Today, corrugated metal fence panels that hit a front yard, most likely aluminum or steel that produces wrought iron look – for much less. Here’s what you need to know to sort through the options. In colonial times, only the richest could afford to import forged hand-shaped ironworks into their fine brick and stone houses. But in the early 1800s the jewelery star grew in the beginning to decorate the more varied house styles of the day. Such metalwork topped much in popularity in the Victorian era, as foundries started casting and mass-produced details, posts and scrolling information.
Today, metal grids are designed to suggest traditional iron using more accessible steel or weather-resistant aluminum, usually with hollow pickets made to resemble solid 5/8 inch square bars. Lightweight panels come together with fasteners, which facilitates installation. Even the wrought iron’s classic gloss-black paint is upgraded with a long-lasting, multistep powder coating process that greatly reduces maintenance.
When recovery projects require real wrought iron, a craftsman must rely on salvaged materials that can be melted down to be reworked by hand, making real wrought iron hooks prohibitively expensive. What is sold today as wrought iron is often solid steel (although solid aluminum can also be found), clad with machine-made rolls and cast details, such as rosettes. A custom manufacturer can mix materials and manufacturing methods, depending on the budget, linking cast iron details with hollow steel pipettes, saving material costs.