Text by P. Gerbrandt
We may not want all the responsibilities that our country’s leaders have, but we may daydream about living at 24 Sussex Drive. Few will ever realize that dream. Another reality is that we can have security gates similar to those at the Prime Minister’s residence! Built in 1866, the house built by J.M. Currier is set on spacious grounds which are protected by wrought iron gates and fences.
Today, more and more homeowners and business people are choosing wrought iron for its strength and beauty. Attempted robberies at small businesses and assaults on employees working alone have created an increase in business for Garnet Enns of Steinman Iron Works (or for those who work with wrought iron). Security gates, fences, and window grates of all sizes can be fashioned to fit existing applications or designed for new projects.
Wrought iron fences and gates serve as a visual deterrent as well as a physical barrier. No longer does one need to have a gatekeeper to open and close the gates. Any style of gate can be manufactured to be fully operating and remote control provides a convenience that was not possible when such gates were first used.
The sight of heavy gates or lampposts may hint at European influence. Wrought iron has long been used in many European countries. Traditional designs are still popular, but Victorian and contemporary pieces can also be designed to customers’ specifications.
Gates, fences and railings should be appropriate for the house and neighborhood in which they will be used. Providing photos of existing structures or yard can help a skilled artisan to determine what style would best compliment the house. Before finalizing your order, make sure you have checked building codes in your area regarding fence height and placement in regard to property boundaries.
Be realistic when planning a wrought iron project. Custom work does cost more than something that is mass-produced. Most people don’t want to pay the higher price for a custom made version of something already available elsewhere, so consider what is most important to you.
Wrought iron’s strength is also desirable for signposts and pillars, grates for window wells and for fire pits. Garden arbors, bridges and barbeque carts made of iron will outlast those made of other materials. These can be fashioned to carry out design themes.
While poet Robert Frost questioned the notion that “Good fences make good neighbors”, people do not choose fences or gates because of good neighbors. It’s generally because of intruders that home and business owners opt for some kind of barrier. The open design of wrought iron allows for a good view, but still helps to mark boundaries.
Unlike wrought iron furniture which is powder coated, fences and gates are galvanized. The majority of wrought iron is traditional black, although customers may choose color highlights.
The strength and beauty of wrought iron can enhance your house and yard, and provide security as well. That’s a solid investment.