• Wrought Iron versus Ornamental Iron

    If you’re shopping for a fence, you may be drawn to the look of iron. Whether you choose a wrought iron or ornamental iron fence, you’ll have a strong, attractive fence that provides security and a safe place for kids and pets. It can be confusing to choose a fence, though, if you don’t understand the difference between wrought iron and ornamental iron.

    The primary difference between the two types of fencing is the material from which they’re made. Even though they’re both called “iron,” their actual composition is different. Wrought iron fences are made from iron, a naturally occurring material, often with iron silicate added. It’s rare for wrought iron to be made of 100% raw iron, but ornamental iron fences aren’t actually made of iron at all. They’re made from steel, a manmade material made from iron and carbon. Steel is more affordable than iron and easier to manipulate.

    There are other differences, as well. Wrought iron fences are typically custom-made, while ornamental iron fences are mass-produced. This means that ornamental iron fences have a more uniform look, while wrought iron fences have the hammer marks and other inconsistencies that indicate craftsmanship. Sometimes, fences are made from steel, but incorporate customized elements like frame caps, fence post caps, scrolls, and collars made of wrought iron.

    The benefits of wrought iron include the custom, unique designs into which it’s formed, and its reliability. Iron is a premium, high-quality material, heavy and solid, with a long life-span. On the other hand, wrought iron is often hard to find, and it takes a long time to create. It’s also typically expensive, because of the skill and labor involved in creating a wrought iron fence. Wrought iron is beautiful, though, especially for high-end architectural applications, and is preferred for restoring Victorian properties.

    Ornamental iron fences have many benefits too, including affordability, availability, and ease of production. It’s cheaper to ship and transport than wrought iron and can be modified or customized after purchase. Ornamental iron is easy to repair, match, or extend, and is often warrantied by the manufacturer for 10-25 years. The drawback of ornamental iron is that it’s more easily damaged than wrought iron and doesn’t last as long. It’s important to always ask about gauge thickness, and double-check materials for quality assurance. Ornamental iron is good for large scale jobs and great for securing a property. It’s also good if you need to install fencing on uneven or sloped land.

    If you’re shopping for wrought iron or ornamental iron fencing, trust A-1 Fence to meet your needs. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Why Chain Link Fences are the Best Fencing for an Urban Garden

    All over the country, abandoned lots in city centers are being transformed into blooming oases of vegetables and flowers. These urban gardens are a sight for sore eyes, and great news for the environment and food deserts alike, but how do you protect them from harm? There’s no better fixture for this job than a chain link fence.

    Why is a chain link fence so perfect for protecting an urban farm? Chain link fences are virtually indestructible. They can stand up to the ravages of time and weather, and when the buildings around them have crumbled, there’s a good chance that the fences will still be there. They are great for keeping people out, especially if you install a lock, and they can take a beating and come out standing; run a car into a chain link fence and you’ll find that the car is the loser in the confrontation. Despite all this rugged durability, chain link fences are a remarkably affordable option.

    Chain link fences are a great barrier to animals, too. If you happen to keep chickens in your urban garden, chain link will keep them safe, while keeping the neighborhood dogs at bay. Modify the fence with some chicken wire at the bottom, and you’ll even keep out tunneling bunnies. Meanwhile, squirrels, butterflies, and birds are free to use the fence as they please, cavorting, climbing, or just resting a while.

    What’s more, chain link fences lend themselves to plan support. Trellis-like, they allow vines to grow up their wires, and plants like tomatoes to use them for support. There’s even an ancient Roman horticultural technique known as “espalier” being revived that allows fruit trees to grow along fences rather than up into the air. As you can imagine, this makes it incredibly easy to pick fruit.

    If you’re concerned about the aesthetic appeal of a chain link fence, don’t be. People have long used their creativity to find ways to make chain link more visually interesting, whether by painting it, weaving things through it, or hanging things on it. Today, there are new techniques in stenciling and the creation of mosaics that can make a humble chain link fence into a truly impactful piece of art. The fence around your urban garden is really only limited by your imagination and artistic inclination.

    Whether you’re fencing in an urban garden or putting up a fence around your yard, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

     

  • Most Popular Fence Styles

    A fence is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your home’s exterior. It’s the first thing people see when they approach your house, and the right fence can greatly add to your curb appeal. Fencing offers privacy, security, and safety for your children and pets. There are many different types of fencing available, but two of the most popular are chain link and wrought iron.

    • Chain link fence is economical and practical. It’s highly functional, and a great way to keep people and animals safely contained. Made of pieces of galvanized metal twisted together and attached to upright poles, chain link fences are also very useful for keeping animals out of vegetable gardens. Chain link fencing comes in a variety of finishes, including powder-coated and painted, and can be coated in vinyl for greater longevity and durability.
    • Wrought iron fences are custom-made from iron. They’re made by master craftsmen, and are likely to have hammer marks and other distinguishing features. It’s durable, strong, pest-resistant, and attractive, but it’s hard to find true wrought iron today. Most manufacturers add iron silicate to the iron in their wrought iron fences, and most of the time, fences that are considered “wrought iron” are actually made of other types of metal that have been hammered, and twisted or bent into shape. Sometimes, fences are made primarily from steel, with portions that have been made from wrought iron.
    • Ornamental iron fences are more affordable than wrought iron, and are made from steel. Because they’re mass-produced, they have a more uniform look than handcrafted wrought iron. Ornamental iron fencing is lightweight and can be modified or customized. It’s easy to repair, math, or extend, and is a great choice if you need a lot of fencing, for a large area. Ornamental iron fences can be easily built on uneven or sloped land because they’re easy to adjust. They’re suitable for any style of property, because they’re both strong and attractive, and require very little maintenance.

    If you’re looking for a new fence in San Jose, trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • 5 Things to Consider When Buying an Iron Fence

    If you’re shopping for a fence, iron is an excellent choice. Beautiful, durable, and pest resistant, the right iron fence, properly installed, will last you for decades. It’s important to make sure you’re getting a quality product from a company that stands behind its work, so consider these factors before you buy.

    • Rust protection is vital. Rust can be a problem for iron fences that aren’t well-protected. Some companies are vague about their rust protection, or use a thin, somewhat ineffective coating. Galvanization is the best way to protect iron and steel from rust, so ask your fence company if they galvanize their iron fences and which technique they use.
    • Check out the production. Inspect the fence, to see that it’s strong and looks good from all sides. Pickets should go through the punched rail, and the intersection should be fully welded, providing a strong connection and clean look. When companies cut corners, using rivets or screws to connect the pickets to the rails, it can result in a weaker, looser, connection, and scratches that create rust spots.
    • Pay attention to the hardware. Little things make a big difference, and nowhere is this truer than in fence hardware. Small elements like brackets, post caps, and decorative finials, done carelessly, can make an iron fence look cheap. When manufacturers skimp, using stamp steel for their brackets and post caps, the hardware can be ill-fitting and inauthentic looking, cheapening the look of the fence. Finials are sometimes made of poor-quality materials like aluminum or plastic, which may need to be glued or pressed on. Cast iron finial tips, welded onto the picket, are a much better option.
    • Mind the gates. Don’t choose a company with poor gate construction. Gates need to be able to support their own weight and any additional pressure put on them. It’s not enough to just weld two posts to the end of a fence section to create a gate: even though it might be functional, it won’t be very strong. A better option is a fully boxed and welded gate frame, solid and 3-sided to withstand pressure without becoming damaged.
    • Understand the warranty. Download your warranty and read it, but ask questions, too. You need to know how warranty claims are handled and what can void your warranty, in addition to knowing the length of time it covers.

    When you’re shopping for an iron fence, be sure to ask questions and make a point to see pictures of the work the company has already done. If you’re looking for a company that stands behind their work, you can trust A-1 Fence. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Benefits of a Chain Link Fence

    A fence is a big investment, so you’re probably considering all of your options if you’re shopping for a new one. There are certainly plenty of options out there, including some that are more decorative than protective, some built to last for many years, and some that make a bold statement and add style to your yard. There is a strong argument, however, for the humble chain link fence.

    Chain link fences are popular, and with good reason. In fact, these fences made of twisted galvanized metal have many benefits.

    • Secure: If you need to keep people out or keep kids and pets in, a chain link fence will do the job. You can add a lock if you need further protection, and if you’re concerned about privacy, choose privacy slats.
    • Budget-friendly: Chain link fences are among the most affordable options, which is good if you need a lot of fencing, to surround a sizable property. They’re a great value, too, because they stand the test of time and are virtually indestructible.
    • Easily maintained: Once it’s installed, a chain link fence doesn’t require much more work. You won’t need to stain, paint, or rust-proof it to keep it in good shape. Just spray it down with a hose from time to time, and you’ll keep it clean and looking good.
    • Increases home value: Any fence that you add to your property will increase its value because many buyers are looking for the security of a fenced-in yard. If you’ve already installed a fence, you’ll save them the cost of installation, and that can be appealing. Also appealing is the fact that chain link is low maintenance, so the buyer won’t have to invest time, energy, and money into its upkeep. Because chain link is so affordable, it will yield a higher return on your investment than other, pricier fences.

    When it’s time to fence in your property, chain link is definitely worth a look. Once you’ve decided on your new fence, you can trust A-1 Fence to install it and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

     

  • Is an Iron Fence a Good Security Fence?

    Iron fences are beautiful and can make a bold statement. They’re also durable, pest-resistant, and able to stand up to fierce weather. If you’re considering an iron fence, though, you might have concerns about whether it will be a good security fence.

    In short, yes. Iron fences may, in fact, be the best security fence you can buy. Let’s look at some of the benefits they offer.

    • They’re strong. Iron fences are made of iron and steel, so breaking through them is very difficult. In fact, anyone wanting to get through an iron fence would need to bring heavy-duty tools, especially if it’s a higher-end fence.
    • They’re hard to climb. With open construction and rails spaced fairly far apart, iron fences make it difficult for someone to gain enough traction to climb them. If the fence has finial tips, those will further discourage climbing.
    • They are well-constructed. Iron fences are welded into one solid piece, which means that even if someone could figure out how to get through your fence, the fence would make a lot of noise and prevent them from entering quietly.
    • They make it easy to see. It’s helpful when you’re securing a property, to be able to see clearly and know what’s going on. Iron fences have an open design that offers clear visibility so that no one trying to gain entrance onto your property can hide behind the fence. With clear sightlines, iron fences make it easy for you to see an intruder from inside, and for people on the street to see the intruder even if he or she should manage to get onto the wrong side of the fence.
    • They’re aesthetically pleasing as well as protective. Iron fences actually increase the curb appeal of a house, giving it a more upscale look. An ugly fence can be an eyesore, and even an attractive fence can lose its luster over time without the right maintenance. Iron doesn’t require much maintenance and will continue to have a sophisticated look for many years.

    If you need to protect your property, it may be time to install an iron fence. When you’re ready to have it installed, you can trust A-1 Fence to get the job done right and stand behind our work. We’re a locally owned and operated company with more than 40 years of experience, committed to providing fast and efficient work with a personalized feel. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are proud of our reputation for quality work. For more information or a free estimate, contact us through our website or call 408-824-1693.

  • Simple Strategies for Keeping Your Chain Link Fence Looking Its Best

    Commercial Rust Removal Products for Chain Link Fence

    Chain link fences are pretty durable, but since they are exposed to the elements 24/7, a little maintenance is necessary from time to time. Every few months, walk along the boundary of the fence and inspect it for signs of damage from wear and tear. Make a note of any rusted areas, and address those quickly to prevent further rusting.

    Light Cleaning

    A chain link fence that is only lightly dusty or strewn with cobwebs is simple to clean. Just take a broom and sweep it. This also works well for grass trimmings that get caught in the chain link.

    Moderate Cleaning

    Dirt and grime that resist your efforts with a broom will need a bit more attention. Set your hose spray nozzle to a concentrated jet of water, and clean the fence with plain water. Some caked-on grime might not come off the first time. If necessary, you can mix some natural borax powder in a bucket of water. Decant the solution into the sprayer and hose down the fence again. Let the diluted borax sit on the fence panels for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with plain water. Wear rubber gloves if you need to scrub any stubborn areas.

    Rust Removal

    A fence maintenance company can correct rusty posts and panels for you. Or, if only a small area is rusted, you can put on work gloves and use steel wool to buff it out. Commercial rust removal products are also available. Read the label carefully before using these products, and use plain water to rinse the fence well afterward.

    Oil Application

    You can keep your chain link fence functioning at its best by applying a little oil now and then. The hinges on the gate need oil. You should also oil the latches, springs, and joints.

    In addition to offering new installations, A-1 Fence Inc. is pleased to offer maintenance services. We can provide ongoing maintenance, aesthetic enhancements, and repair services for any chain link fence in the San Jose area. Call (408) 259-2955 to request information about our competitive rates.

  • Is Your Yard Ready for Your Fence Installation?

    Designing Your Fence in San Jose

    Much of the preparation work for installing a new fence will be done while the professionals prepare your estimate. They’ll determine how much material is needed, how deep to dig the post holes, and where the boundaries of the fence will be. There are only a few things you need to do before your property is ready for the fencing equipment.

    First, take a look at the landscaping nearest the future boundaries of the new fence. Trim back any bushes or shrubs, if need be. This just makes it a little easier for the professionals to install the fencing, and for them to ensure your landscaping isn’t affected during the process. Second, on the day of the installation, keep your pets and children indoors.

    Our customers love A-1 Fence Inc. because of the respect and courtesy our professional installers have for each home we work at. Get started designing your fence in San Jose by calling us at (408) 259-2955.

  • How to Select the Right Privacy Fence

    Privacy Fence by A-1 Fence Inc in San Jose

    Privacy fences must serve multiple purposes. To be effective, they should improve the home’s security, contribute positively to the aesthetics of the property, and of course, give the family some much-needed privacy in the yard or pool. One common misconception about privacy fences is that they must always be made of solid wood panels. But in fact, ornamental wrought iron fences and chain link fences offer more room for creativity. Consider the following factors when planning your home improvement project.

    Match the style of the fence to the style of your home.

    The outdoor living space should flow seamlessly into the indoor living space. After all, if your home is built in a classic Victorian style, then you probably wouldn’t want to use Tudor-style trim, right? Walk out to the edge of your yard and spend some time looking at your home. Reflect on the textures, colors, and ornamental details, and keep this information in mind when you choose a privacy fence.

    Choose the right fence height.

    Next, consider the boundaries for your new privacy fence. Do you want to encase your entire plot, or do you just want to fence in the pool or backyard? Where your fence will be located will influence its ideal height. Generally, taller fences work well when they are extended around much of the property. If you’re just fencing in a backyard water feature, then building a tall fence around it might seem overwhelming when you’re sitting in the hot tub.

    Select unique touches for your privacy fence.

    Homeowners often don’t consider chain link or ornamental iron fences ideal for privacy because the other side of the fence is visible through it. But this actually allows you to put your own unique touch on the fence. One aesthetically pleasing option is to roll out bamboo reed mats along the fence. These mats are visually tasteful, and they offer a privacy screen. A longer-lasting option is a mesh wind screen. Fence screens are wind- and water-permeable, and they offer privacy.

    A-1 Fence Inc. is a premier provider of high-quality ornamental iron and chain link fences for homeowners in San Jose. Check out our online gallery of fence designs to get inspired for your home improvement project. Then, give us a call at (408) 259-2955 to get started.

  • Can You Paint a Chain Link Fence?

    Chain link fences make excellent dog fences. They’re also ideal for keeping wildlife out of gardens. You can paint the chain link to make it blend in better with the rest of your property. Another option is to purchase a chain link fence that has already been coated. Black and green colors are commonly available.

    If you’ve already installed a plain chain link fence and you’d like to paint it, watch this video for some quick tips. The man featured in it recommends letting the fence oxidize in the weather for a few months before painting it, or you can coat it with vinegar to accelerate the oxidation process.

    A-1 Fence Inc. offers free estimates for fencing services in San Jose who are interested in chain link fence installation. Call 408-259-2955, and ask us about our vinyl-coated chain link fences.  Have a look at our site to learn about chain link fences.