Wood vs Vinyl Fence

| Scott Prunty |

Fences are crucial investments for any property. Schools, residence areas, swimming pools, and farmlands need fencing for reasons such as privacy, security, safety, and beautification. It gives the landowners a sense of security that strangers cannot peep and intrude in their space whenever.

Not only do fences minimize the chances of any property getting trespassed and damaged by unwanted visitors, but fences also make a residential property more marketable. The added value to a property because of fencing depends on the type of material you use. A family looking for a place to settle down for long will most likely look for a space with privacy where they feel secure. A child and a pet-friendly location are ideal if your target market is families. Privacy fences that match the look of the house can make it more inviting.

Fences can also be utilized to emphasize the beauty of the structures around a property, such as ponds, flower gardens, and fountains. It can be considered the finishing touch to the house’s landscape. A well-thought-out fence can frame any structure to enhance its beauty, therefore making it look more attractive.

The two most commonly used types of fencing materials today are wood and vinyl.

Wood is the most popular material used for fences in the United States. They are popularly built with gazebos, decks, and garden sheds. Not only is it effortless to make, style, and install, wood fences also give homeowners as much privacy and defense as you want. The height is easily adjustable as desired. You can opt to have natural, treated wood for a minimalist look, emphasizing your property’s decorations and softscape. You can also choose a stylish, carved wood to make the property look elegant, classic, and a little vintage.

Although vinyl fences are not new, vinyl fences used to be a lot more fragile than it is now. It used to discolor and sag after only a few years of use. However, manufacturers have developed vinyl fences today to be more long-lasting and sturdy. It’s a popular alternative to wood because it is durable and weather-resistant.

Let’s dive deeper into how wood and vinyl differ for fences:

1. Installation

As with other structures at home, both wood and vinyl fences are recommended to be done by trained professionals. All types of fencing will require digging in the ground so the posts can be buried, followed by pouring of cement or soil to seal the hole.

Vinyl, however, can now be installed by anyone with an intermediate knowledge of fence installations because some vinyl fences come in kit form where you can interlock one piece to another. Small picket fences are the easiest to install on your own compared to the taller fencing. With picket fences, you need to place an anchor pipe or wood post deep into the ground to strengthen or stabilize the vinyl posts of the fence. Once the posts are in position, you can now attach the pickets in between. Tall fencing needs more professional assistance. Taller fencing will require deeper digging, and special equipment such as a post-hole digger is essential to make the job easier.

On the other hand, wood fences should be constructed by professional fence installers. A wood fence is more complicated to build because it needs cutting, measuring, fitting, and filing on-site. It would help if you were experienced to make the installation faster. As with the tall vinyl fence, you would also need a post-hole digger for wooden fences. You might also need a wood file to get rid of uneven surfaces. Rather than buying tools and equipment of your own for this installation, it’s best to let a professional handle everything to save energy and money and gain the best possible outcome with your budget.

2. Aesthetics and design

Wood fences can be both simple or fancy, depending on how you prefer to design them. Wood can be styled in three- different ways.

Some people appreciate wood with just varnish or a wood oil finish for a natural look. If you prefer the wood to look aged in a few years, leaving it as it is should be good enough. The fence ages differently depending on the type of wood you used. If you use the wood without any protecting layer, it will age faster due to the weather.

Painting the fence usually works for any property. There are so many options for painting fences. You can simply paint them white, match the color of your house, or use a contrasting color to make the house pop, or use multiple colors for a quirky look, or even paint your own design on the fence if you want to be unique.

You could also choose a stained wooden fence. While stained fences have limited design options, they are also low-maintenance. They protect the wood to make it last longer, and you do not need to reapply the stain as frequently as you would have to repaint.

If you want a minimalist fence that does not age and is not affected by the weather conditions, it’s best to choose a vinyl fence. Although it is not as customizable as wood, vinyl also comes in different forms- some slats are narrower with wide spaces in between, while some are wider with less space in between for better privacy. Additionally, vinyl can also be made with lattice or scalloped on top. They come in different neutral colors such as black, white, tan, and gray.

3. Durability

In terms of how durable the material is, without a doubt, vinyl wins against the wood fences. Vinyl can withstand rainy days and hot weather. Pests and fungus cannot inhabit vinyl, unlike wood. Wood will decay in a few years, especially when it is always exposed to sun and rain, depending on the kind of wood you are using. There are some wood species, such as redwood and cedar, that last longer than usual. Vinyl, on the other hand, can last a few years even without thorough maintenance.

4. Costs

Upfront costs of vinyl fences are higher than wood fences. The price of your fence is dependent on the materials you use and how large it is. Although pressure-treated pine is commonly used as fences, it does not last very long compared to other types of wood, which explains why they typically are cheaper. Tropical hardwood trees are more expensive by a few dollars than pine because they are more durable. The installation cost for wood also adds more to the price because it takes more time to build. Overall, wood fences will require more frequent maintenance and repair due to the nature of the material. From time to time, the wood fences will need to be sanded, repainted, or stained to prevent them from looking distressed. Wood also rots over time, so you may need to replace the slats occasionally to keep it looking good.

Vinyl is entirely hassle-free once installed, so in the long-run, wood may cost you more. Vinyl fences can last a few decades without maintenance. Since vinyl is easier to install, you would also spend less on the installation costs, effectively reducing the higher initial cost.

It’s best to learn more about what material best fits your property first before installing a fence. Think of the weather compatibility, the environment, the budget, the target aesthetics, and the long-term purpose of the fence you want. Fences are worthwhile investments, but you need to take the time you need to find the material that is best for you.

Please contact Solid Structures to answer any of your Fencing questions or for a free consultation to transform your backyard. We proudly serve Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk and beyond.

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