also makes installation harder, because it weighs so much, so whether you’re doing a steel installation DIY or paying a contractor, it’s going to be a lot worse of a job.)

Aluminum vs Steel: Price

We’ve already talked about the extra cost of shipping steel (which is very substantial) but steel just costs more per foot. The difference is about 1.25 to 1.5 times as expensive for steel as it is for aluminum–but that’s just looking at national averages. When you consider Aluminum Fences Direct’s wholesale structure, it can be significantly cheaper. And then add into it that you’re going to be doing the installation yourself and, well, you’re probably more than convinced by now.

How Do I Install An Aluminum Fence?

The great thing about Aluminum Fences Direct’s DIY approach to aluminum fencing is that it saves you so much money. And it’s really not that hard. If you’re at all handy around the house or yard, you’ll be able to figure out the right fencing for your needs. And we have a comprehensive installation DIY guide to help get you there. 

Tools List

What do you need to actually install your aluminum fence? It’s a lot less than you probably think. All you’ll need is: string line; wooden stakes for each corner, end and gate post location; a post hole digger; concrete; a Phillips screwdriver. That’s it. That doesn’t sound too complicated. You can get all of that at your local hardware store for under fifty dollars. 

Creating a Materials List

In the DIY Installation Guide, there is an example of a layout plan to show you how to measure your yard and determine what materials you’ll need to order. Basically all you need to do is get some graph paper, a tape measure and a pencil, and draw a map of your yard. From there it’s a simple matter of breaking up the spans into the requisite number of panels and posts and corner posts. Count them up, and add in the gates, and you’ve got yourself a materials list. 

Racking vs. Stepping

Do you have a slope in your yard? If you do you’ll want to either rack it (install the fence sloping up) or step it (install one panel on the level, then build up a step and install the next panel on the level). 

In racking, the spacing on the rail next to the pickets allows for racking to occur. That is, it allows for the pickets to remain perfectly vertical at 90 degrees, while the top and bottom rails are sloped. The typical maximum slope that you can make with your fence is 19” rise over 6’ of run. In extremely sloped situations we can do a custom “double punch” which will allow for a rise of 36” over a 6’ run. There is no additional charge for this.

Some styles, particularly the more ornamental styles like the Elegant Arch and the Cathedral, can only be stepped. This is done by ordering end posts and attaching brackets on the opposite blank side from the punched out holes at the appropriate height that your slope demands. Steep slopes might cause a need for a custom extra long end post.

We’ll explain more if needed. Another reason why we walk every order through to completion as opposed to ordering from an online shopping cart.

Curved Fences

The fence panels come straight, so if your fence line has a curve, you will need to break it up into shorter panels with more posts between them. The panels themselves cannot be curved or bent as it would ruin their structural integrity. Each post however can angle 10 degrees or if you turn the post 10 degrees, you can get a 20 degree turn per post… more with adjustable wall/post mounts added in.

Is It Really True That Anyone Can Install Their Own Fence?

Possibly. Here’s a test: can you dig post holes that are two feet deep and six inches in diameter, spaced 72.5” on-center? If you can do that, then this should be no problem. That’s the hardest thing there is to do. If that is outside your skill set, you can still order the fencing panels and posts from us at the great price, and then hire a contractor to install them for you. 

 

So are you ready to get an aluminum fence for your property?

 

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pool fences

Top Reasons to Have a Pool Fence

Having a pool fence isn’t just a good idea–it’s a must. And we’re not just kidding: in most places, having a fence around your pool is mandated by law. But laws aren’t the only reasons to have a pool fence. Here are our top seven reasons to have a pool fence.

Pool Fences are Safe

Owning a pool is a big responsibility, especially if you have kids and neighbors who come into your yard. Putting a fence around your pool can help you rest easy knowing that your pool is secure and that no one can get in and get into a terrible accident.

Drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death in the world. The CDC reports that in 2017 more than 3500 Americans died of drowning. You don’t want you or your loved ones to be a statistic! Protecting your pool is a responsible and essential step in making sure that no accidents will befall anyone who comes into your yard. 

 

Pool Fences Are Required 

In most counties, there are ordinances requiring pools to be surrounded by fences. While every jurisdiction is different, the onus is upon you to make sure that you know what laws apply to your pool and what you need to do to make sure that you’re abiding by them. Certain laws may have height requirements, or requirements about the spacing of the pickets, or requirements about the lock on the gate. Whatever is the law in your locale, make sure that you follow it and that you won’t end up with a citation. Remember: those laws are there for a reason, and it’s because authorities have seen too many accidents take place around unguarded pools. Make sure to follow the law!

 

Pool Fences Add Privacy

A different reason you might want a pool is because of the privacy that they offer. You may not want passersby to see you or your family in their swimming suits, whether in the pool or sunbathing beside it. Having a pool party shouldn’t be a public occasion, and you should have some form of privacy for you and your kids. 

 

Pool Fences Save You Money On Insurance

While the law requires some people to have fences, your insurance company wants everyone to have fences around their pools. Your homeowners insurance will either require you to have a fence around your pool, or they will give you a break on your insurance premium if you do have one. They know very well that pools are dangerous, not just for drowning but for slip-and-fall accidents, and they want to minimize risk as much as possible. By putting up a fence around your pool you are mitigating that risk and making your insurance company happy–and that will make your wallet happy. 

 

Pool Fences Make Pool Ownership Easier

There are a lot of things that go into pool ownership that are a hassle, including putting the cover over the pool, or a net, every time you’re done using the pool. The reason for this, of course, is that pools are dangerous and when you put a cover over one it’s much less likely to cause an accident. However, the same result can be achieved by putting a fence around your pool. While a fence won’t keep leaves out of your pool, and a cover will, a fence will help prevent accidents. So maybe you don’t need to lug that heavy and cumbersome pool cover into place, or move that weighty hot tub cover where it goes. Pool fences just make everything easier.

 

Pool Fences Protect Pets

Finally, pools don’t just protect your friends, family, and kids, they also protect your pets–and any other wildlife that may wander into your yard. A dog may be able to doggy-paddle if it falls in, but may not be able to jump out of the water and onto dry land. And raccoons, opossums, deer, and other wildlife may come to inspect the pool, perhaps looking for a drink, and fall in getting much more than they bargained for. Putting up a fence around your pool is not only good for people; it’s good for animals. 

 

Pool Fences Are Attractive

While having a pool will add value to your home, having a beautiful pool with a neatly enclosed fenced area will add even more value. Every quality fence is beneficial to the curb appeal of your home. Whether you’re inviting over friends for a pool party and want to impress them, or whether you’re looking to sell your home and want it to be as attractive as possible to potential buyers, a nice-looking fence surrounding the pool will always be a plus. Coming in many different styles and designs, including both aluminum and vinyl, a pool fence can be an accent point to your yard layout, not merely a barrier that you must put up with. A good fence will always be a good investment.

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How to Talk to Your Neighbor About Your Fence Plan

For whatever reason, you’ve decided that you need a fence between your yard and your neighbor’s yard. This is a very common issue, but it can often raise some sticky questions, and you’re going to want to think them over–and discuss them with your neighbor–before you begin. 

Something There Is That Doesn’t Love a Wall

The American poet Robert Frost wrote in “Mending Fences” that “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” In that poem he asks what he was walling out or walling in, and whether there was a need for it. When it comes time for you to build a fence between you and your neighbor, these are questions that you need to consider carefully. You’re going to be neighbors for a long time–maybe for the rest of your lives–and you want to make sure that you’re making the right decision about putting up a fence between you. 

When it comes to what you’re walling out and what you’re walling in, there may be very good reasons to put up that fence that will be apparent to both of you: maybe one or the both of you have pets that are constantly getting into the others’ yard. Maybe one or the both of you have kids that are getting into mischief. (On the other hand, maybe one of you loves the fact that your pets and kids get together and play, and the other neighbor doesn’t. This can be a source of friction.) Maybe one of you has put in a pool or water feature and you want to be safe about keeping kids out of it. Maybe one of you has a garden that the other’s dog loves to dig up. Maybe one of you has a chicken coop that is getting harassed by the other’s animals.

Whatever the reason, you need to figure out what you’re walling in and what you’re walling out. Knowing this–and being able to articulate this–will make the ability to have that difficult conversation with your neighbor a little more smooth. 

 

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Also in Robert Frost’s poem, he says that “Good fences make good neighbors”, and that may very well be the truth. If you have plans for your backyard that include leisurely afternoons on the back patio, listening to nature and reading a book, and your neighbor has plans to use their yard as a recreation outlet, full of noise and ruckus and commotion, then odds are good you’re going to want a privacy fence. If you like to sunbathe on the back lawn and don’t want the prying eyes of the neighbor’s teenagers, then you might want a privacy fence.

 

Other Reasons For Wanting a Fence

Of course there can be other reasons for wanting a fence that have nothing to do with the habits of your neighbor, their kids, or their pets. It could very well be that you’re looking for security and you want a fence to keep burglars and vandals out of your yard. It might be that you’re simply trying to amp up the aesthetic look of your yard and know that a good fence can really enhance the look and feel of a yard. These are all good reasons to want a fence.

So what do you say to your neighbor when you tell them that you’ve decided you want to put up a fence between your yards?

 

Tips For Talking To Your Neighbors About Fencing

It can be a tricky conversation, because first, you don’t want to cause any friction between you and your neighbor. Maybe they love that their kids and your kids play back and forth between the yards–but you don’t. Maybe they don’t mind their dog wandering the neighborhood–but you do. Maybe they see nothing wrong with their loud boisterous parties that go long hours into the night and don’t see why it should bother you. 

You’re going to have to approach the situation with tact. Here are some tips to make it easier.

 

Talk About the Positives

You can absolutely bring up the fact that fences add to the value of the property. They really do, and the fence that you put up will add to their property value, too. You can bring up safety concerns, and liability concerns, if you’re worried about pets and children in each others’ yards. These are perfectly legitimate issues. You can bring up the fact that a security fence in your yard is going to add security to at least one part of their yard (maybe that fact alone might encourage them to add a fence of their own!)

 

Do Your Research

Before you start talking about fences, make sure you know where your property line is. If you’re even one or two feet over the property line in your placement of the fence, that can cause a lifetime of resentment between you and your neighbor. The same is especially true if putting up the fence is going to necessitate cutting down some trees or bushes. Knowing exactly where your property ends and their property starts–preferably with the plans in hand so they know you’re not trying to cheat them–will go a long way in making this conversation more pleasant and agreeable.

 

The Look of the Fence

Discuss the look of the fence with them. Maybe you have your heart set on a certain type of fence that you absolutely love. Maybe it was your spouse’s idea and they have their heart set on it. Here’s a situation where you absolutely must be willing to negotiate with your neighbor unless you want to completely sever the relationship between you. They’re going to have to look at that fence as much as you are, and they’re going to want something that’s pleasing to them, too. Granted, you may have to push a little bit more if you want privacy fencing and they want something with pickets they can see through, but being as open in communication as possible is essential to this process. 

Bring them your fence catalog, or show them the fence manufacturer’s website on a tablet so they can see what you’re envisioning. Let them swipe through the options and see if you can land on something that you’ll love equally. It would be a shame if you built an aluminum fence that you thought looked nice and they just put up a privacy fence beside it to hide it from their view. 

 

Who Should Pay For the Fence

You should have the conversation of who is going to pay for the fence. If this was totally your idea and they’re not interested in the fence, then it’ll probably be you who foots the bill, and rightly so. But if they’re in agreement that a fence should go up, you can have the conversation about who is going to pay and how much. It might be fifty fifty. It might be sixty forty. Maybe they can’t afford to pay for a new fence, but they’ll offer the labor to install it. And then remember that if this is a joint purchase, work out who is going to maintain the fence: who is going to repair it if it gets damaged or starts to rust.

But if they’re against the fence from the beginning, and you’re pressing the issue, don’t expect them to fork over any money to build the thing. 

 

Communication is Key

The biggest thing in all of this is to communicate. Talk through every step of the process. Talk about why you want the fence. Talk about what benefit you’ll both get from the fence. Talk about exactly where on the property line the fence is going to be installed. Talk about who’s going to pay for it. And talk about what kind of disruption there will be to your yards during the fence installation. 

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Learn the Lingo of Security Fencing

One of the main reasons to get a fence–indeed, probably THE main reason to get a fence installed–is for security. Either you want to keep something inside, like children or pets, or you want to keep something out, like vandals, thieves, and burglars. So when you’re looking into buying a security fence, it’s important to know the ins and outs of security fencing lingo. You want to be able to get what you’re looking for, and by knowing what to ask for–what each thing does and what security benefits it has–you’ll be better prepared for getting a secure fence that can give you peace of mind.

Here are a few of the main terms used when talking about security fencing:

Aluminum:

While there are many types of fencing that are touted as good security fences, such as chain link or wrought iron, aluminum is an ideal candidate for a security fence because it blends the best of both worlds: it is a strong, affordable fence that can repel most climbers, but it also looks good in the yard. This is in opposition to wrought iron, which is incredibly expensive and difficult to install, and chain link, which looks cheap and can be easily scaled.

Bottom line: Aluminum fencing is strong, affordable, and attractive.

 

Powder Coating

The term “powder coating” often accompanies aluminum fences. Powder coating is a baked-on compound that keeps aluminum looking good and protects it from scratches and damage. It prohibits the oxidation process, which means no rust, which means that your aluminum fence will last the test of time.

Bottom line: Powder coating keeps your security fence in tip top condition, as well as attractive.

 

Finials

A finial is a distinctive ornament at the top of a picket. These can take all manner of shapes, but some of the most common are fleur de lis, tri-point or quad finials. They give decorative character to the fence, making it more attractive. But they also make the fence more difficult to climb, making it more secure. While some finials are better at this than others–a tri-point pointed top is more intimidating than a rounded pressed point–all of them make a fence harder to climb than a horizontal top… be it with a spear top… with or without finials attached.

Bottom line: Finials, depending on the shape and design, can discourage trespassers from attempting to scale your fence.

 

Spears

A spear or pressed point picket top is a standard type of picket top that is the most common type to deter would-be trespassers. As the name suggests, a spear is a rounded pressed point that makes the fence top look dangerous and injurious to would-be climbers. Spears come in a variety of designs, some very basic and some ornate. All of them are imposing, though some are more attractive than others.

Bottom line: Spear tops are a fearsome threat to would-be trespassers as they could stab the thief trying to climb over the fence.

 

Pickets

Pickets are the vertical, evenly-spaced verticals that are attached to the horizontal rails. Most pickets are topped with a pressed point, though the well-known picket fence is made up of simple pointed wooden boards. These seemingly innocent fence posts are dangerous to climbers, as the name’s origin suggests: pickets come from the sharpened logs that were used to defend positions and forts by early settlers and colonists. 

Bottom line: While a low picket fence might not seem imposing, a well-made, sturdy one can deter opportunists from crossing it and entering a yard.

 

Plant Life

Plant life has long been associated with fences, especially hedges and vines which are planted either adjacent to the fence or even incorporated with the fence. This vegetation serves two security purposes with fences. First, it blocks line of sight, keeping the yard private and hiding any potential targets for thieves, and second, hedges and large vines can make it harder to access the fence to be able to climb over it.

Bottom line: Any type of fence, with any type of security measures, can be made more secure with a hedge or vines growing around it.

 

Security Gate

A security gate can really be any gate with a good strong latch or lock. Some gates are more secure than others: a low gate with no finials and just a horizontal rail for a top will not stop would-be thieves from hopping over it. But a taller gate, and a gate with finials or spears, offers the same kind of protection that the fence proper does. Plus, a good lock that can’t be accessed by reaching over the gate or through the pickets will keep the gate secure. This applies to all gates, both yard gates as well as driveway gates.

Bottom line: A security gate that is made with the same security features of the fence, as well as a good strong lock, will deter outsiders as well as any other part of the fence.

 

Vinyl

Vinyl fences may not appear to be as imposing as aluminum gates, as they generally have no finials or spear topping them (though some styles do, such as picketed vinyl fences), but there are benefits to some vinyl fences such as the type that block all view of the yard. A thief that is not able to see into a backyard is less likely to make a crime of opportunity.

Bottom line: While not as strong or imposing as an aluminum fence, vinyl fences that block line of sight into a yard can be good deterrents to trespassers.

 

Additional considerations

If you are especially concerned about security in your fencing, there are always much stronger actions that you can take through third-party security retailers, including anti-climb devices like barbed wire, razor spikes or electric pulse fencing. These precautions keep your yard safe, though they do decrease the aesthetic look of the fence and the yard.

For more information about how you can protect your yard from trespassers, thieves, and vandals, contact us for a full rundown on our fence security measures.

 

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