The gate of a house or condominium serves several purposes including providing safety and security but also, it is the first thing that anyone notices when they enter the premises. Entrance gates can build the first impression for the visitors and may set the stage for what is about to come inside the house. After all, what is the point of having a grand and amazing interior of the house if the gate does not match it in aesthetics? For this reason, homeowners pay extra attention when choosing a HDB gate.
In Singapore, there are a number of gate materials to choose from but one of the most popular types of gates is a wrought iron gate. SG Gate Door Window is a premium provider of various types of gates including wrought iron gates. You will find a large selection of premium gates, HDB main doors, bedroom doors and windows here.
However, when choosing a particular gate for your HDB home, it is very important that you consider several factors so that you choose the best option for your property. This article discusses everything you need to know about wrought iron gates, their pros and cons, installation, tips to choose a wrought iron gate and mistakes to avoid, and answers to several frequently asked questions.
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What is wrought iron?
The word wrought means ‘worked’, so wrought iron is a type of iron that has been worked: bent or shaped. It is a type of iron alloy that has a very low carbon content as compared to other harder metals like cast iron. A low carbon content makes wrought iron ductile and magnetic.
It also has a high tensile strength and elasticity which allows it to be heated and reheated multiple times to be molded into whatever shape and design you want. It has a high iron content constituting 99%-99.8% iron with a low carbon content ranging from 0.05% to 0.25% and other alloys including phosphorus, silicone, sulfur, and manganese. It also contains the necessary impurity called slag which, during the heating process, melts and gives wrought iron the glassy effect that is its main quality.
Due to its high elasticity and yield strength, wrought iron is mainly used for decorative items such as railings, furniture, and fences, gates, doors, nuts, bolts, and handrails.
Process of wrought iron manufacturing
Traditionally wrought iron was manufactured in a bloomery which is similar to that of a large kiln. Charcoal would be used as fuel to increase the temperature of the bloomery to melt away the iron from its ore. The process had to be completed carefully so that the correct ratio of charcoal and iron ore was utilized to reduce the carbon content. If the metal absorbed too much carbon, it would result in a hard and brittle cast iron that could not be bent or molded easily.
In modern times, wrought iron is manufactured by heating pig iron in a reverberating furnace which reduces the risk of the metal absorbing too much carbon during the process. Now, furnaces are powered by electricity to heat the wrought iron and bend it into any shape. Heavy machinery is used for pounding purposes and various elements are bound together by welding.
Why should you choose wrought iron gates for your homes?
Gates are the first impression of every home and therefore, homeowners not only want them to provide safety and security but also want them to be aesthetically pleasing and attractive. A wrought iron gate can fulfill these requirements and offer you other benefits also. The following advantages of wrought iron gates are a clear indication of why homeowners in Singapore prefer wrought iron gates.
Longevity and durability
Wrought iron is one of the strongest types of gates available that can help you secure your premises with no danger of anyone breaking into your HDB home. They are strong and durable and if maintained regularly, these gates can last a lifetime. They can get corroded over time but if maintained and painted regularly, the problem of corrosion and rusting can be avoided. It is because of their longevity and durability that we can see such grand and exquisite wrought iron gates from even the Victorian era and the last two centuries.
Wrought iron can easily be heated and reheated to bend and mold it into any shape and design. You can easily create intricate and exquisite patterns and carvings into these gates to create awe-striking designs. They can then be painted in different colors to further enhance their appearances. Over time, wrought iron has also been used in combination with other materials such as wood, glass, and fiberglass to create even more beautiful and elegant gates and doors. Doors such as wooden doors help create a high-end look for any home, making it an ideal choice for homeowners in Singapore as well. If you’ve not yet settle on a gate and door design, we have the top 5 HDB gate and door designs for you to get some inspiration from.
Since wrought iron gates comprise thin iron bars and intricate designs, they do not block the view and are ideal for such premises where you want the beautiful sceneries to be visible through the gate. So whether they are beautiful lawns or lawn ornaments, a wrought iron gate will not block the amazing views. In fact, they will become even more beautiful with the intricate wrought iron gate as a backdrop to the whole view.
Resistant to infestation
Wrought iron gates are highly sturdy and resistant to any kind of pest or insect infestation. It does not get damaged by the chewing or scratching of domestic pets. Therefore, you need not worry about the gate being damaged by any kind of pest and hence, does not require any maintenance in this regard.
Wrought iron gates are extremely low maintenance. They do not get damaged by extreme weather and other climate conditions. They are prone to rusting to some extent but nothing that a regular paint job cannot avoid.
Disadvantages of wrought iron
Although there are many advantages to choosing a wrought iron gate for your HDB home, there are a few disadvantages that one must be aware of. A few disadvantages of wrought iron are listed below:
A bit expensive
Since this type of gate is extremely strong and durable, it does not come cheap. Compared to other types of gates like wood, vinyl, or mild steel gates, wrought iron gates are definitely more expensive.
Complex installation process
Since a wrought iron gate is quite heavy, its installation is a complex process. It requires more labor and effort for transporting and installing. You need to ensure its proper anchoring so that the ground can withstand its weight and not fall over. For this reason, you may require a professional gate specialist that can install the gate in the best possible manner.
Lack of privacy
A wrought iron gate comprises thin metal bars in its design, hence there is a lack of privacy. Anyone and everyone can literally see everything inside the premises through this gate. Hence, it is not a good choice if privacy is your main requirement.
Things to consider while choosing a wrought iron gate
If you have decided to get a wrought iron gate for your HDB home, keep the following things in mind:
- Keep the measurements of your property in mind before choosing your gate. If you have a small gate area, a large and tall gate will look unappealing. On the other hand, a very small gate on a large property will also look inappropriate.
- Keep the overall design and look of your house in consideration while choosing the wrought iron gate’s design. If you have a Victorian-style exterior of your home, choose a corresponding Victorian-style gate with intricate designs and carvings. On the other hand, if your home has a modern minimalist exterior, choose a corresponding minimalist gate.
- Choose a reputed dealer to buy the wrought iron gate. A dealer with good reviews must be chosen to ensure a satisfactory gate-buying experience. If they provide installation services as well, it is better to buy a bundle deal that will help you save costs. Always check with the manufacturers and dealers if the gate can be painted in the color of your choice to avoid any surprises later on.
- Also, ensure that the wrought iron gate has been rust proofed through galvanizing. The process involves applying layers of zinc to the metal to prevent it from rusting. This increases the life of the gate and its durability.
- The best way to connect wrought iron elements together is through welding. Avoid using screws and brackets for connecting elements as they are prone to rusting and may compromise the strength and durability of the gate.
Wrought iron gate installation
As mentioned above, wrought iron gates installation is a labor-intensive and skillful process that may not be possible as a DIY project. If the gate is small and narrow, you may be able to install it yourself. But in the case of larger and heavier gates with ornate designs and structures, their handling and managing become quite difficult.
The general process of gate installation includes:
- Digging holes for the gate posts and set them in concrete.
- Installing a hinge and latching system to install the gate.
- Welding the gate and other elements with the gate posts to ensure that all elements are set together properly.
- Ensuring that all the measurements, angles, and alignments are correct so that the gate gets installed properly.
Before installing a wrought iron gate, make sure you consider the following factors:
- Wrought iron gates can come in different colors and sizes. Make sure that all the measurements are correct according to the space that you have in your home. Also, choose the color of the gate accordingly. You can get it painted in any color of your choice or keep it original in black color to give a rustic and crude appearance.
- Another important factor to consider is to ensure the right amount of space between the bars or grills of the gate. Having too much space between them will be compromising the security aspect whereas too little space can make the gate look cramped and reduce the visibility which you want with a metal gate. So you must achieve a balance between security and visibility and choose the space between the bars accordingly.
- Another similar factor is the thickness of the bars of the gate. Very thick bars will make the gate too heavy and not too aesthetically pleasing. Moreover, the heavier the gate, the more expensive it will be. On the contrary, too thin bars will compromise the security of the house and will also be prone to much wear and tear over time. So again, find the right balance of strength and visibility and choose the grill thickness accordingly.
- Always include the cost of installing the gate in your overall budget. Often, one considers just the cost of the gate but the installation charges should also be kept in mind.
- Make sure you have all the required paperwork including permission for installing the gate according to the requirements of the designated authorities.
- Finally, always choose a good door contractor for installing the gate who has the right experience and expertise. He must have the required licenses to work in HDB homes.
Mistakes to avoid while installing a wrought iron gate
A wrought iron gate, if installed incorrectly, will not only result in monetary damages but will waste valuable time. Hence, some mistakes that must be avoided while installing a wrought iron gate are listed below:
Not taking into account the installation costs
One of the most significant mistakes that you can make before installing a wrought iron gate for your HDB is not taking into consideration the installation costs. Often, one tends to include the cost of the gate in the overall budget while overlooking the installation costs. This can lead to the situation where the time comes to install the gate, you feel short on your budget and compensate by choosing an unskilled person to do the job. This can result in improper installation of your gate, causing you to spend more money on it in the long run.
Choosing the wrong materials
Although you might have thought about installing a wrought iron gate, there are many different types of wrought iron available in the market. The choice should be made intelligently depending on other factors related to your house such as the gate measurements, colors, house structure, strength of the walls, and other related factors. If you choose the wrong material that is not well-suited to the condition of your house, it can cause monetary as well as structural damages.
Choosing the wrong design
Another similar mistake that must be avoided is choosing the wrong design of the gate. This design can encompass the thickness and number of grills of the gate, the space between the grills, the overall patterns and placement of the iron structures, etc. If the grills are much closer to each other, they will reduce the visibility through the gate. On the contrary, if the grills are too far apart, it will compromise the security of the premises.
Similarly, if the grills are too thick, it will make the gate too heavy and expensive whereas too thin grills could easily be tampered with in case of a burglary attempt. The patterns of the gate also need to be chosen wisely since too intricate designs can increase the cost of the gate manifold.
Not choosing expert services for installation
Lastly, the mistake of choosing unskilled personnel for installation must be avoided at all costs. Wrought iron gate installation should be carried out by skilled gate professionals so that the process is completed keeping in view the measurements, resultant forces, and foundation structures, thus ensuring that the gate will last a lifetime.
Is wrought iron good for gates?
Wrought iron is a very good choice for gates, especially for entrance since they are strong, sturdy, and durable. Its various designs and structures add an attractive touch to the whole space, thus making it a perfect option for gates in Singapore.
What is the difference between wrought iron and mild steel?
Wrought iron has a relatively greater carbon content as compared to mild steel making it stronger and sturdier than mild steel. Wrought iron can become rusted whereas the probability of mild steel being rusted is very low. Wrought iron is heavier than mild steel. For more information regarding the difference between mild steel, wrought iron and other gate materials, check out our article.
What is better? Iron or steel gate?
That depends on your requirements. If you want a heavier, more durable, and stronger gate, then an iron gate is better than a steel gate. However, if you want a cheaper option, then mild steel is the way to go.
What is more expensive? Wrought iron or steel?
Since wrought iron is composed of pure iron and added slag, it is more durable and stronger. These properties make it more expensive than mild steel.
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