Copper fence post caps
Copper fence post caps are a popular choice of fence toppers for their weathered look after a period of time. If you like the tarnished results then these styles of fence post caps are for you. Once you have made the decision or are currently in the process of choosing copper as your cap design for your fence, there are a few important facts to consider before running out to your local improvement depot to purchase.
It is important to consider the styles, quality, costs and final look of the fence posts caps you choose before you jump into a choice that may not be what you had expected. Here are some guiding points to help you along in your information gathering process.
Typical styles of copper caps
The most common kinds of copper fence post caps available are the pyramid, copper ball or globe, and a flat top or plateau style. There are even some hybrid designs that incorporate solar fence post caps made from copper. These tend to have a more ornate style about them.
Your choice of style depends greatly on personal preference and your budget considerations. Obviously the solar models are more costly than the simpler styles like the pyramid and plateau type. But your choice also doesn’t have to depend on cost, make sure that you consider these points regarding quality of the copper caps.
Quality of thickness is important
Most copper fence post caps are made of heavy-duty, 100% copper. They will inherently have a rustic look to them, but also a high glossy finish when purchased. Although, they should be dent free it is common to see some small dings on some products.
The most important consideration to be made when judging quality is the thickness of the copper itself. Standard copper fence post caps sold at hardware and improvement stores are typically only .016 inches thick. While comparing the ones sold online we found the normal thickness in pyramid and ball caps to be .031” and flat or plateau styles to average .027” in thickness. This should indicate naturally that a thicker piece of copper will stand up to the elements and accidental damage better than the store bought pieces.
Cost comparing sources
Just comparing pyramid type of copper fence post caps we found that the Lowes pricing is almost $3.00 more than the average online shop. While that doesn’t sound like a huge difference in price it will add up because you are most likely not going to just buy one cap.
From this example, if we purchased from an online store charging $8.00 per cap and the Lowes price is $12.00 we would save $3.00 per cap. That would mean if we bought 20 caps from Lowes the cost would be $240 opposed to $160 from the online option. That savings alone would afford the potential purchase of 10 more caps from the online store retailer. The point of the matter is be price conscious when deciding where to purchase these caps.
The later appearance
The last thing you will want to consider when placing copper fence post caps on your fence or decking is what it will look like after a period of time exposed to the elements. When they are newly installed they will appear shiny because they are manufactured with a thin, clear coating designed to protect them before and during the installation, but as more exposure to the weather occurs the coating is broken down. You can maintain the shine for longer periods by polishing with a cleaner or treating with a sealer.
Here is the scientific process of the breakdown. Moist air tarnishes or oxidizes the copper as time goes by. The ultra-violet rays from the sun, pollution and other normal environmental weathering conditions are attributed to the process of this breakdown.
This natural conditioning of the copper fence posts results from an attack to the metal from airborne sulfur compounds that are acidic and progressively change the surface color of the cap. Depending on your location and usual climate determines the end coloration. These dependencies are determined by amounts of salt, moisture, and the amount and direction of sunlight exposure the cap takes on.
Copper fence post caps develop from its common salmon-like color through a series of umber browns and grays, until it reaches a bluish-green or grayish-green patina. While they can vary in color from year to year after installation the will ultimately level out adjusting to the environment.
Summarizing these points
Copper fence post caps offer protection to your post from rotting and hiding unevenness as the first and foremost function. Secondly, they offer your outdoor scenery a unique look with style and elegance.
Prior to rushing out to the hardware shop or big box retailer to fill your cart up with off the shelf pieces make sure to study the different styles and types available for your posts. Also think about the quality that you require in comparison to the prices offered both online and off line. And finally, is the end result after a few years of weathering the look that you want. If it is then copper fence post caps are the ideal way to finish off the fencing around your home or deck.