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The Fence Post

Four Types of Wire Mesh Fencing Materials

January 10, 2013 | by Duncan Page

cat in front of black vinyl coated wire fence

Buying Wire Fencing Materials

When researching the type of wire fence you want to purchase, there are many things you will want to consider before making a decision. Have you thought about the following?

  • Aesthetic considerations - how important is appearance?
  • Function is a significant factor - what do you want to keep in or out?
  • Cost is important - should you buy the least expensive product or invest in fencing material that will last a long time and save on future expenses as well as the labor of early replacement?
  • Country of origin may be something you want to take into account - is there any connection between the quality of a fence and where it is made?
  • The topography of the site should be considered - are there irregularities in the ground's surface where the fence will be located?
  • The manufacturing method is important - is a welded product a better choice than a woven fence mesh?

When making a decision about which wire fencing material to use, one of the most important aspects to take into account is the type of "finish" the wire has. There are four basic types:

  1. GBW - Galvanized Before Weld and Galvanized Before Weave  Check these out so you understand the differences.  
  2. GAW - Galvanized After Weld and Galvanized After Weave  "After" is the crucial word here. More below.                     
  3. VC - Vinyl Coated welded and woven                                                                                          
  4. SS - Stainless Steel and other alloys.
A professional fence installer in your area can help you make an informed decision.
Okay, let's break these down--


Galvanized before wire fences can be either welded or woven. Galvanized wire is used to manufacture the mesh.

Welded products - the zinc coating is burnt off during the welding process. The welded points where the horizontal and vertical wires intersect are left unprotected and exposed to rust and corrosion. In wet weather, moisture tends to collect at the joint, hastening the process. While it is true that zinc can "flow" from the areas adjacent to the burnt intersection, the weld spot never regains its full protection. These are the types you see in your local building supply store and garden center. Differences in gauge, mesh opening size and height are considerable. You can find a product that will meet your needs. It is important to keep in mind the fact that these items have a limited lifetime. Welded GBW fencing materials are relatively inexpensive and utilitarian.

Woven products - these do not have any welded areas and therefore do not have the same vulnerability. These range from lightweight hex netting up to field fence and heavy gauge woven high tensile deer and wildlife fence. The heavier fences have an extended lifetime, especially those with Class 3 galvanizing.


Galvanized after fencing materials are galvanized after the welding or weaving process. The mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc which thoroughly seals the wire, including the welded and woven areas. These products are heavily protected from rust and corrosion and have an extended lifetime that far exceeds the lifetime of the same products with GBW finish. You can tell if a product is galvanized after by looking at the welded and woven areas. You can actually see how the zinc seals the areas. GAW items are initially more expensive. However, when you consider the extra material and labor cost of replacement, the higher initial cost of GAW meshes can be justified.

wire mesh - galvanized after weld

GAW fencing is more specialized and therefore is not as easy to find at retail stores. The welded meshes are often used in making animal cages. They are ideal to use in areas where there is constant moisture or exposure to corrosion. There is an even wider range of choices in wire gauge, mesh size, and widths due to the more specialized end uses of these items. The GAW hex netting meshes are often used in saltwater applications and in building game bird pens - areas where long life is sought and appreciated.


Vinyl-coated fencing materials are coated with either polyester or PVC after the welding or weaving process. The most common colors are black and green. The black in color is the most unobtrusive. It blends with the background, becoming virtually invisible. As with GAW products, the vinyl coating thoroughly coats the entire mesh, sealing it against rust and corrosion. The additional cost is offset by longer life expectancy and a more attractive appearance. Many different specifications are widely available in retail stores. Visually, vinyl makes them aesthetically pleasing.


As with any product, there are different quality grades available. The least expensive products do not bond the vinyl securely to the wire. The vinyl is easily cut and can then be peeled off the wire with your fingers. The higher quality grades have vinyl coating that is tightly bonded to the wire and resists scraping, even with a knife. And there are products available that have the double protection of GAW wire under the coating. These offer the longest-lasting meshes available. As always, higher quality means higher cost. You get what you pay for. The higher initial cost can save you money over the life of the mesh.

In addition to the regular generic retail items, there is a wide range of gauge and mesh opening size specialty items not available in stores. There are welded meshes used in lobster traps, safety mesh in railings, animal cages, and other unique applications. Woven hex meshes are used in such things as bird pens and deer fence.

Stainless Steel and other alloys

Stainless steel fencing materials are perhaps the most specialized type available. They have the advantage of being resistant to rust, corrosion, and other environmental stressors. Stainless steel welded wire meshes have often been used as fences in coastal areas. They are quite expensive and can be difficult to impossible to obtain at retail stores. Their appearance is more utilitarian than attractive. These items have an extended lifetime. Other alloys such as copper are also available in a variety of gauges, mesh sizes, and weaving styles.

Which of these four types of mesh would you like to use in your fencing project?

Are you having difficulty finding the product you need at your local retail store? 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, stainless steel, GAW, galvanized before

Apron Fence - Why It Makes Sense

April 27, 2012 | by Duncan Page

apron fence used for garden

Apron Fence: Heavier and Stronger

Apron fence is a versatile fencing material with many uses. Our high-quality fence mesh is made in the USA and is superior to imported brands. Woven from galvanized 17 gauge wire, 1½" hexagonal mesh apron fence is much heavier and stronger than the normal 20 gauge hex netting sold in retail stores. The extra wire thickness also increases the lifetime of the mesh.

Vegetation Grows Up and Through

The apron is created by a line wire running the length of each roll. This wire is located 12" from the bottom edge of the fence. During installation, bend the 12" apron so it lays on top of the ground. Vegetation will grow up through the mesh, securing it to the soil.

apron fence

Apron fence is available in two sizes: 60" x 150' (48" high with 12" apron) and 72" x 150' (60" high with 12" apron). In addition to the standard GBW finish (Galvanized Before Weave), this fencing material can also be custom coated with a thick layer of black PVC. There are minimum order requirements on these items. Please contact us for details.

With Many Advantages

  • Heavier, thicker wire has a longer lifetime than 20 gauge hex netting
  • Apron prevents animals from digging under the fence
  • Eliminates labor and expense of trenching
  • Black vinyl adds years of rust prevention
  • Black vinyl makes the fence virtually invisible
  • Stronger wire is harder to dent and damage
  • Use the apron section as part of the vertical fence to gain 12" more in height

And Other Uses

  • Perimeter fence for game bird pens
  • Apron fence for beagle training pens
  • Excellent wildlife exclusion fence for gardens
  • Inexpensive tennis court fence
  • Chicken run enclosure and protection
  • Wire netting to enclose storage areas

What other ways can you think of using apron fence?

Duncan Page signatureDuncan Page

Apron Fence

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Topics: apron fence, galvanized after, galvanized before, black vinyl coated

How To Build A Straightforward Garden Fence - Video

June 13, 2011 | by Duncan Page

 A Critter-Free Garden
Watch this video and learn how to build a simple, functional, and attractive garden fence using wood and welded wire mesh. After the video, you'll see we have listed some other ideas for materials to use.

In this garden fence example, a 2" x 4" welded mesh was used. Other types of fencing materials would also work well:

  • Galvanized before weld or weave (GBW)
    • 1/2" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge
    • 1" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge or 14 gauge
    • 1" x 2" mesh, 14 gauge
    • 1" hex mesh, 20 gauge
  • Galvanized after weld or weave (GAW) - longer lasting
    • 1/2" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge
    • 1" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge or 14 gauge
    • 1" x 2" mesh, 14 gauge
    • 1" hex mesh, 18 gauge
  • Vinyl coated - longest lasting
    • 1/2" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge
    • 1" x 1" mesh, 16 gauge or 14 gauge
    • 1" x 2" mesh, 14 gauge
    • 1" hex mesh, 20 gauge
Which type of mesh would work best around your garden? Call Louis Page for advice regarding the particulars of your project.
Galv After Welded Wire Mesh
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Topics: garden fence, galvanized after, galvanized before, vinyl coated

Choosing a Fence - Good, Better, Best

April 5, 2011 | by Frank Langone

woman thinking about choices

So Many Choices 

Are you overwhelmed by all the fence choices available today? It seems that every category of fencing materials is covered with a specialized fence made specifically for a particular job. Even though there are many fence choices, you can determine what's best for your project by looking closely at your specific requirements. Remember, you can call Louis Page for help--talk with an expert!

Do you want something sturdy, but temporary?

Do you want a temporary fence? Maybe one that will last for just one season? Think about a galvanized before welded - GBW - wire product. You will get good use for a short period of time as the wire tends to rust over time since the welds are not protected by extra galvanizing.

Or Sturdy and Longer-Lasting?

If longer life is desired then galvanized after weld - GAW - is a good fence choice. In this case, the welds are protected with an extra coat of galvanizing and will last much longer than galvanized before welded wire.

Sturdy, Extra Protection, and Good-Looking

For the longest life consider vinyl coated wire made to give many years of service as well as add a good-looking appearance to your project. For example, you may choose vinyl to enclose your garden area this spring and summer. Your vinyl choice should be a smaller mesh wire to keep out the little critters that seem to get into the smallest openings. Once your fence is in place you can feel satisfied you have chosen both an appealing appearance and long wire life for your project. Vinyl lasts!

Still, overwhelmed by the many fence choices available? This fence and mesh guide will go over the various details you'll need to be able to choose the right fence. If you still have questions, we can advise you. 

green vinyl wire with post-rail fence

Vinyl Coated Welded Wire Mesh


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Topics: vinyl coated wire, galvanized after, galvanized before, fence choices

Welded Wire Mesh - All the Basics

January 10, 2011 | by Duncan Page

welded wire mesh drawing

An Array of Specifications

Welded wire mesh is a versatile product that can be used in many different applications with a wide variety of specifications from which to choose: wire gauge size, mesh size, and finish.

Wire Gauges 

  • 27, 2321, 20, and 19 gauges - these lightweight gauges are generally used in welded wire products with small mesh openings such as hardware cloth. 
  •  16, 14, and 12.5 gauges - the standard, most readily available heavier gauge wires used in welded wire meshes for fences, cages, and partitions.
  • 11, 10.5, and 8.5 gauges - heavy-duty wire used in strong meshes suitable for lobster traps, railing safety panels, and other specialized applications.
  • Other gauges are also available, both heavier and lighter, for more specialized applications.

Mesh Sizes 

  • 1/8" x 1/8", 1/4" x 1/4", 1/3" x 1/3" and 1/2" x 1/2" - typical small mesh sizes for light gauge hardware cloth welded wire meshes.
  • 1/2" x 1/2", 1/2" x 1", 1" x 1", and 2" x 3" - these welded wire meshes are usually made from 16 gauge wire.
  • 1/2"x 3", 1" x 1", 1" x 2", 1.5" x 4", 2" x 2" and 2" x 4" - meshes available in 14 gauge wire.
  • 1/2" x 3", 1" x 1", 1.5" x 1.5", 2" x 2" and 2 x 4" - 12.5, 11, 10.5 and 8.5 gauge wires are available in some of these mesh sizes.
  • Additionally, there are more unusual mesh opening sizes that are also available.

Plus Finishes 

  • Galvanized Before Weld - the most common and generic type of welded wire mesh found in most retail stores. Products are economical but have a limited lifetime. Galvanized wire is welded into the mesh configuration. The welding process burns the protective zinc coating off the wire, exposing it to rust and corrosion.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Galvanized After Weld - the welded wire meshes with superior rust and corrosion resistance. Use these products when you want the mesh to last. The initial higher cost is offset by a long lifetime, avoiding the need for frequent replacement. After the mesh is welded it is immersed in a bath of molten zinc, thoroughly protecting it against rust and corrosion.   
  • Vinyl Coated - combining the double rust and corrosion protection of zinc and vinyl, these welded wire meshes combine long life with an attractive appearance. Black and green are the usual colors. Look for a PVC-coated product. There are high-quality products available and there are less expensive inferior products on the market. You get what you pay for.
  • Other types of wire, such as stainless steel, are also available in welded wire meshes.

cat in front of welded wire fence

What kind of welded wire mesh do you need? Are you having trouble finding the welded wire mesh that you want? Give us a call. We know what's out there and can be helpful in the decision-making process.

Would you like more choices?

Duncan Page signatureDuncan Page
Welded Wire
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Topics: welded wire mesh, stainless steel, galvanized after, galvanized before

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