Many suburban homeowners have dreams of that legendary white picket fence, but those who live in the city can also definitely appreciate the importance of demarcating their property. Many condos and co-ops around the five boroughs have fencing installed around their property, whether for security reasons or just as a nice aesthetic touch to make the building stand out amidst a busy sidewalk.
Unlike the wood and vinyl of suburbia, in New York City co-op and condo buildings of a certain vintage, proper, fencing often means metal—predominantly iron, but also steel, aluminum, and other alloys. Wood and vinyl are generally found further out in the boroughs.
“There’s no one-option-fits-all approach; it’s just a matter of what people want from an enclosure,” says Michael Costanza, president of Olympic Fence in Richmond Hill. “All buildings have their own opinion—it could be based on the architectural design, what’s easiest to maintain, or just the price.”
Larry Kaufman, owner of J. Kaufman Iron Works in the Bronx, which has been serving New York customers for more than 100 years, says that New York-area condos and co-ops generally look to add fencing that is easy to maintain—and that's mostly wrought iron and aluminum.
“We do everything that needs to be done to service the co-op and condo market and work with building managers and owners,” he says. “We can add a moat to the front of a building, add some child gates and provide unique options for them. Fencing is important. It can keep people out of certain areas of the building, protect the back of the building, and it makes people feel more secure.”