Wood Fence vs Vinyl Fence Comparison

Hey everybody, let’s talk about backyard privacy fencing and what it costs! First of all, you will probably only move homes 2 or 3 times in your lifetime, and chances are, you may purchase a home that is already fenced in. But for those of you purchasing a fence, there are some important questions to consider.

Questions like: how long do you plan to live here…starter home (1 – 5 years), family home (10 – 25 years), condo, or rancher?

Now, think about the short-term budget and long-term budget. Natural wood fencing is less expensive on the front, but long-term (10 plus years) vinyl fencing is the hands-down winner!

What’s the purpose? Children, pets, privacy, swimming pool, boundary fence, aesthetics…

Are you going to maintain your home value by maintaining your fence? A beautiful well-maintained fence reflects on you and showcases your home, while a discolored fence in need of staining and repairs will negatively affect your home’s value! How much time, energy, and money are you willing to invest every year in fence maintenance?

The Truth about Natural Wood Fencing in the TERMITE BELT

Here is the TRUTH about Natural Wood Fencing in the TERMITE BELT! Subterranean termites are natural clean-up crews for dead and decaying cellulose fibers (wood…your fence next to your home!). Check out this video on 6-year-old cedar fencing (a common problem in the TERMITE BELT) that is supposed to be resistant to termites.

WOOD VS VINYL PRIVACY FENCE: what does it cost?

Wood Fence vs. Vinyl Fence: Do They Cost the SAME? OF COURSE NOT! Vinyl Fencing costs much less than well-maintained natural wood fencing in about 5 years! Want to enjoy the beauty of your new fence without the maintenance of staining? Do you want to keep your investment in the fencing low by having a high ROI (return on investment – 65% vs 10%)? Check out the article and video below for an eye-opener on how much that fence costs.


How much does it COST TODAY?

How much is my YEARLY COST?

How much is it WORTH when I sell my home?

Will it ADD VALUE to my home when it’s time to sell? Or cost me thousands?

What about a warranty on my fence?

These are great questions we hear every day. We address these questions in the article below.


Do you have to maintain your wood fence? NO! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAINTAIN YOUR NEW NATURAL WOOD FENCE! Neither do you have to cut the grass, change air filters in your home, or paint the trim, but without regular maintenance, the value of your HOME and your fence will drop! Why lose thousands on your home’s net value with a tacky greyed-out fence in need of repair?

Imagine this… find an old greyed wobbly wood cedar privacy fence in your subdivision. Now picture that fence at your house. Then picture that same old fence cleaned and stained, with the bad boards replaced. Which fence will have the best curb appeal? Which fence will bring a better resale value? Which fence feels better when you pull into your driveway?


Now let’s look at the YEARLY MAINTENANCE COSTS for these fences. After all, if you have a well-maintained home with a landscaped and nice lawn, then you will want the fence to be attractive, complementary, and maintained as well!

Cedar vs Vinyl 10 year cost comp

A natural wood fence looks so nice and fresh when first installed. Now give yourself six months and let’s start spending some more of your money to keep it looking that way. We raised 4 children, and with all those mouths to feed I equated savings to pizzas, LOL. So if I did not have to spend $875 and two days of my time to stain a fence that would equal a lot of pizzas! How much time and how many pizzas do you want to spend maintaining your cedar fence?

Remember, it’s either your labor and time away from the family versus golf, or lake, or paying someone else to do the work … plus materials.

Figure on staining the cedar fence inside and outside twice the first time (initial staining about $1,200.00 including labor). Then again about every two years for a touch-up with only one coat (add about $600.00 including labor…years 4,6,8,10).

Cedar fence is only naturally resistant to insects (means NO WARRANTY FOR TERMITES!). In East Tennessee, we live in the TERMITE BELT, so check with your regular home pest control company for the increased cost of treating your wood fence for termite protection! Add another $200 per year to your home pest control policy to protect your fence. Don’t believe me? Check out this video: termite-infested cedar fence post less than 6 years old in the TERMITE BELT.

Termites in the cedar fence can easily transition to your home! Boards should be checked yearly and replaced as needed for damage from rot, termites, carpenter bees, water damage, etc. Check out our video on cedar fencing life (6 years plus) and termites and water damage in the TERMITE BELT. Why is natural wood fencing pre-treated and warranted for 10 years against structural damage from termites so popular in the Southern States? Check out the video above for natural cedar wood fencing that is naturally resistant to insects, and has NOT BEEN TREATED FOR TERMITES!



First, let’s look at initial costs for a natural wood cedar privacy fence vs a premium vinyl privacy fence. With so many options available on these fences, I have given a range for the cost of the installed fence by a fully insured professional company.

Wood Cedar Privacy Fence $16-$24 per foot, Premium Vinyl Privacy Fence $28 – $36 per foot

Advantage: Wood



This is the one point that most people miss when considering fencing options for their home: Residual value. What I mean by this is, what is that investment worth after 5 years, even 10 years after purchase? After all the costs of staining, replacement parts, time, and money, how much did that fence cost you?

When looking at the high cost of maintaining a wood cedar privacy fence, you also need to consider the lost time you have in doing your maintenance and what you could have been doing instead of working on the fence.

I have charted out the costs associated with both of these fences, and when considering a well-maintained natural wood cedar fence after 10 years, the residual value is less than 30%. Don’t believe me? Go out in the subdivisions and check out 10-year-old wood cedar fences. How much do they add to the value of a home?

Assuming the initial cost is $4,050 and 10 years of maintenance costs of $5,600 the total cost of ownership is $9,650 for a fence that probably needs to be torn down and replaced. Total cost of ownership for 10 years ($4050 + $5,600 = $9,650). So, $9,650 less residual of 30% of original fence cost ($4050) is $1,215 maybe on a good day for a net cost ($9,650 – $1,215 = $8,435 total 10 year cost of ownership). This is a yearly cost of about $843 a year! More than $70 per month! So that great deal on a natural wood fence costs you about triple that of a Premium Vinyl Privacy fence in ten years with nothing left to show for your investment!

Let’s say you have good intentions of maintaining your natural cedar fence but never get around to it. What does that end up costing you? Ok, to calculate that you will need to do some work on the fence to dress it up so that it does not affect your home’s value. Replacing posts, bad pickets, and a nice quick stain will add from $500 to $1500. Call it $1000 and add it to the formula. Original value + maintenance costs – residual value $4050 + $1000 – $405 = $4645 10 year cost or $464.50 a year less than $40 a month.

Comparing that to a premium vinyl privacy fence with an initial investment cost of $6,750 and zero additional maintenance cost for a net total cost of ownership of $6,750, which is slightly more costly than the well-maintained cedar fence. Now calculate the residual value of the vinyl fence after 10 years ($6750 x 65% = $4,387.50 ) . That’s your residual value that’s left, but what did the Premium Vinyl Privacy Fence cost you for those 10 years? Original value + maintenance costs – residual value. ($6,750 + Zero maintenance costs less residual value $4,387.50 = $2,362.50.

So your 10-year cost of ownership of Premium Vinyl Privacy Fencing is $2,362.50 for 10 years, or $236.25 a year, or less than $20 per month.


Now compare the residual fence value for an eye-opening value! 10-year-old cedar fence value at 30% (that means it’s time to remove that old fence) is only $405 versus the premium vinyl fence and a whopping 65% residual value or $4,387.50

Now let’s take the original cost of the natural cedar fencing for 10 years of a WELL-MAINTAINED CEDAR FENCE less the residual value ($4,050 – $1,250 = $2,800 ). That’s your 10-year cost for the cedar fencing, but wait! Add in the maintenance cost over 10 years ($2,800 + $5,600) for a yearly cost of $840. That’s over 3 times the cost of a premium vinyl fence!

Cedar vs Vinyl chart no maintenanceOK! Let’s say you purchase your natural cedar fence, enjoy the natural look and decide not to stain the cedar fence or do any maintenance whatsoever. How does that affect the formula? Let’s see…
Cedar fencing drops to 10% residual value without any maintenance, and may even reduce your home’s curb appeal by thousands of dollars. So even if you have great intentions of maintaining your natural cedar fence and just don’t get around to it, the net effect after 10 years is $4050 – $405, costing you $3,645 or $364.50 a year for a worn-out natural wood fence. You will more than likely have to do some maintenance on this fence, with materials, labor, staining, and gate repair before selling your home. Without fixing up the old cedar fence, the curb appeal effect may cost you thousands on selling your home.

So by taking the original cost of Premium Vinyl Privacy Fencing for 10 years less the residual value ($6,750 – $4,387.50 = $2,362.50), your cost of ownership for 10 years is only $2,362.50, or less than $240 a year! Or less than $20 a month…less than a coke a day.

One last thought to leave you with… what if everything you bought from today on for the next 10 years could return you 65% of the original value? How much further would your dollar take you?

Premium Vinyl Fencing

requires no maintenance,

warranted against turning yellow (Titanium Oxide)

vinyl is non-porous and impervious to insects

since it has a lifetime warranty, it is considered green fencing (lasts 6 times the life of wood, keeps materials out of landfills, can be recycled, and uses less energy when considered only install once).

Advantage: Vinyl fence

So there you have it: A premium vinyl privacy fence will cost you less money in the long run, has a tremendous residual value, and best of all, you do not have to do any painting, sanding, or termite treatments.


Well maintained natural cedar fencing will cost about $70 per month,

Natural cedar fencing with no maintenance applied about $40 per month, and