Using corrugated metal as a fence can be a practical and affordable option for many homeowners. Corrugated metal, often called tin, comes in sheets with alternating ridges and grooves, giving it flexibility while still maintaining strength. While it may not be the most decorative fencing material, corrugated metal can provide privacy, security, and weather resistance at a relatively low cost.
Pros of Using Corrugated Metal for Fences
There are several advantages to using corrugated metal for fencing:
Corrugated metal is extremely durable and can last for decades with minimal maintenance. The galvanized steel construction protects against corrosion and rust. Metal fencing won’t rot, crack, warp, or be damaged by termites like wood can. This makes it a great long-lasting investment.
Corrugated metal sheets are an economical choice, especially compared to wood privacy fencing. Metal fence panels can often be purchased for less than $50 each. For homeowners on a tight budget, this can make fencing in a large yard achievable. The long lifespan also adds value down the road.
The opaque metal sheets provide a solid barrier that prevents visibility, noise and blows debris between properties. This can help create privacy between neighbors in tight urban areas. The uniform appearance also looks clean and tidy.
Strength and Security
Metal is harder to cut through or knock down than many fencing materials, so it functions well for perimeter security. The heavy gauge steel is even used for chain link security fences in commercial applications. For residential homes, corrugated metal fencing can deter intruders and keep pets safely contained in the yard.
Wind and Weather Resistance
Metal stands up to all kinds of weather conditions including high winds, heavy rain, and snow accumulation. Plastic and wood fences often fail during storms, while metal remains strong and upright. This saves on repairs and replacement costs over the lifetime of the fence.
Once installed, corrugated metal fencing requires very little ongoing maintenance compared to wood fences that need frequent staining or painting. Just occasionally checking for any loose panels or posts is all that’s needed to keep a metal fence looking good. It’s a great option for homeowners who want a more hands-off approach.
Considerations for Metal Fence Installation
While corrugated metal has many perks as fencing, there are a few things to keep in mind:
The industrial aesthetic of metal fencing may not appeal to some homeowners who prefer a warm, natural wood look or ornamental iron. However, metal panels can be painted any color to blend in or match a property’s existing color scheme.
Working with large metal sheets is more difficult than installing standard wood planks. Getting clean, straight cuts requires power tools. The sheets are also heavy and unwieldy, so installing posts and attaching the panels takes more time and effort. Consider hiring a fencing contractor rather than tackling it as a DIY project.
Metal conducts temperature, so corrugated sheets can get very hot in the summer sun and freezing cold during winter. This may be a concern with pools, play areas, or pets. Coating panels with insulation can help, but it’s not a perfect solution.
The rigid sheets of corrugated metal don’t allow for a lot of design flexibility or customization compared to other fencing materials. There are limited color choices and minimal options for decorative accents with a metal framework. Gates, arbors, and latticework would need a wood or iron frame.
Ongoing Expansion and Contraction
The metal will continually expand and contract with temperature changes, which can loosen the bolts and cause rattling, especially during windy weather. Checking bolts seasonally and tightening when needed prevents this problem. Gapping between sheets is also likely over time as the metal shifts.
Ideal Uses for Corrugated Metal Fencing
Here are some of the best applications for using corrugated metal sheets for fencing:
Property Perimeter Fencing
Perimeter fencing around the entire backyard or acreage helps establish boundaries with metal’s visibility-blocking ability. This also takes advantage of the affordable cost for larger areas. The durability makes it ideal for properties that experience extreme weather.
The rigid steel construction and small perforations meet code requirements for pool barriers in many areas. The panels are difficult for small children to climb or squeeze through. Matching coated metal frames and gates provide full perimeter security.
Short sections of corrugated metal make attractive raised beds or garden dividers. The gray color blends into the surroundings, almost disappearing visually. The simple style doesn’t distract from ornate garden designs. It also protects plants from wind damage.
Noise Barrier Fencing
For homeowners dealing with noise pollution near highways, metal sheets create an effective sound barrier, blocking considerably more noise than wood. The density deflects sound waves rather than absorbing them like other acoustic materials.
Rural or Farm Fencing
On large rural properties, metal is affordable for fencing in acreage compared to wood. The durability requires less maintenance in areas far from the home. The opaque, secure sheets also help deter potential trespassers.
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Tips for Installing Corrugated Metal Fencing
Follow these guidelines to get the best results from a corrugated metal fence project:
- Check local zoning laws – Some areas limit metal fencing or have height requirements. Ensure permits are obtained if needed.
- Choose heavy 14 or 16-gauge steel at minimum for strength and rigidity. Heavier metal resists dents.
- Determine the post size and depth based on the fence height and span between posts. More support is needed for taller spans.
- Set posts in concrete for maximum stability. This prevents leaning or shifting over time.
- Use weather-resistant galvanized screws specifically made for fastening metal. Do not use nails that can loosen.
- Caulk gaps after installation to prevent rattling noise. Return periodically to re-caulk as needed.
- Consider adding decorative metal post caps for an attractive finish. Paint or coat posts to match panels.
With the right installation practices, corrugated metal can create a fence that is cost-effective, low maintenance, and built to last. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages against your specific needs to determine if metal is the right fencing material for your property. With creativity and proper planning, metal can look great while also providing security and privacy for many years.
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