If you're exploring various fencing options for your yard, one that you're going to come across quite often is powder-coated aluminum. Covered in a thin layer of a plastic-like substance, powder-coated aluminum fencing typically comes in black, though you can find it in other colors. It's an affordable, attractive choice for many yards, but like all fencing materials, it has some shortcomings to bear in mind, too.
How much does powder-coated aluminum fencing cost?
The average cost of an aluminum fence is between $20 and $30 per linear foot including installation. If your property is on a slope, you order some specialized designs, or you need a fence taller than 6 feet, you may end up paying a bit more.
Aluminum is often touted as a low-cost alternative to wrought iron fencing, which can cost $300 or more per linear foot. Black powder-coated aluminum looks similar to wrought iron, though it is not as heavy or sturdy.
Aluminum fencing does cost more than chain-link fencing, which can cost as little as $5 per linear foot including installation. However, it offers a number of advantages over chain link fencing, such as more pristine appearance and longer lifespan, which many homeowners feel make it worth the extra cost.
How durable is aluminum fencing?
There are two sides to durability. There's a fence's ability to resist environmental damage, such as rust and other forms of corrosion, and then there's the fence's ability to withstand brute force and trauma, such as that caused by a baseball bat hitting it. Aluminum is very resistant to environmental damage -- especially when it has been powder coated. It does not rust, and the powder coating protects against corrosion. If you begin seeing little bits of the powder coating wear off (which may happen after many years) you can just have the fence re-coated.
Aluminum is not as great at withstanding force. It will bend pretty easily if someone bangs into it with a lawnmower or hits it with a bat -- unlike wrought iron, which will withstand this trauma. Aluminum can also be cut rather easily, so it's not the best fencing material if you're hoping for security.
Does aluminum fencing provide privacy?
Unfortunately, aluminum fencing on its own does not provide a lot of privacy since it is typically comprised of side-by-side vertical slats, rather than solid sheets. However, if you build an aluminum fence and want to make your yard more private, you can always plant vining plants to climb up the aluminum fence and fill it out with foliage. Privacy "sheets," which are pieces of vinyl that unroll along your fence and attach to it, are another option.
What maintenance does powder-coated aluminum fencing require?
One of the main advantages of powder-coated aluminum fencing is how little maintenance it requires. You won't have to paint it since it has been powder coated. However, you may eventually need to have a professional come out and apply a new layer of powder coating. (This won't be needed until the fence is well aged.) You don't need to clean the fence, though you can certainly spray it down with the hose if it starts looking a little dusty or dirty. Compare this to the staining or painting required for wood fencing -- or the rust-proofing required for wrought iron -- and powder-coated aluminum starts looking like a pretty convenient option for those with busy lifestyles.
If you're looking for an attractive, low-maintenance, affordable fence and you don't mind not having a ton of privacy, powder-coated aluminum should be at the top of your list of options. Talk to a local fencing contractor to learn more.