iron vs steel fences for your home

Should You Choose Steel or Iron for Your New Fence?

Are you looking to install a new fence on your property? If so, numerous materials will be available for this purpose. To ensure the right one is selected, learn the advantages and drawbacks of each.

Many property owners wish to have a fence made of metal. However, each type of metal has its pros and cons that also need to be considered. Iron and steel are two good examples of this. What are the benefits of each type of metal and what characteristics of these materials could be considered a drawback?

Understanding the Differences Between the Two

While iron and steel are both metals, there is a fundamental difference between the two materials. The amount of carbon found in each material distinguishes it from others. Nevertheless, regardless of which option is selected, the resulting fence will be sturdy and durable. Be prepared to pay a premium when selecting a fence of either type, as the finished product will stand the test of time. It’s simply a matter of knowing the versatility, strength level, and appearance of each material before the choice is made to ensure you get a fence that you will love for years to come. What should one know when making this choice?


The property owner wants a fence that complements the entire landscape while raising the value of the property. Both steel and iron fences will achieve this goal. Nevertheless, iron fences are better for older properties and those in historic districts. In contrast, contemporary homes need a steel fence, as this material has a modern and sleek look.

Both materials can be sanded, primed, and painted. This does allow the property owner to change the appearance of the fence if desired. This isn’t the case with certain fencing materials, such as PVC. Furthermore, if the fence is slightly damaged, repairing it using this method may be enough to allow the fence to last for many years into the future.


Of the two materials, iron is the easier one to work with. When welders go to construct the fence, intricate designs, railings, and other features aren’t as difficult to make. Nevertheless, mild steel is often used for railings because it contains a small amount of carbon. The inclusion of the carbon makes the finished product stronger than a railing made simply of iron.

However, when the fencing company selects steel that contains a great deal of carbon, heating the steel becomes easier. Less electrical energy is needed when this is the case. Take this into account during the decision-making process as well.


Rust is always a concern when working with metal. Iron does rust more easily than steel, and an iron gate that has rusted could limit access to the property. Lubrication might be required to open and close the gate.

As stainless steel contains nickel and chromium, this material is better able to resist corrosion. Rust becomes less of a concern, and the appearance of the fence will be maintained for a longer time period. However, make certain the steel to be used for the fence contains nickel and chromium. If it doesn’t, iron will be the better choice.

This does not mean an iron fence should be avoided at all costs. With proper maintenance, the iron fence can remain rust free at all times. It’s a matter of how much maintenance the owner is willing to deal with when it comes to choosing the fencing material.


Both iron and steel fences cost more than many of their siblings. If the price is the top concern, a wood, PVC, or chain-link fence will be a better option. If an iron or steel fence is desired, however, steel is the less expensive of the two. This is due to the production difficulties seen with iron. In addition, less time is needed to fabricate a steel fence which can affect the final price.


Fences are constantly exposed to the elements, and this can have a negative impact on the lifespan of the structure. However, both iron and steel are very durable and can easily withstand whatever nature throws at them.

An iron fence contains only iron. In contrast, steel fences are made up of both iron and carbon. As a result, iron fences are softer than their steel counterparts and therefore less durable. Repairs will be needed more often when this material is selected. This doesn’t mean iron should be completely discounted when choosing the fence material.

Iron does withstand shock and vibration better than steel. In the event a fracture does occur, the break doesn’t happen instantly. The property owner knows there is a problem and can have the necessary repairs carried out before any additional damage occurs.

If a steel fence is weakened, the material may suddenly break. As a result, property and/or humans may be harmed. Any powerful force can lead to this type of damage, so this needs to be taken into account when deciding which type of fence is best for your needs.

Heat Transfer

Iron and steel, when heated, produce heat of their own. Iron does produce more at this time, and that needs to be considered when choosing a fencing material. The increased heat conduction seen with iron increases the likelihood of fire, which may be of concern in certain areas. Nevertheless, both materials produce less heat than many of their fencing counterparts, such as wood.


Both iron and steel fences are difficult to install. Expect to pay more for labor, as a result. However, the difference in cost isn’t huge as many would expect. It will factor into the final decision though when it comes to which type of fencing material to select.

Take the above into account as you go to choose a material for your new fence. As each property owner has his or her own requirements when it comes to items for the property, there is no right answer when it comes to which is best. By knowing the advantages and drawbacks of each material, you will find it becomes easier to make the selection that is best for your needs.

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