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Designing a Custom Iron Gate

Custom Iron Gate
The components of an ornamental iron gate are basically the same as for any other material. Custom gates can be crafted out of aluminum, steel, or wrought iron. Any of the materials yields a unique decorative appearance.

However, with ornamental iron, you have numerous customization options that ultimately result in a distinctive gate.

Posts

The posts form the foundation of your gate just as they do for your fence. Typically, gate posts consist of a single rod of metal. The rod can be squared or tubular. Your customization options for the gate posts are somewhat limited by the fact that they must preserve the structural integrity of the gate.

That said, on some elaborate gates, you might see a double-post design with decorative elements in between. The main area for customization, though, is in the post caps. You can have the posts topped with basic pressed caps, with those featuring ornamentation such as finials, or even iron cast into shapes such as balls or eggs.

Rails

The rails run horizontally from post to post and provide the structural integrity of your fence. Your fence can feature anywhere from two to four rails. Increasing the number of rails does increase its strength somewhat, but the main reason for doing so is decorative.

A common customization is a double top rail. You can leave the space between the rails clear, or you can have ornaments added. Common ornamentation includes scrollwork, plain rings, or panes of metal. You can also have the bottom rail doubled up with the same ornaments.

Another common customization for the rails is to choose a curve at the top. Two common curve options include the bell curve, which is convex, and scalloped, which is concave.

Pickets

Pickets are the vertical rods that provide the main body of your gate. As with the posts, your two main style options are squared or tubular. The main customization options with pickets comes in the ornamentation, which is covered below. However, you can also choose to have the space between pickets filled with metal or wood panels if you want more privacy.

Finials

Finials top the pickets. If you've chosen a double-rail or otherwise closed top, you may not have finials. However, finials are one of the most distinctive aspects of ornamental iron.

Most finials designs are some type of a spear, meaning they're pointed at the top. They're made this way to provide security to your property. The spear can be a basic pressed shape or a more decorative quad design with a ball at the top. You also see triad spears with the smaller points aiming up and out. The other version is the fleur-de-lis, which is a triad spear with the small points aiming down.

Scrollwork

The other highly distinctive area of ornamental iron gates is the scrollwork. Even if you have a relatively simple fence, you can get more decorative with the gate.

You typically choose your scrollwork as a panel, meaning the design has been worked out ahead of time. The patterns can range from simple curves to elaborate flourishes. You find scrollwork in long horizontal panels, wide vertical panels, or custom shapes meant to complement a post.

Ornaments

The ornaments you choose are the finishing touch on your ornamental iron gate. Scrollwork is one version of ornamentation, and you may decide to stop there. However, many homeowners choose to add rosettes which, as their name suggests, resemble roses. You can take the theme even farther and choose a system of vines, leaves, and flowers to ornament your gate.

Another common ornament is the medallion. Ornate medallions can incorporate scrollwork and other ornamentation. You can also choose hammered metal with pictorial images or your family's monogram.

Ornamental iron is one of the most customizable gate options. Let Central California Ornamental Iron help you design a distinctive ornamental gate for your property.