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Deciding between a vinyl (PVC) and an ornamental aluminum fence enclosure can be difficult.  Like people, every fence solution is unique. Requirements and needs vary in privacy, security, maintenance level, configurations, cost, and aesthetic style. Here are some helpful tips that play a big role in arriving at a well-informed decision. 


When it comes to privacy, vinyl fencing pulls ahead. With heights reaching up to 6’ or 8’ and its solid state, vinyl is perfect for backyards. Pool enclosures, basic perimeter fencing, and dumpster enclosures are also common vinyl applications.

An aluminum fence offers a classic and minimal look but can only achieve comparable privacy function with the addition of fill-in panels. And often, these panels take away from the traditional ornamental look of the enclosure.

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Gate configuration

For many buyers, larger gates are a must have. With ornamental or decorative aluminum fencing, these in specifications and designs can be met. Aluminum gate sizes vary from 3’ wide walk gates to 30’ wide slide gates. Features such as self-closing hinges, pool latches, magnetic locks, and gate operators and access controls for larger fences all work wonderfully with an aluminum fence. Aluminum gates also work to meet standardized pool codes.

The majority of Vinyl gates are manufactured in sizes from 3’ wide single panel swing gates to 12’ or 16’ wide double panel swing gates. Large gates are usually constructed with pipe posts and frames, to which the vinyl fence panels are then attached. PVC products are an atypical material application for automated systems.


Requiring little to no maintenance vinyl has a slight edge over aluminum. Though ornamental fence is also low maintenance, a simple occasional wash with soap and water is all it takes to keep this vinyl as beautiful as the day it was installed.



Ornamental Aluminum take the lead when it comes to security fencing. Due to its limitations, a vinyl fence cannot meet the material conditions for large gate uses. It simply cannot be made as security conscious as it aluminum counterpart.

When looking to improve the safety of an office building, and apartment complexes, commercial and industrial grade aluminum fence is always the best choice.

Heavy duty and decorative gates come with automated electric operators and access controls for additional security measures and ease of operation. Residential grade aluminum fences are somewhat less secure, but still an ideal solution for keeping children and pets in or out of the back yard.


The cost of installation for either material is about the same, about size. Naturally, the price goes up as the scale of the fence increases. Large ornamental aluminum gates will cost more than smaller sized vinyl ones.

Color selection

Ornamental Aluminum Fences are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and grades for almost any fence requirement. The standard powder coating colors - green, brown, white, and black - give years of attractive protection. Ornamental color variations are increased, but specific suppliers do produce custom colors. Although most vinyl fences are white, many manufacturers now offer several color selections as well as wood grain and textured surfaces.

Once taken into consideration, these differences will help you make an informed decision whether vinyl or aluminum application for your fence enclosure.

Topics: Vinyl Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, Fence Cost, Fence Construction, fence options, residential fence choices, backyard fencing richmond, fences norfolk

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