Why is Powder Coating superior?
How are the railings constructed and how strong are they?
I don't see a Residential grade, do you have one?
General Installation Concepts
Cutting Down Panel / Punched Post panels
Mounting Bottom Rail Ends
What is the difference in types of posts?
Can I attach railing panels to columns / walls?
How do I mount posts on concrete / decks?
How do I hang my Aluminum Gate?
Mounting a Gate between Columns / Walls
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Aluminum railings provide the elegance and beauty of classic wrought iron. Wrought iron railings, however, are susceptible to rust problems and are relatively high maintenance. Aluminum, with our powder-coated colors, are maintenance-free and rust proof. This makes them particularly well suited for high moisture areas!
This photo shows what can happen to an iron or steel fence or railing. The owner claimed this iron fence looked like this just six months after installation.
Aluminum railings are also very strong and can take a lot of punishment. Depending on your specific application, you can choose to increase strength from Commercial to Industrial.
All of our railings are 100% aluminum with welded gate construction and all stainless steel fasteners connecting pickets to the rails and rails to posts. The finish is a powder-coat surface with a lifetime warranty. All styles are available in black, white, designer beige, forest green or bronze.
(samples are approximate, since no two monitors display colors exactly alike!)
Aluminum railing is simple to install. The panels are pre-assembled and posts, for a Panel / Punched Post system, are pre-punched for the rails. The two other systems, Panel / Rail End Post and Post Top, use rail ends and Blank (un-punched) posts.
Polyester TGIC technology advanced powder coating coating system produces a high quality, long lasting finish which is also environmentally friendly. When applied to an Ultra railing, polyester TGIC is twice the thickness and hardness of a typical acrylic, baked enamel or "wet paint" finish, making it far more durable, fade resistant and scratch resistant than other coatings. Powdered coated aluminum parts won't rust and carry a lifetime Warranty!
All Ultra components are extruded from 6005-T5 alloy with a minimum ultimate strength of 35,000 psi.
Every railing system is assembled with stainless steel, zinc chromate coated, corrosion resistant screws with heads powder-coated to match the finish of the railing. Welded panels (no screws are available as an option.)
Posts come in a variety of wall thicknesses and are pre-punched to accept the rails of the Panel / Punched Post panels.
Accessories are zinc die cast or cast aluminum. All accessories are fully powder coated.
All Ultra gates are welded and then powder coated so that unsightly braces are not required.
All Ultra Railings are IBC compliant.
A Residential grade, in the sense that it would be somewhat less strong than a Commercial grade, does not exist anywhere. This is due to IBC codes that require a stronger barrier to provide the maximum in safety. Unlike Residential fence, which is there for looks primarily, rails must perform an actual safety function.
Our Commercial grade is IBC compliant and is appropriate for use as residential deck, balcony, porch or stair railing as well as any commercial application such as apartment building balcony railings.
As shown in this illustration, posts for a Panel / Punched Post system are pre-punched with holes to accept the ends of the rails of a railing section which are then held in place by a set screw in each rail end. The screws are powder-coated the same color as the fence.
A Panel / Rail End system use Blank posts to which the ends of the rails are fastened using Rail Ends with hidden fasteners.
The Post Top system, shown here, also uses Blank posts. The bottom or middle rails are attached to the posts with Rail Ends, but the top rail is fastened to the tops of the posts using various connector plates.
All three systems use posts spaced at 6' on center when used with floor flanges. Core drilled or through the deck installation must be used for posts spaced at 8' on center.
Because the spacing between gate posts is critical, you should always install the Gate posts first (more about posts types follows). When you order a 48” gate for example, the 48” refers to the size of the opening, not to the gate itself. The manufacturer always makes the gate a bit smaller than the opening to allow for hinges and latches. Thus, for a 48” gate, the opening from inside of Gate post to inside of the other Gate post must be exactly 48”. Always hinge the gate on the railing side of the gate if you are using a free standing post on the other side of the gate.
See the Columns page for information on installing between existing walls or columns.
If you need to cut down a 6' section to 5 1/2', for example, you can cut the middle and bottom rails to 5 1/2". But the top rail requires special attention. Since the Top Rail Base is longer than the Top Rail Cap so it can be inserted into the top punch of the post, it is important that you cut off equal amounts of both.
The simple way to do this is to slide the Top Rail Cap to the end of the Top Rail Base and make a single cut, removing equal amounts from both as shown in this illustration. Use a rubber mallet and gently tap the Top Rail Cap to the end of the Top Rail Base.
It is always best to remove half of the "cut down amount" from both ends, so that the last picket is an equal distance away from the post, column or wall at both ends!
Otherwise you could end up with weird spacing as in the illustration here, where the spacing on one end of the panel is Like Figure A and the other end is like Figure B. This is not good!!
Since there is only two inches of space below the Bottom Rail, it is important to pre-drill pilot holes in the bottom of any Rail Ends mounted to the posts.
Mount the Rail End to the post, then lay the post down and drill the pilot hole.
Then, you have two choices. Either insert all panels and drill in the bottom Rail End screws while all the posts are laying on their sides, then stand the whole run up and bolt it to the surface, or, if posts are already bolted into place, use a ratchet to drive the screws into the underside of the bottom Rail Ends from underneath.
important to understand the differences in End/Gate, Corner,
The posts have pre-routed holes to accept rails from the railing panels. The position of the holes will determine the use of the post.
There are also 3-way and 4-way posts that are punched on 3 or 4 sides when multiple railing runs meet at one post.
For these styles, the following definitions and descriptions are true.
End/Gate Post: any post that ends a line of fence. A gate terminates a line for this purpose. Thus, an End and a Gate post are the same thing. The railing may continue on the other side of a gate so that post would also be an End post. An End/Gate post has holes on one side of the post only for rails to slide into. Only one section of railing is connected to that post. An End post also serves as a gate post. We recommend that both posts used for ends and, especially, for gates be of the maximum wall thickness.
Line Post: any intermediate post that has railing connected to two opposite sides. These posts have holes on two sides of the post, opposite each other. An easy way to figure the quantity of line posts required on a run of railing is to figure the total sections in the line and subtract one. That is why it is necessary to know measurements on both sides of a gate. The gate breaks the total line into two distinctly different lines for these purposes.
Corner Posts: any post that is to be used on a 90 degree angle to join two lines of railing. The holes are on two sides adjacent to each other.
Blank Post: a post with no holes. These are used when a Panel / Post system will be using Rail Ends to attach to the posts. They are always used on a Post Top rail system because the Top Rail sits atop the posts.
To attach fence panels to existing walls, columns or posts, you need to use rail ends. Depending on the situation, the rail ends can have hidden or exposed fasteners.
These are screwed to the mounting surface (post, wall or column) and the rail end is inserted. Finally, a screw is run up through the bottom of the rail end and into the bottom part of the rail to secure it in place.
See the Columns page for information on
installing between existing walls or columns.
When you want to mount the fence atop your concrete balcony or wooden deck, for example, you use floor flanges on the posts provided you use posts every 6' on center.
Flanged posts come with the flanges attached to the posts.
These are bolted down using lag bolts or anchors which are available at any hardware store. You simply bolt them in place and the snap the bolt covers into place.
This hidden fastener flange is only available from Ultra.
For wider panels (7' and 8') posts can be place that distance apart, but flanges cannot be used due to IBC code restrictions. These posts must be core-drilled or extend through the surface and bolted.
1. Make sure the posts are level and the space from inside of post to inside of post is the size of gate you ordered. A 48" gate fits a 48" opening and will not be itself 48" wide. The actual size of the gate will be approximately two inches smaller to allow for hinges and latches..
2. Double check the gate swing.
3. Install hinges on the gate posts first using the 1" self-tapping screws provided. Hinges should be mounted within the the rails. In other words, the top hinge should be not higher than the top rail and the bottom hinge no lower than the bottom rail.
4. Now bring in the gate. Center the gate in the opening and put one screw in each hinge. This is for the final adjustment reasons.
5. Attach the latch.
6. Adjust tension in hinges for proper swing of gate.
7. Assuming the gate swings well, put the remaining screws in the hinges.
There are basically three ways to hang a gate between existing columns or between existing walls as in a walkway / breezeway. Because most hinges and all latches are primarily designed to fit a corner of a post, posts are often used inside of the opening and lag-bolted directly to the existing structure to allow the gate to be centered in the columns.
It is possible to hang the gate without posts, but the gate needs to be "surfaced mounted, either to the inside edge of the column or the outside edge of the column as shown below.
If you wish to center the gate in the middle of the columns, the you need to use at least one Blank post for the latch as we do offer a Tru•Close hinge that can mount flat against the column or wall. This, of course, reduces the size of the opening by the size of the post. For example, a 48" opening using one 2" post would reduce the opening to 46" as shown below. This is critical because gates are ordered by the size of the opening, which is not the size of the actual gate. The gate itself is always made to a size that will fit the opening allowing for the hinges and latch.
Often a more balanced look is desired, so two posts can be used, one for the hinges and one for the latch. In this case, the opening size is reduced by the combined size of both posts, so a 48" opening with two 2 " posts would be reduced to 44" as shown below.