Fencing Your Pool

Aluminum Fencing: 5 Considerations For Installation

The installation of an aluminum fence begins with planning. Your installer can help you with this process, but it helps to know what to expect. 

1. General Layout

The first step of any fence installation is determining the layout, which is usually done ahead of ordering the aluminum fencing. Your installer will walk the property line with you to determine the best location for each post and panel. They will take into consideration the location of the property lines, utility easements, sprinkler head location, and any other obstructions such as a fire hydrant or large tree. They will then draw up a schematic for the installation that you must agree to before the fence is ordered.

2. Post Footings

There are two footing options for an aluminum fence. The first is to simply sink the posts deeply into the ground. This works well in areas with dense, stable soils and minimal earth movement. The other option is to sink the posts into a concrete footing. Footings are preferable in areas with lots of soil movement, either due to soil type or thaw-freeze cycles or in areas where high winds can be a problem.

3. Panel Style

Aluminum fences are installed as panels, which can be built on site or prefabricated. Prefab panels are ideal for solid aluminum fencing or if all panels will be a standard size. Onsite panel construction is usually only necessary if there are custom size panels needed due to irregular fence lengths. For example, if you need a 10-foot fence length and the panels only come in 4-foot lengths. In this case, your installer will have to fabricate the shorter section onsite.

4. Gate Placement

Gates must be planned for before the first panel goes in. Most fences need at least one gate, and some may need two or more. Gates can be simple swinging gates, such as for a sidewalk entry, or you can put in a motorized gate if the fencing will be enclosing a driveway. The type of gate you choose will impact the style of aluminum fencing as well as the type of posts that are needed.

5. Final Touches

A few final touches can make your aluminum fence all the better. Decorative post caps are a common final touch. These can be as simple as geometric aluminum caps, or you may want the look of a fancy copper finial. There are also caps with integrated solar lighting that can be a nice touch. Other final touches to consider include decorative gate hardware or top roller bars to dissuade your dog from jumping over the fence.

Talk to your aluminum fence installation contractor so you know what to expect on installation day.