Custom iron work is an affordable, and durable, design element that can make almost any home look like it belong in a gated community. However, there are are a tremendous number of styles and pieces that can be created with iron. Custom gates, fences and hand rails can be as simple or complex as a homeowner is willing to make them. Before you start talking with artisan welders, it's good to have an idea of what types of ornamental iron work are available. What follows is a short guide to some common types of custom iron pieces.
Architectural Balcony - Decorative and load bearing iron pieces that make up balcony railings. Like handrails, these pieces are highly functional and need to be built to code by an experienced welder.
Cast Iron - Cast iron pieces are made from melted pig iron that's poured into a mold. This process makes cheap iron, but it's nowhere nearly as sturdy as wrought iron. Cast iron is better for hardware and ornamental pieces that won't see a lot of movement.
Ornamental Iron - Any pieces like small garden fences that won't be bearing weight are moving. These decorative pieces are the perfect candidate for cast iron, especially if there are a number of them.
Wrought Iron - Wrought iron pieces are forged from a piece of metal that's been worked with a hammer and forge. It's a time consuming process that creates very strong metal. Items that see a lot of use like furniture and hardware should be made from wrought iron.