ORNAMENTAL IRONWORK Frequently Asked Questions

wrought iron post cap finial

Ornamental Ironwork.

Your Questions Answered!

What is the difference between Wrought Iron and Steel?

A: The terms iron and steel are often used interchangeably today. So, unless it is “cast” iron you are referring to, iron and steel mean the same thing to the contemporary metal fabricator. “Wrought Iron” usually refers to the process of iron or steel being “wrought” by hand or machine and implies a degree of decoration is involved. (e.g. “I would prefer a wrought iron fence” and ” I would prefer a decorative steel fence” means the same thing) However, “wrought iron” is also a very specific type of iron which was the predominant metal used for ornamental and structural work prior to 1920s. When modern smelting processes and higher grades of “steel” became available and “wrought iron” was discontinued in favor of the new alloys. Since “real” wrought iron is no longer made except in specialty mills, all ornamental metal shops use A36 Carbon Steel in their fabrication and forging operations where ironwork is required.

What is the difference between Brass and Bronze?

Brass and bronze are all members of the copper alloy family. There is no formal differentiation between brass and bronze, only a perception that the more yellow a copper alloy appears, it is more likely referred to as brasses, and the more reddish it appears to be it is called bronze. While there are several hundred copper alloys used in industry, we generally use the following alloys in our work: Silicon Bronze, aluminium Bronze, Muntz metal, Naval Brass, and Architectural Bronze. Of these alloys, bronze handrail or cap rail is made of architectural bronze. See the Copper Development Association website here for more details on copper alloys, uses and specifications.

How do I get a Heritage Industries Inc. proposal?/Offer a proposal for my project?

For the most timely, accurate, and cost effective bid, please provide the following information to us via mail or email:
> Your architect’s or landscape architect’s plans and specifications
> Any site measurements and photos if applicable
> Job site location
> Time frame for completion
> Any other sketches, designs, photos, or magazine clippings which may help us understand what you want.
As with any form of custom work, the more information you can give our estimator, the more accurate and timely our response and your proposal will be. If you come to our shop in Blawnox, we will gladly set an appointment and consult with you free of charge about your work. We have a showroom full of samples and finishes to offer better insight into what your particular project may need.

Does Heritage Industries offer "ball-park" pricing?

Sorry, but no. Ball park prices are not offered because they are almost always inaccurate and often do not take important factors into account which would be caught during the normal estimating process.

Does Heritage Industries offer "Value Engineering" or can Heritage Industries offer improvements to specifications, materials, finishes, or fabrication processes which would improve the price of the work?

Yes. The more information we receive during the estimating phase, the more accurate we can be with our proposal. If you indicate up front that your project is extremely budget driven, we will offer VE ideas from the onset in order to make it as affordable as possible.

What is Heritage Industries normal lead time?

This depends on the size and complexity of the project and the backlog of work already underway. However, we can turn many projects around in 12-16 weeks.

How does Heritage Industries measure for a curved stair railing?

We must physically template your curving stair which generally involves a crew from our shop traveling to the job site and working on site making a steel or aluminum “template” of your stairs.

What materials does Heritage Industries work in?

We can fabricate and forge stainless steel, steel, brass, bronze, copper, aluminium, and other alloys.

What if I do not have a design in mind?

At your initial appointment, which may take place on site or at our showroom, we will discuss your project goals, personal style, the style of your home and budget. We will show you design book, samples and previously completed jobs. In most cases the client makes their decision before the end of the meeting. If you are interested in further design we can offer design services on an hourly rate including the preparation of shop drawings and specifications for bidding.

What finishes does Heritage Industries offer?

We offer many finishes for many applications and alloys. For example, we offer traditional blacksmith finishes of wax and linseed oil on forged iron, patina finishes for ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as complex catalyzed paint and primer systems. However, most of our carbon steel projects are powder coated or galvanized and powder coated. Be aware that specialty finishes can sometimes cost as much as the fabrication of a product. If you do not have a finish specification for your work, we can offer one to suit the requirements of the installation.

How can I keep my project within budget?

If you choose to share your budget with us, we will help design and/or value engineer your existing design to stay within your budget. If we provide you with a fixed price proposal for your work, we will hold that price unless the scope of work changes.