Wood vs. Iron: Which is Best for Your Fence Installation Project?

by | Nov 10, 2021 | Fence Services | 0 comments

wood fence vs. iron fence

With all of the hard work that goes into establishing a lovely outdoor living space—from weekly lawn mowing, fence installation, to dirt-stained trousers from hours spent kneeling in flower beds—replacing your home’s old fencing can sometimes be put on the “someday” list because of the time and effort it takes. Nevertheless, doesn’t your sanctuary’s security system merit a little attention as well?

This often-overlooked outdoor component not only acts as a safety safeguard to keep pets and small children contained but may also be used as a design feature to improve the appearance of your home’s curb appeal. To construct a thoughtful barrier, all you need is a little imagination and the correct material.

Wood Fence Vs. Iron Fence

While there are various fencing options from which to choose, the most heated argument in the business is between wood fencing and iron fencing. Although wood has always been a popular building material due to its inexpensive initial cost and natural attractiveness, the once-traditional white picket fence Americana is changing as the modern housing age takes hold. Iron fence, on the other hand, has seen a comeback in popularity in recent years. The once rigid and difficult-to-install material has been replaced with alternatives that are easily adjustable and nearly maintenance-free. Modern and traditional homes can benefit from the clean lines and elegant appeal of iron fencing, thanks to the availability of these fencing lines at an affordable price.

Because each form of fencing has its own set of advantages, how can you pick which material would best protect your property while also being visually appealing? Take a look at the comparison between the two materials when used for fence installation below.


Wood fencing

Evokes a sense of nostalgia and attractiveness in the viewer. Because of the rich earth-tone hues used, it has a visually soft and pleasant appearance. It can be stained or painted in a variety of colors to match a range of decor styles.

Iron fencing

Previous offers were sometimes regarded as frigid and unwelcoming due to their iron construction. Today, iron fencing offers creative freedom due to the diversity of materials and finishes available, including aluminum, wrought iron, and galvanized steel, among others. Accessories such as finials, knuckles, ball caps, and rings are available from manufacturers to give your furniture a unique look.


Wood fencing

Wood fencing is susceptible to moisture absorption and warping when exposed to extreme temperature changes. It is at significant risk of rotting and degeneration as a result of the passage of time.

Iron fencing

Iron fencing is solid and will not rot, distort, or decay, and it will not become a meal plan for creatures if adequately maintained. A hidden pin-hinge mechanism is now available from some manufacturers, allowing rackability without the need for iron on iron, minimizing the likelihood of iron fatigue.


Wood fencing

Wood fencing requires a large amount of care to ensure that it operates at peak performance levels. A painted or stained wood fence will need to be sanded, primed, and refinished every two or three years to preserve its attractive appearance.

Iron fencing

Iron fencing takes extremely little more care to maintain its exceptional functionality compared to a wood fence, and it does not require staining or painting. Many alternatives are now galvanized and covered with a powder coating, which eliminates any concerns about rusting or corrosion in the future.

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Wood fencing

Wood fencing is simple to put up and maintain. On the negative side, wood shrinks up to 1/4″ in size as it dries after installation, resulting in unexpected gaps in the fencing structure. Wood panel gates will also expand and contract in the winter as the temperature fluctuates, making it challenging to open tightly set doors.

Iron fencing

Iron fencing is heavy, inflexible, and can be challenging to install in some situations. Some manufacturers have designed pre-assembled systems to make installation as simple as possible to combat this issue. Their rackable construction allows them to adapt to different terrain conditions quickly.

The Pros and Cons of Using Wood Vs. Iron as Building Materials


Pros: Wood fence has been a traditional choice for fence installation for centuries. It has a pleasing appearance and is usually affordable. Furthermore, it is highly adaptable, as it is available in a variety of designs and styles. It is an excellent choice for privacy fences, and you can paint it any color you like (or stain it).

Cons: Negative aspects include that wood fence requires a great deal of upkeep, both time-consuming and expensive. You will most likely need to treat or stain it regularly to maintain its protection. Extreme weather can harm wood fencing, and you may see rotting or warping due to too much moisture. Finally, and sadly, termites and other pests are attracted to the wood in the same way humans are, resulting in widespread and destructive infestations.


Pros: Iron is renowned for its beauty and long-lasting durability, especially as a privacy fence. It is low maintenance and lends itself well to the creation of imaginative and colorful designs. Because of iron’s exceptional strength and durability, you may expect it to persist for many years in the environment. It makes an ideal security fence for people who require a high level of protection because it is tough to breach. Unlike wood, it will not decay, warp, deteriorate, dry out, or serve as a habitat for termites, among other things. Finally, many individuals highly regard the patina that develops on iron over time due to oxidation.

Cons: Iron fencing is tough to handle and install because it is heavy and difficult to manage. Iron is the most expensive fencing material when you consider the pros and cons of each type. Depending on the climate and location, an iron fence can develop rust spots (damp locations are particularly susceptible). When this occurs, it usually occurs in areas where the paint has been scratched or chipped. Therefore we recommend that you inspect damaged areas immediately, sand them, and repaint them if you don’t like the patina.

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Here are some ideas for increasing the durability of your fence

Wood Fencing

Tip 1: Make use of a wood species that has proven itself in the external environment (cedar, redwood, cypress, or pressure-treated pine)

Tip 2: Choose the most excellent wood grade you can buy; the more precise the wood, the better the result.

Tip 3: Steel posts should be used instead of wooden ones since they will last longer and give a stronger foundation for your fence.

Tip 4: Make sure the fence is constructed so that the wood does not contact the ground; this will limit the possibility of moisture-related problems such as rotting, warping, and splitting.

Iron Fencing

Tip 1: Remove any existing rust from your iron fence by washing it with soap and water.

Walk the entire length of your fence and inspect it regularly to ensure that it is in perfect condition. If you notice any rust, it’s critical to remove it as soon as possible to prevent the corrosion from spreading.

Sandpaper or steel wool can be used sparingly to clean rusty surfaces that have only a slight bit of corrosion on them. A motorized disc sander or a stiff metal brush may be required to remove more persistent rust. If the rust is particularly severe, you may need to use a commercial rust cleaning or dissolver, such as Naval Jelly.

Wearing protective equipment is always recommended, regardless of the approach you choose. When removing rust, work gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask will all help to keep you and others safe.

Tip 2: Your Iron Fence Should Be Cleaned and Dried

Once the corrosion has been removed, thoroughly clean the wrought iron to remove any leftover dirt and loose rust particles. Wipe the area down entirely with a towel wet with mineral spirits or a solution of warm water and dish detergent, as needed. Crevices and other difficult-to-reach locations can be cleaned using an old toothbrush.

After that, thoroughly rinse the fencing with clean water. To completely dry all surfaces, use a microfiber towel that has been cleaned and dried well. This is the single most critical step in preventing future rust from occurring. If the weather is particularly humid, you may want to consider using a portable fan or a blow dryer to ensure that no moisture is left behind. If the weather is good, fresh rust can grow in a matter of hours, so don’t put off going on to the following phase for too long.

Tip 3: Protect your iron fence with a rust-proof coating and paint.

Apply a layer of oil-based rust-resistant primer to your wrought iron fence to keep it from rusting in the future. To achieve even coverage with a paintbrush, make smooth strokes with the brush. Alternatively, a spray-on metal primer can make the work a lot easier. If you have evidence to suggest that some rust may still be present on the iron fencing surface, use a rust converter instead of primer (or beneath it).

It is time to paint your wrought iron fencing with oil-based metal paint after the priming has adequately been dry. Color creates a protective layer that reduces the likelihood of rust developing in the future. You can use a tiny paintbrush, but many do-it-yourselfers prefer to use paint mitts.

Allow for complete drying before applying the second layer of paint. If you want to paint the wrought iron with spray-on paint, it may take up to four coats to completely cover the surface.


Ultimately, the winner of the famous wood vs. iron fencing debate will be determined by your personal preference. Is it possible to make the finest choice for your outdoor space? If you’re looking for a long-lasting solution that requires little upkeep, iron fencing is your best option. Additionally, a diverse range of alternatives is available on the market that provides additional design versatility for terrains of all shapes and sizes.

Once you’ve established your priorities, set your budget, and determined your preferred style, selecting the material for your new fence should be easy.

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Word of Thought

Trying to save money as much as possible can be tempting, especially when installing a fence on your property. Some homeowners may prefer the DIY approach, thinking that they can spend less money. However, it sometimes ends up having a higher fence installation cost than you should spend than hiring a professional to install your fence. In addition, you might also want to look into the local building codes and the need to apply for a building permit.

Take note that your fence design will vary according to your property features. Whether installing vinyl fences, wrought iron, aluminum fence, cedar fence, and other fencing types, it is best to hire experienced fence contractors to handle your fencing needs since they can provide you with both short or long-term fencing needs. Read more about our fence services here.

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