Aluminum Fence Is cheaper than wrought iron, requires less maintenance, and is resistant to corrosion from the soil, water, and lawn chemicals.
At Paramount Fencing, we carry Alumi-Guard aluminum products. Their fencing systems are durable, attractive, and superior to all aluminum fence products in today's market. Alumi-Guard's headquarters are located in Florida, so our relationship with this company benefits the local economy.
When considering an aluminum fence, make sure to do your homework. Aluminum generally comes in three different grades: residential, light commercial, and commercial. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each grade. The last thing you want is a faded-out, beat-up, old, rickety fence within a couple of years. Below, you will find descriptions of the three general grades of aluminum fencing.
Three Grades of Aluminum Fence
RESIDENTIAL GRADE: As homeowners collect estimates for an aluminum fence, residential grade aluminum will dominate all returned quotes. Why? Fence companies push Residential Grade for two reasons. Its low manufacturing cost, and the potential for maximum markup. Buyer beware--the residential grade may seem like a good value base buy, but it is susceptible to a few problems:
The first major problem is that the industry standard possesses an enamel clear coat or a substandard powder coating system. As a result, residential grade powder coating quickly fades to a pasty gray within 6 to 12 months. If the budget dictates residential grade aluminum, insist on a manufacturer that uses UV-ray additives in their powder coating. Re-powder coating an aluminum fence is an expensive process.
The second problem with residential grade aluminum is the thinness of the materials. Aluminum is a commodity. The less raw aluminum used in manufacturing equals higher margins. The most common causes of damage to a residential grade aluminum fence are landscaping equipment and children. Residential grade aluminum fencing features 5/8" x 5/8" thick pickets and 1" rails. The walls are thin and the pickets are hollow, allowing them to be easily bent with simple pressure applied by the human hand. Bent pickets might not seem like a big deal; however, escaping dogs or compromised pool barriers possess extremely negative associated costs. Not to mention, the $40 dollar panel attached to a $200 repair bill hurts.
The third problem is the method in which industry-standard aluminum fencing is held together. For example, most of these fences are held together by cheaply-made 1 1/4" self-tapping aluminum screws. Because of this, after repeated banging, the screws will dislodge themselves and fall out, as will the pickets. Residential grade aluminum is not designed for high traffic areas or for homeowners who have weekly lawn care.
At Paramount Fencing, We DO NOT recommend Residential Grade Aluminum.
COMMERCIAL GRADE: For a few dollars more, a homeowner can upgrade to a commercial grade aluminum fence. This is the best choice for residential homes with moderate to high usage. The pickets are 3/4" by 3/4" thick and possess greater wall strength than does the residential grade. Commercial grade pickets cannot be bent by the human hand. The rails are thicker, adding to the overall strength and support of the aluminum fence.
Most commercial aluminum fences are polyester powder coated and must meet the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) minimum mandates. The powder coat generally includes UV-ray protection, but not always. Be aware that all polyester powder coats or powder coat methods are not created equal. The best way to judge the quality of the powder coat is by the length of the manufacturer's warranty--less than thirty years is not good. Next, only purchase aluminum fences whose manufacturers have sought out an independent third party test. Ensure that powder coating has been tested for a minimum of 1000 hours and a maximum of 4000 hours for extreme weather and saltwater corrosion exposure. It is necessary- this is Florida.
Please see the Recommended Product section below for an in-depth explanation.
We strongly recommend this type of aluminum for your home.
INDUSTRIAL GRADE: This grade of aluminum fencing is used for community swimming pools, parking lots, and manufacturing facilities. Industrial grade fences are not generally installed around residential homes due to their high cost. The pickets will be 1" and posses wall thickness over a millimeter thick, and the fence will have a polyester powder coating. Industrial grade aluminum can be welded to create a solid structure and a seamless look.
Regardless of your choice, make sure you ask questions. Do not assume all aluminum fencing manufacturers or grades are the same. Ask, and when in doubt, call Paramount. We will get your questions answered.
Recommended Aluminum Manufacturers
At Paramount Fencing we recommend Alumi-Guard Advantage Light Commercial Series
Alumi-Guard's manufacturing facility is located in Brooksville, Florida, and is leading the industry in manufacturing quality aluminum fences and rail products. Alumi-Guard has earned a reputation throughout the industry as a leader of innovation, expert craftsmanship, and unsurpassed customer service.
"Alumi-Guard™ Aluminum products are constructed with heavy wall aluminum extrusions and are finished in Armor-Guard™ TGIC polyester powder coating. Tested in Florida's hot, humid, high salt concentrated environment, our finish surpasses the 4000-hour salt spray test - which is more than double what the AAMA mandates! Because Armor-Guard™ powder coating is twice as thick and twice as hard as baked-on enamel finishes, it is much more durable and will look attractive now and for a very long time. Alumi-Guard™offers a lifetime limited warranty on the finish and workmanship of all its materials.
Our complete line of Fence and Rail products are available in six, rich, long-lasting colors. Looking for something different for a special project? Please ask about our custom design services!