Ornamental steel and aluminum fences add style and elegance to residential, commercial and industrial properties. Similar in style to traditional wrought iron, ornamental fences are prefabricated from tubular bars instead of being hand forged to enhance affordability.

Ornamental aluminum fencing was introduced in the United States over 50 years ago by Jerith Mfg Co, the oldest manufacturer of ornamental aluminum fencing in the country and proud AFA member for 50 years. The majority of today’s ornamental aluminum fence sold in the U.S. is residential.

Aluminum does not rust and is often specified for that reason, also making it a popular choice in coastal areas and other harsh environments.

Homeowners choose ornamental metal fencing to show off landscaping of homes while also conveying a sense of security. Simply put, ornamental offers a prestige look. Like other fence products, decorative metals have become increasingly durable and maintenance free.

Both ornamental aluminum and iron are earth friendly and sport environmentally friendly finishes. Furthermore, aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be recycled repeatedly without breaking down. Most manufacturers, in their aluminum extrusions, use substantial percentages of recycled scrap. The industry standard calls for recycled content of about 70%. Many manufacturers have green certification to that effect, which specifiers commonly look for.

Ornamental fences come in a wide variety of styles to complement all types of architecture, from contemporary to traditional, and are available in a number of standard colors.

The attractiveness of ornamental fencing is one of its biggest draws, and property owners have a range of style options from which to choose. “Customers can easily personalize their ornamental fences by adding rails, rings, scrolls and finials. They may also choose arching or swooping pickets. Twisted pickets are also available to customize ornamental fences,” Frankel said.

Rings and scrolls are installed between pickets, while finials dress up post caps and the tops of pickets. Swoops and arches refer to the placement of the pickets.

Secure and Safe

In addition to their good looks, ornamental steel and aluminum fences can be used to secure properties. Pickets with thicker walls are used for commercial or industrial applications to further increase the strength of the fence.

In addition to stronger pickets, larger and taller pickets are also used to increase security. One company furnished an ornamental steel fence for an embassy that was 13 feet high and built of solid rails and pickets. The gate was solid metal, and it was very secure.


A number of other modifications are also available. Because ornamental fencing is constructed in an open style, an unobtrusive mesh can be added behind the pickets to further enclose the secure area, and locks can be added to gates.
Gates can be outfitted with locks that are opened by keys or a keypad with a panic bar on the inside of the fence to increase security.