A wrought iron gate and fence can add an instant upper class appeal to any business or home. These accent pieces are very heavy and require ample time to get them properly installed. If you are considering a wrought iron fence or gate, you must understand some simple points about this durable metal. These points might help you decide if you are going to spring for wrought iron accents or opt to use a less expensive option.
Passes the Test of Time
Ironwork has been around since the days of ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and the evidence of it has remained throughout time. As the abilities of humans have advanced, so too has the presence of wrought iron for architectural purposes. In fact, as time has progressed, the durability of wrought iron has improved and the cost of the popular metal has gone down.
In previous centuries, wrought iron was an architectural element that was only used in upper class homes. Wrought iron gates and fences weren’t commonplace. This was due in part to the prohibitive cost of the metal, as well as the difficulty that was associated with getting the heavy metal to a destination.
During times of war, wrought iron has been considered a premium metal because of its strength. This made it a very popular metal that was often used for goods that needed to be used in the war. Because it was so precious, people often donated wrought iron accents to the war efforts. When the war was over, homeowners would try to replace precious wrought iron accents that were sacrificed or damaged.
Malleable and Durable
Wrought iron has some unique characteristics that make it ideal for use in architectural applications. One of these is that the metal is malleable, but the metal gets stronger as it is worked. This means that even ornate designs on wrought iron fences and gates are likely to last a long time.
When wrought iron is worked, it is heated up. It is possible for wrought iron to be worked and then to be reworked. Each time the iron is worked, it is heated up to make it more malleable. As the wrought iron is cooled afterward, the strength of the metal becomes evident.
Wrought iron has a minuscule (.035 percent or less) amount of carbon. This and other characteristics such as high tensile strength and elasticity make wrought iron suitable for compression and tension applications. That means it is ideal for a gate or for a suspension railroad.
There are two different types of wrought iron — puddle and charcoal. The type of wrought iron is determined by the way that it is manufactured. Puddle wrought iron is manufactured using an indirect coal fired furnace. Charcoal wrought iron is manufactured by using the direct heat of charcoal fire. The puddle method of making wrought iron has been used since the beginning of the industrial era, while the charcoal method was used primarily from the Iron Age through the 18th century.
As the processes to make wrought iron have revolutionized, the usage of this type of iron as become more commonplace. This evolution is partially responsible for the start of the Industrial Revolution. The primary invention that led to wrought iron as we know it today was the puddling furnace which was invented in 1794. That furnace did away with the need to use charcoal to work the iron.
Ease of customization
One bonus to getting a wrought iron gate or fence is that it can be customized to meet your company’s or home’s needs. The ability to customize it (such as deciding what types of finials or toppers to use) gives this type of metal an instant appeal.
Whether you need a simple wrought iron gate and fence or something more ornate, you can get it made to meet your specifications. As the metal is customized it is heated, which means that being picky about how the metal looks might end up working out better for you in the long run.
When you are trying to decide on the specifics for your project, make sure that you consider the overall project, the items that are going to be around it once it is installed, and the look that you want for the area have to be considered.
Considering all of the customization options you have (which can include the color and style of the pieces) can help you to get exactly what you need for your project. Because of the expense and time investment that wrought iron projects require, you should make sure that you are completely happy with your choices before moving forward with the project.
Because wrought iron is very heavy, having a professional install the fence and gate is crucial. You should hire a company that has ample experience working with wrought iron. You should make sure that the company you choose is bonded (and licensed if required in your area) before doing business with that company. If something does happen and the workmanship is called into question, doing business with a company that offers a warranty is a huge bonus.
Whether you want your home to look stately or your business to have a professional appeal, wrought iron gates and fences can help with the appearance. These landscaping accidents can also serve the practical purpose of keeping outsiders out and insiders in.