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        Iron Fence Gate. Reality Check Please.

#1 Mr.RC-CAM Oct 26, 2004 02:17 PM

Iron Fence Gate. Reality Check Please.
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My wife has wanted an iron gate into the backyard for a long time. So I thought I would surprise her with one. It would have to be custom. But, since I didn't want anything too fancy, I was hoping it would be just a few hundred dollars. Wrong.

The first quote came back at $1600 to $2200, depending on the the frills. They will powder coat and install it, but I will do some demo work. I will get two more bids, that is for sure.

In the meantime, I need a reality check. I was hoping some eZoners have been up this path before and can offer what they experienced.

Here is what my project would be: 80" tall by 42" iron gate, typical wrought iron construction. Some knuckles for decoration. Also, matching side fence section that is about 72" tall by 36" wide.

The gate would look like this:

#2 dstout Oct 26, 2004 02:22 PM

That's a pretty fair price for a custom iron gate. Have a business acquaitance that rolls his own but he ain't cheap either. You might better it a little and if you can compromise a bit maybe save a bit more.

I'll try getting the specs to this guy and see if your quote is reasonable.


#3 Mr.RC-CAM Oct 26, 2004 02:40 PM


I'll try getting the specs to this guy and see if your quote is reasonable.
Thanks. The gate will be slightly more detailed than shown, but not radically so.


#4 207 Oct 26, 2004 02:54 PM

Ornamental iron is VERY expensive even if you finish AND install yourself. Shopping around is advised but you still may recoil from the price! :( With construction the way it is right now though you might find an ironworker or structural fabricator (people not normally into ornamental iron) that might work with you. If they are in the business (ornamental iron) then even the "good deals" will be pricey. If you get desperate I can fabricate it for you if you have a drawing and materials. Of course there's the shipping. :eek:

#5 marjamar Oct 26, 2004 03:50 PM

Even though we could build this and more in our shop, all we do is sandblasting and coatings for hire. For that size gate we would charge you about $150 for sandblasting and about $350 for powder coating. Since most fabricators won't do sandblasting and send out for powder coating, your still in the $350 range plus markup for just the coatings. Fabrication cost very widely based on complexity, tube or solid iron construction, hand or machine bends and filigree. Installation is almost always an extra and is time and materials.

By what you've shown, I would say your right in the ball park. I would however get your best price and before giving your final OK, make sure to say "This IS going to be sandblasted to WHITE METAL before powder coating, right? It will absolutely double the life or more for the powder coating. As to the powder coating itself, best is zinc base with 2 top coats. Done right, this will last without help for more then 20 years.

Small things that can become big things. Seamless welding is great, cost a bit more. No lapped metal construction at all, unless seamlessly welded (both of these keeps rust from starting), usally not to big a deal cost-wise, unless overall design is not good. Minimum 5~7 year performance warranty, including coating appearance, rust or rust bleed-through.

Good luck.


#6 Mr.RC-CAM Oct 26, 2004 05:25 PM

I appreciate the feedback. I'm beginning to think I'm biting off more than I can chew, pocketbook wise. I budgeted about $800 for this project, and as usual, I am off by 1/2. I guess I'll have to rethink this. :(


#7 AustinTatious Oct 27, 2004 12:54 AM

If I was you, I woudl put that 800 twards a welder and sandblaster (hopefully You already have a compressor but even if not you can get a good one at harbor freight for 125 bucks!). Go to a salvage yard and find suitable metal for the project. Then get to work... it wont be easy and you will likley screw up a few times, but in the end you may surprise yourself... Ive built Go carts doing this and if you spend a little time, it can look darn good... it wont be powder coated, but a nice coat of the right paint does wonders... There is even some paint that looks like stone that may look nice... anyhow, in the end at least you ahve upgraded your DIY capabilities with your new equipment.... great way to sneak stuff by the woman!

#8 Chuck Oct 27, 2004 01:08 PM

If there is a Metals4u store in town they may have all the parts to make your gate.
Then all you have to do is weld 'em up and sandblast it, then paint it.
They also have a website.


#9 Mr.RC-CAM Oct 27, 2004 01:55 PM

I have done a little bit of brazing, gas, and arc welding. But, I am just a hack. I want it to look professional, so this is not something I would tackle without substantial experience.

My backup solution is to build a primo gate from clear redwood. There's one around the corner that she likes -- it has a little heart cut out in the middle. That should win a lot of points with the little gal. ;)

Thanks again for the suggestions.


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