Steel Fencing Vs Aluminium Fencing: What's The Right Option For You?

Steel Fencing Vs Aluminium Fencing: What's The Right Option For You?

Posted by Lee Benson on 7th Jun 2024

When we advise our customers on the best types of fences for their Australian property, steel and aluminium are two of the materials we most frequently recommend. These heavy-duty fencing materials are just well-suited to Australia’s unique climatic considerations, as they both boast heat resistant capabilities and can also be exceptionally rust and corrosion-resistant with the right treatments.

However, while these two fencing materials both share a high level of durability and are both great value choices, they do have some important differences. So although there isn’t a bad choice in the debate that is steel fencing vs. aluminium fencing, each material will be better under certain circumstances.

Today, we’ll go through some of the pros and cons of both steel and aluminium to help you make a more informed decision as to which material to choose for your property’s perimeter.

Steel Vs Aluminium Fencing

The Benefits & Disadvantages of Steel Fencing

Pros of Steel Fencing

When deciding on your fencing material, durability should be a consideration. One of steel’s biggest selling points is that it’s incredibly resistant to outside impact. This makes steel the perfect material for security fencing. To further strengthen a steel fence, you can choose to have it galvanised or powder-coated. This also further eliminates issues like corrosion and warping.

The durability of steel ensures that it should last you longer than other fencing materials, including aluminium. A well-maintained steel fence can go decades before it needs to be repaired or replaced, particularly if it’s coated with a protective material like zinc or powder.

In fact, in the unlikely event that your galvanised steel fence does need replacements, it’ll likely only be if you’re looking to remove panels that have accrued dents over the years but are otherwise just as sturdy as they were the day they were installed. And if you invest in a high-quality steel fence like a Colorbond fence, you likely won’t have to replace it in your lifetime. In the long run, investing in a steel fence for your property can save you both time and money.

Another benefit of steel fences is that they just look great. A well-designed black steel fence can add a touch of luxury to your home or commercial lot. They look especially elegant when paired with a well-manicured garden and marble furnishings.

Cons of Steel Fencing

One of the drawbacks of steel fencing is its high initial cost. Due to its high quality and the amount of work that goes into manufacturing and treating steel, steel as a building material does not come cheap. If selling your property in the future isn’t on your mind and your home’s resale value is not a primary concern, then you might want to opt for a more affordable fencing material like aluminium.

Next, you also want to ensure that you’re purchasing treated or powder-coated steel – not raw steel. Steel fences, if you don’t coat them with a protective layer of liquid or powder, can be prone to rust and corrosion. This happens when the iron molecules in your fence get oxidised due to the oxygen in the air around it. This is a particularly big danger during the wetter, more moist times of the year or if you live near the coast.

Thankfully, all the steel fencing we stock here at Outback Fencing is treated specifically to contend with Australian climatic conditions. So whether you’re living in the bush, by the beach, or in a windy region, you can count on our steel fencing to perform at its best from season to season.

The Benefits & Disadvantages of Aluminium Fencing

Pros of Aluminium Fencing

One of the biggest points in favour of aluminium is that it offers many of the same benefits as steel at a lower price point. While both steel and aluminium involve fewer upkeep costs than other materials like timber, aluminium is much cheaper when it comes to initial costs. If you’re not looking for something for the very long term, aluminium will probably come out cheaper when it’s all said and done.

Aluminium fencing is also extremely weather-resistant. It doesn’t rust or corrode, making it one of the most popular choices in Australia, where the climate can range from scorching hot to wet and rainy – especially if you’re living along the east or south-east coast! This is because aluminium is non-reactive to the oxygen in the atmosphere, so this particular fencing material doesn’t oxidise and thus doesn’t develop rust. Its surface is also self-healing, so any minor scratches will quickly go away.

Stylistically, aluminium also allows you to be more flexible than steel, which essentially only comes in black. Aluminium allows for a wider range of colours and styles. For instance, you can go for aluminium batten fencing or aluminium slat fencing based on your personal taste and the overall look of your home.

Cons of Aluminium Fencing

One reason you might opt for another material is that aluminium, while tough, is not as impact-resistant as steel. It dents much easier when it encounters physical force, so if you foresee this being a big problem on your property, aluminium may not be for you.

This is also why you’re far more likely to see aluminium fences being made up of sturdy horizontal slats with support beams or dense pickets and battens rather than as flat, vertical slats like our Colorbond fencing panels.

You also don’t want to use aluminium if you want to build a heavy security gate, especially on a large commercial lot. As mentioned, aluminium dents easily, and is not suited to be your primary line of defence. Because it’s lighter than steel, it can also have trouble supporting the weight of a heavy gate.

Steel vs Aluminium Fencing: What's Best For Your Property?

Ultimately, whether you choose steel or aluminium fencing will depend on your personal taste and circumstances. If you’re looking to buy a sturdy, elegant, high-security fence and don’t mind spending a little more on a long-term investment, steel fences are for you.

On the other hand, aluminium fences are better if you want a convenient, rust-free fence that you can tailor to fit your property’s existing style without breaking the bank. Many people find that steel is better for commercial lots while aluminium is a better choice for homes, but this is obviously not a hard and fast rule. No matter which option you choose, however, both are considered to be great durable alternatives to traditional timber fencing. So once again in the debate of steel vs. aluminium fencing, it’s clear to see that there’s no objective ‘right choice’. Again, you need to decide based on what makes more sense for you and your property.

At Outback Fencing, it’s our mission both to provide our customers with the best quality fences, whether they be steel or aluminium or even cost-effective PVC fencing. If you’d like to know more about any of the steel or aluminium fencing we have on offer, simply get in touch with our friendly team today. We’re always happy to aid our customers in finding the right fencing solution for their home and property. 

About the author


Lee Benson

With over a decade of experience in all things Australian-made fencing solutions, Lee Benson is one of Adelaide's most trusted names in fencing. Lee takes great pride in making sure that Outback Fencing's range of fencing supplies is designed to provide Australian homeowners and business owners with all the security and design essentials that they need to get the very most out of their property fencing.

With a passion for problem solving, Lee takes great pride in designing stunning garden spaces that stand up to Australia's harshest weather extremes. Lee draws from all his expert insights to consistently provide his customers with the most suitable fencing solutions for their home and property.