Wrought iron fences are strong and stylish. Also known as ornamental metal, wrought iron lends itself to classic and modern designs. Metal can be combined with wood, cement or brick. With its combination of beauty and functionality, it’s no wonder that wrought iron is a perennial favorite of homeowners.
Whether you’re considering building a fence yourself or hiring a professional, it helps to know what’s involved. Let’s take an overview of how to install a wrought iron fence.
Before You Build
Before breaking ground for a fence, research building codes for your area. Find out if you need a permit or permission from your homeowner’s association before you build. You can avoid a lot of headaches by knowing what’s allowed in your neighborhood.
Once you take care of the red tape, plan the dimensions and location of your fence. Measure the area so you can buy materials or estimate costs. Find and mark underground utility locations.
After the plan is established, it’s time to assemble tools and materials. Here some of what’s needed:
- Fence panels, posts, gates and fastenings
- Post hole digger
- Tape measure
- Fast-setting concrete
Set Stakes and Lines
Most fences start by setting stakes and string along the fence line. A stake is driven at each corner or anywhere the fence changes direction. String is stretched tightly and fastened to corner stakes. The string shows where the fence will run and helps establish the angles and dimensions.
Dig Post Holes
A post will be placed at corners, ending points and at either side of each fence panel. In general, post holes should be 6-inches wide and about 2-feet deep. The bottom few inches are filled with gravel for drainage. When the holes are prepared, it’s time to mix concrete in a wheelbarrow. The wet mixture needs to support the fence post, so it’s important not to add too much water.
Set the Posts
A post is set at the proper depth in the hole. Concrete is added to the hole, stopping about 4 inches short of ground level. The process is repeated for each post. The builder checks that posts are level and plum with the string. The post holes are packed tightly with dirt, holding the post straight while the concrete dries. Concrete should cure for several days or even a week. Wrought iron is a heavy material and the posts need to be stable to bear the weight.
Install Fence Panels
Wrought iron fences are manufactured in panels. Panels are lined up and installed one by one. Each panel must be lined up to match brackets on the posts. They are then attached with screws, starting with the top bracket and followed by the bottom bracket.
Hang the Gates
The fence panels may settle after installation. Some people wait for a week, allowing panels to adjust, before hanging a gate. The gate is attached using the hinges and latches that come with the gate.
Professional Fence Installation for Your Oregon Home
Pacific Fence & Wire offers custom designs and professional installation of wrought iron fencing. Take a look at our gallery to see what we’ve built for clients. Give us a call at (503)233-6248 to get started on your own wrought iron ornamental fence.