When you're thinking about fencing, you have many choices. You have a variety of materials, designs, and types of construction to consider. If you have decided to use metal fencing for your yard, farm or other property, there are several styles available. There are two main classifications of metal fencing, decorative and purely functional. Decorative fencing, usually made of aluminum or wrought iron, looks good and is functional as well. It is a good choice for yards, but it is expensive, and not commonly used to enclose large areas. When cost is a primary concern, wire-fencing styles such as chain-link, barbed wire or welded wire are better choices.
Welded wire fencing is similar in design to a chain-link fence, but, as the name implies, the wires making up the fence are welded together, making the fence stronger. If you want to install welded wire fencing on your property, there are several things to look for in a quality welded wire fence.
First, look for fencing made by a good manufacturer. A history of making quality products and a reputation for good customer service are the indicators of the best manufacturers. Look for these characteristics when you are shopping for welded wire fencing.
- Country of Origin
Building wire fencing is not too complex. Wires are assembled on a jig and welded together, often by machines. Because there is little labor involved, there is little advantage in choosing fencing manufactured overseas, where labor costs are lower. The price of shipping increases costs; to keep prices competitive, many overseas fencing companies must cut corners on materials. Choosing fence products made closer to home makes it more likely that you will end up with a quality product that will last for many years.
- Wire Gauge
Gauge is a measurement of the diameter of a piece of wire. Originally, gauge referred to the number of drawing steps required to manufacture wire of a specific diameter; now, wire gauges are standardized to correspond to specific sizes. Lower numbers are thicker. Wire fencing is typically made from 12 to 16 gauge wire, with a diameter of 0.08 to 0.05 inches.
- Wire Finish
Steel is a common metal used in making welded wire fencing, but it is susceptible to corrosion. To combat this, most welded wire fencing has some kind of protective finish. This finish could be paint, plastic, or zinc. Steel protected by a thin layer of zinc is called galvanized steel. Galvanization can be done before or after welding. Galvanizing before welding offers some protection, but galvanizing after welding gives steel a thicker, stronger zinc coat that is extremely durable and can withstand many years of harsh elements. A vinyl coating is also an option. Vinyl is often combined with galvanization, giving the fence the best of both protection and looks.Welded wire fencing is a cost-effective material that is just as functional as chain-link fencing, but will not give your property quite the same industrial look. When you are shopping for welded wire fencing, look for the attributes discussed here to ensure that you purchase a high-quality product that will give you many years of service.