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Fence, similar to railing, seems like a simple product that doesn’t require much thought. However, there is much more to an aluminum fence system (or any fence system) than meets the eye. Today we will focus on 12 terms that mostly apply to aluminum fence, but many of these terms can be applied to several types of fencing. Bear in mind, this is only scratching the surface! Some day we will take an even deeper dive into the various terminology utilized in the fence industry. To learn more about other building products and terms, be sure to check out our looks at railing, columns, and the construction industry!

  1. Fence: An upright barrier typically made from metal or wood that encloses an area. Commonly used around yards, swimming pools, stadiums, and other locations where keeping out unwanted guests is the goal.
  2. Picket Fence: A fence with vertical components running periodically throughout. Typically spaced closely together enough to prevent passage by people or animals. 
  3. Fence Panel: An assembled fence section usually 4-6 feet long and as tall as the project requires. Some manufacturers will pre-assemble panels for ease of use on the jobsite.
  4. Knocked Down Fence/Fence Kits: A kit containing all of the components to build a fence panel that will need to be assembled on the job site.

Superior fence is almost always shipped in pre-assembled fence panels in an effort to save contractors and installers time on the job site. 

  1. Top Rail: The highest horizontal component of a fence panel. Depending on design, a top rail may be the highest overall portion of a fence panel or it could have pickets running through it (see photo below).
  2. Bottom Rail: The horizontal component closest to the ground. In general, bottom rail is more critical for functionality as opposed to aesthetics. In picket fence applications, pickets will go thru the bottom rail toward the ground.
  3. Mid Rail: A horizontal component or components between the top and bottom rail that can be utilized either to meet aesthetic preferences or to solidify pickets in excessively tall fence panels. Mid-rail can also be utilized to help secure decorative pieces if this design style is preferred.
  4. Post: A vertical portion of a fence run that secures multiple fence panels together either via machined pocket posts on level applications (for Superior Aluminum fence), straight brackets or swivel brackets for uneven terrain or slight turns.
  5. Picket: Sometimes referred to as a baluster or spindle, pickets fill the space between the bottom rail, mid rail (if applicable) and top rail. Each fence panel will contain numerous pickets. Pickets can be in numerous shapes and styles, depending on the needs of the project.

9A. Spear Picket: A picket that runs thru the top rail and is smashed at the top end to create a “spear” effect.

9B. Finial: A decorative casting added to the top of a picket to give a unique flair. Finials can also be added to the top of posts if desired.

  1. Gate: A specialized portion (or portions) in a large run of fence that is capable of moving to an open or closed position to allow entry to, and exit from, a fenced in area. All Superior gates are built fully custom to the exact size requirements of your project.
  2. Latch: A piece of hardware secured to a gate in order to fasten and hold a gate closed. Most gates feature one of two varieties of latch.

11A. Lock Latch: A latch that secures shut and can be opened with a key.

11B. Magna Latch: A latch that can be opened via a magnetic upward pull. Can also be locked if desired.

  1. Hinge: A joint attached to a gate that allows said gate to freely swing to open and close. Can be installed to be self-closing or to require a manual close.

Superior Aluminum produces fence panels in pre-assembled sections specific to the needs of the project itself. Many manufacturers will send along boxes and boxes of kits, wasting precious time on the jobsite. Pre-assembled panels can cut the time invested in a given project at least in half, if not more. If saving time and easing the pain of long days putting fence together interests you, give us a call at 937-526-4065 or contact us here!