Aluminum fence panels are a lightweight, less expensive option for perimeter fencing, allowing a builder to create a perimeter around a yard, pool, garden, or other area. While aluminum fence panels are not as strong as steel or iron panels, they are easy to install, attractive, resistant to corrosion, and effective at preventing unwanted guests from entering an area or at keeping children and pets inside a set area. Aluminum fence panels come in an array of designs that often mimic the common designs of other fencing material such as iron, though most designs feature two or three horizontal beams interlaced with several vertical posts.
Since aluminum fence panels are often used to create a perimeter around an in-ground pool, the panels must meet pool regulations. In many places, this means the panels must be eight feet tall (2.43 meters) or higher. The panels can be affixed to aluminum posts, or posts made from other materials such as wood, steel, or iron, and privacy fence screening can be attached to the aluminum fence to enhance privacy and reduce sun glare. Most aluminum fence panels used for pools feature a simple design, though more elaborate designs are available at a higher price. The panels are usually black, though other colors are sometimes available; aside from black, white is the most common color for aluminum fence panels.
More elaborate designs may mimic the look of wrought iron, which is iron that has been worked by hand into eye-catching twists or shapes. Aluminum is often cast rather than worked by hand; this process takes much less time, keeping the cost of the panels down. Aluminum fencing can therefore create the look of more expensive panel materials without driving up the price. For porches and decks, aluminum panels work well, and panels can be purchased to act specifically as handrails down a set of stairs. In front yards, an aluminum gate is a common accent to the fence, and specifically designed panels can be purchased to be used as a gate.
Some aluminum fence panels may feature internal supports that strengthen the aluminum further, making it more appropriate for weight-bearing purposes. An inner wall is essentially cast inside the square aluminum tubing, adding reinforcement to the finished product. Such a design can help prevent the fence from becoming bent or otherwise damaged, though aluminum does tend to dent fairly easily. Unlike steel, which can be bent back into place, aluminum is more likely to snap than bend, making repairs more difficult.