Wood Vinyl Aluminum Fence – Comparison

A great question to start with for the blog. What ARE the differences and similarities between the most popular fencing materials WOOD, VINYL, and ALUMINUM? Will it make a difference to me which one I choose?

Well, OK. To start with, we need a plan, a blueprint so to speak of your overall objectives for the fencing. This will narrow down the hundreds of fence styles, heights, shapes, and materials available.

So in defining your plan you will need to answer these simple questions:

#1 What purpose will the fence serve (objectives) this could be privacy, security, safety for children and pets, pool security, decorative accents, and open view.

#2 How long do you intend to stay in this home? 3-5 years, or more like 7-10 years, or even longer? The longer you stay the maintenance-free lifetime fences will cost per year.

#3 What are you allowing for a fence budget? Your overall budget will help to narrow your choices.

#4 How much time if any do you plan to invest in maintenance (staining, replacing pickets, posts)?

#5 Do you want a RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT? Eventually when you do move, how much do you think your fence will bring back to the value of your home? Or first impressions, will it hurt the value?

WOOD FENCING – Wood Vinyl Aluminum Fence

Southern Termite Belt

Southern Termite Belt

I started fencing in 1981 and at the time natural wood fencing was our best and most luxurious option for backyard fencing. The other options included galvanized chain link fencing, or wrought iron (always rusting). So the wood fence has been a staple of the backyard fencing for over 30 years and is still a very popular option. Natural wood fencing will require regular yearly maintenance, and staining about every 2-3 years for an attractive fence. In the East Tennessee area where my shop is located, we have a few options for wood fencing. Since I live in the TERMITE BELT ( a band running from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi) an area with mild winters and moist damp earth prime for subterranean termites, I always lean to proven lumber …the pressure-treated pine.

#1 Pine Lumber TREATED FOR TERMITES (treated with ACQ termite insecticide)

Charleston Natural Wood Picket Fence

Charleston 5′ high Natural Wood Picket Fence

Pine lumber (treated for termites) is a low-cost, long-lasting natural wood lumber, renewable resource, and is commonly used for fencing, decks, docks, gazebos, arbors, and other outdoor structures. When used correctly, the structural integrity should last for well over 10 years. Injected with insecticide, termites ingest the insecticide which kills them. The problem with treated wood is that the same characteristic that allows the insecticide into the wood cellular fibers is the same characteristic that allows the wood to dry out and tends to warp.

#2 Western Red Cedar

This is the REAL CEDAR used in cedar chests and cedar closets to keep away moths is also used for fencing with the lower grades, (higher grades are used for other purposes). WRC fencing is a very stable high-end product suitable for a variety of outdoor structures. Old-growth western red cedar retains more tannin (a natural chemical to resist not kill termites and carpenter ants) than young trees. Old-growth western red cedar will have several grades for the quality of the lumber, will cost about double that of treated pine, and has the characteristic cedar aroma and color. Don’t get me wrong, western red cedar is beautiful lumber for fencing, but at that price and the maintenance costs issues you are in the same DOLLAR RANGE as maintenance-free fence options.


cedar fence post with termites

Termite Infested Cedar Post…how close to your home?



WHITE CEDAR, RED CEDAR, SWAMP CEDAR, NORTHERN WHITE CEDAR, CHINESE CEDAR (oh yes cheap Chinese lumber short life span), SPRUCE, CYPRESS, SWAMP CYPRESS…THE LIST GOES ON! This lumber is typically installed in the NORTHERN CLIMATES AND DOES WELL IN COLD CLIMATES OF 36″ FROST LINES. However, in the southern states, it has been a tremendous disappointment. Although it is very attractive when first installed, it rarely lasts more than 5-7 years due to termite and ant infestations! Check out the article on Subterranean Termites, make sure your home is not in danger to these silent cellulose predators. We replace these fences every week, the fences only last about half the expected life of a treated pine fence…so now the homeowner has bought TWO fences (the original and a replacement fence) …not such a great deal! Check out the free ebook TOP 10 FENCE SCAMS FOR 2013 for a great read! Why would a company offer this product KNOWING it will only last 5-7 years? DOLLARS! This very inexpensive fence is lightweight, easy to install in a day, and lasts about half the life of normal natural wood fencing.

Natural wood picket fencing will range in price from about $11.00 – $18.00 per foot with the most popular styles like the Charleston $12.50 – $14.00 per foot.

Natural Wood Privacy Fencing will range in price from about $14.00 – $25.00 per foot with the most popular style of Classic Wood Privacy $14.00 – $16.00 per foot.

VINYL FENCING – Wood Vinyl Aluminum Fence

TiO2 - Titanium Oxide

TiO2 – Titanium Oxide


Vinyl colors-white, tan, adobe

Premium Vinyl Fencing over the past 5 years has become recognized as a proven fencing option for the backyards and for securing swimming pools. Premium Vinyl Fencing is center-routed for the same beautiful fence on the inside and outside so no more decisions on who gets the bad side of the fence! Premium Vinyl Fencing has a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty and contains Titanium Oxide in the extrusion process (sunscreen for vinyl – prevents yellowing).

Premium Vinyl Fencing does not use glue to fasten parts together as in the low-end box store products. PVF is constructed by routing the vinyl parts and inserting the vinyl pieces inside each other creating a very strong fence.

Premium Vinyl Privacy Fences are larger and heavier and benefit from the new ADVANTAGE POST SOCKET SYSTEM which reinforces each post with a 2″ galvanized steel post for tremendous strength even in areas with high wind gusts!

Available colors for the Premium Vinyl Fencing are White/Tan/Adobe.

Premium Vinyl Picket fences will range from $18 – $28 per foot depending on the color, style, height, and amount of vinyl required. Premium Vinyl Privacy fences will range from $25 – $60 per foot with the majority of the fences installed ranging from $30-$35 per foot.

ALUMINUM FENCING – Wood Vinyl Aluminum Fence

wood vinyl aluminum fence

Aluminum Fencing is always a homeowner’s favorite! It copies the look and style of the elegant and expensive wrought iron fencing, without the cost of welding and the constant upkeep of sanding, priming, and painting! Great strides in painting aluminum have made this a favorite for pool fencing, and also for replacing old rusting wrought iron fencing. Aluminum residential fencing generally comes in 4′, 4-1/2′, and 5′ heights (6′ height available ) and many options ranging from pool code approved to puppy rail, and also picket spacing of <4″, 3.5″, 3″, and double picket spacing 1-1/2″. The most popular colors are BLACK (96%) then Bronze and then all the other colors.

We keep our most popular aluminum fence styles in stock, over 2000! Black, residential aluminum: the Classic American Aluminum Fence and the Traditional English Aluminum Fence. We also keep 3 different gates for these fences in stock for quick installation. All of the other aluminum fences are specially ordered with a normal delivery time of fewer than two weeks.

The aluminum fencing will range from $20.00 – $36.00 per foot with the most popular range of $22.00 – $30.00 per foot.