The metal we used is non-galvanized corrugated metal. Non-galvanized meaning it will rust and with a thickness of 26 gauge. It’s actually more expensive than galvanized (won’t rust) corrugated metal which is 22 gauge, thinner, and flimsier. The galvanized seemed very shiny, reflective and contrived, if that makes sense. I was told you can remove the galvanized layer with music acid, and allow it to rust, but due to the thin-ness of the material, it will rust all the way through in about 10 years. We decided it was worth the extra expense to go with the non galvanized metal and get the rusty, organic look.
I like the look of the wood with the metal so I built the fence with the rails on the inside. We just stained the wood and it looks even nicer. I think it will look even better as the fence starts to rust.
These corrugated panels have been up for about 3 months and have just barely begun to rust. I did spray the entire fence with the hose, about a week ago, with the hope of speeding up the rusting process, but honestly I’m enjoying the way it looks now.
On the back corner of the fence, where the kid traffic is the heaviest, we have left a tiny door panel. I have a door (piece of corrugated) made for it but haven’t gotten it put up yet. It will be hinged into the post and on a spring so it stays closed when not in use. Also, you can see the overlapping of the panels. Each 8 ft. section took 3 pieces of corrugated, instead of cutting them to width, I just let the panels overlap each other and screwed them into the rails, with a pilot hole, and 1 5/8″ sheet metal screws.
On the south side of the house, the space was fairly narrow, I put in raised beds but the beds were going to be too close to the fence to get enough sunlight to grow vegetables. After puzzling it over for months, I decided to put up clear corrugated plastic panels to let enough light through to keep my vegetables growing. These improved plastic panels shouldn’t get brittle and weird yellow like the plastic you remember on your grandma’s greenhouse.
The garden beds from the inside of the fence, as you can see there’s a lot more light with the clear panels than there would be with metal in place. Also, you can see the backside weathering of the tin and corrugated panels from the fancy front-of-the-house part of the fence. Pause and take a nostalgic glimpse at our art covered garden fence at our previous house.
Here’s the front ‘fancier’ part of the fence, after surviving the snowy, windy winter. I’m sad (and ashamed) to say that my gates didn’t fare as well. They were taken out, ripped off in 2 different wind storms. I don’t even have a picture of the broken pieces because I was too sad and mad to photograph the wreckage. Mean Old Mother Nature. So, now I re-engineer better, stronger gates and I’ll pray every time the wind blows that they will survive, and that I won’t ever have to rebuild them, ever again.
To view part 1 in 2013 look here.
To view part 3 in 2015 look here.
To view part 4 in 2018 look here.
My corrugated metal fences (ceiling tiles and corrugated steel) are finished! I’ve dreamt about building one of many fancy metal fences I’ve seen before we even bought this house 3 years ago, so at long last– it’s a reality. Out of my head and into the real world.
And the south side of the house with a plain corrugated gate. The rest of the fence, on the other 3 sides of the property, will be corrugated between wooden posts and look a lot like this, but not galvanized, although that part hasn’t been finished yet.
I used latex house paint, the colors of the front door, shutters and garage door among others colors I had (leftover from other house projects) and spray paint to put a base layer on the tin tiles. Once the base layer was dry, I rollered other colors over that to make the detailed relief patterns stand out.
Building the fence was a bit of a puzzle, without a pattern or instructions, I had to make it up as I went along. What you can see here are the gates being pieced together. I used pressure treated 2×4’s to match the 4×4 fence posts. Within the gates and fence panels, all of the horizontal beams run the full width of the panel (secured with metal building brackets) and the vertical wood pieces are shorties placed between the horizontal sections.
Here are a few tiles painted and already in place. Instead of measuring for width and height of the individual square sections with a tape measure, I measured with an actual ceiling tile held in place, these tiles are 24″ square and conveniently very lightweight.
And the other side coming together. All of the tin went in first and the corrugated sections I put in last. The short sections (smaller than the full 24″ square tiles) were cut with tin snips and bent to size. Really very simple- the tin was thin enough it was very easy to cut and bend.
I was very nervous to cut the metal, having lots of previous experience with wood working but very little with metal working, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I asked around for advice and tips, got a metal cutting blade for my circular saw, covered up every inch of skin and took a deep breath.
A bit intimidating at first- to see sparks flying everywhere- but the preparations paid off and it was easier than I’d initially thought. Tip: stock up on saw blades, I went through 4 metal cutting blades, which quickly wear down into nubs, just in making this relatively small project.
Putting the panels in place, I randomly switched between vertical and horizontal placement for the corrugated sections. Luckily, I had the foresight to purchase tin snips that cut 22 gauge metal (exactly the gauge of the corrugated here). It was convenient to be able to trim corners here and there for easier fitting.
To connect the corrugated metal to the wood, I used these smaller L brackets and small bolts and nuts to secure each section into place. I secured each panel in two places and then all 4 corners on the corrugated sections of the gates.
The metal building brackets I used to connect all of the 2×4’s look like this. I chose them because they were the simplest (and cheapest) building bracket I could find that fit the scenario. The metal brackets are about 3″ wide, I mounted them closest to the back of the fence so they be less in the way of the metal sections and less visible from the front.
Here is what the back of the gates look like, a good view of the raw tin. I didn’t even occur to me to worry about what the back would look like. I think it’s kinda of a two-fer have it look funky from both sides. The naked tin is very reflective in bright sunlight and I think I’ll paint the back like I did the front sides, in the spring.
I went a little crazy on the hardware trying to make my gates the squarest, non-saggyest gates ever. So far- I’m very disappointed in the wheels from Home Depot, there isn’t enough travel to keep them on the ground when the gates are all the way open and then they bump against the wood when they are all the way closed and won’t even roll which leads to a lot of forcing which I do not appreciate. Also, I realize my gate tension system is backwards, I did this on purpose because the wood was beginning to bend forward at the top of one of the gates and I had to nip it in the bud. I think I will add another to criss cross (the right way) for actual support.
I loved sharing this project with you! If you have any questions or comments, need details or encouragement please don’t hesitate to ask. I would love to help.
To view the fence and rusting process a year later in 2014, look here.
To view the fence and yard after 2 years in 2015, look here.
To view the fence and yard in 2018, look here.