WOOD VS VINYL FENCING a Comparison
Wood fence vs. Vinyl fence what does it cost? Which is the best choice for you? This is a very popular question we hear every week, so with this much interest I thought it would make a great blog article.
If you are like most of our customers, you may purchase and move to a home 3 – 5 times over the course of your life. When you get to that new home, you may need a fence!
We strive to be the most educational fence site to give you an edge when considering purchasing a fence, and hope to earn your business in the process.
Pets, children, security, and aesthetics are all reasons to consider installing a fence at your home.
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – WHAT FENCE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
All fencing products will have their pros and cons and there is no one fence that is “right for everyone”. What I will try to do in this article is review the differences so you will choose for yourself what best meets your lifestyle.
Points to consider when discussing fences with our homeowners boils down to a few basic ideas.
Objectives for fence
length of time on property
size of the project
return on investment
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? – budget constraints.
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – FENCING OBJECTIVES
When considering a fence we need to define the objective requirements for your project. By defining the fencing objectives, we can narrow down the many choices available and make sure the fence you ultimately choose will BEST MEET YOUR NEEDS! Primary objectives would be for privacy, security, containment, aesthetics, boundary marking, safety (pools, children, pets).
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – MAINTENANCE ISSUES FOR FENCING
This is one of those frequently overlooked aspects when purchasing a new fence. Vinyl fencing requires no additional maintenance upkeep other than occasionally hosing off dirt on the fence.
Wood fencing will require a regular maintenance of cleaning, staining, and replacement of lumber to keep your fence looking fresh and presentable. Add about $1200 to the wood fence cost for the first years staining to compare with the vinyl.
Natural wood fencing to maintain than pleasing look will need 2 coats of stain in the initial year of installation (remember, you must stain inside and outside for the lumber stability), and regular staining every other year to maintain that aesthetically pleasing look.
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – AESTHETICS
AESTHETICS OF FENCING: Wood Fence vs Vinyl FenceWood Fencing boast the natural beauty and warmth of traditional fencing of our ancestors. It is a beautiful fence material, and many people consider the defects in the lumber as an asset adding character to the fence. It reminds me of an old National Geographic photo of an old sailor man, rough looking, deep lines and wrinkles, a craggy face, where you can imagine his adventures.
Wood Fencing boast the natural beauty and warmth of traditional fencing of our ancestors. It is a beautiful fence material, and many people consider the defects in the lumber as an asset adding character to the fence. It reminds me of an old National Geographic photo of an old sailor man, rough looking, deep lines and wrinkles, a craggy face, where you can imagine his adventures.
The Vinyl Fencing is a Maintenance Free Fence, no painting, no termites, no warping, no splinters. It also is a beautiful fence, but without the flaws and without the maintenance so you can enjoy you time off at the lake or golf course or the beach.
ADVANTAGE: WOOD AND VINYL
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – LENGTH OF TIME ON PROPERTY
Here is a really great concept frequently overlooked! Something you should consider is REALLY HOW LONG WILL YOU LIVE HERE?
If you are short term 1-3 years knowing you are moving then you may consider an initially less expensive fence such a natural wood fence. The effective cost of the fence continues to increase after year three due to high maintenance cost, but up till about year 5 it is still a great value.
If you are planning to live in your home for 5-10 years, then you should give some thought to the higher initial cost of maintenance free fencing such as vinyl or aluminum. We have charted the cost of wood privacy and vinyl privacy for a 10 year period and the break even time between the two fences is about year 8. At this time it’s more cost effective for the vinyl fence over the wood fence, and the maintenance cost on the wood fence keeps climbing.
ADVANTAGE: WOOD FENCE 1-3 YEARS
ADVANTAGE: VINYL FENCE 5-10 YEARS
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – SIZE OF THE PROJECT
Another really important issue here it the total size of the project. When considering the fencing options available, most of our customers prefer, if within their overall budget, a maintenance free fence such as Aluminum or Vinyl. For a fence around an entire yard the homeowner may not choose the higher end product, however if the objective is for a smaller patio fence then the homeowner can choose less footage with a higher end product and still stay within budget.
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – RETURN ON INVESTMENT
The green chart above shows the 10 year average of different fences.
The high maintenance fences (WOOD-10% and WROUGHT IRON-35% ) lose value at a much higher rate than the newer maintenance free fences (ALUMINUM-65% and VINYL-65% ).
Adding the overall cost of a well maintained Wood or Wrought Iron fence and you will see below how those costs affect the overall pricing of your fence.
ADVANTAGE: VINYL FENCE
WOOD VS VINYL FENCING – INITIAL COST OF FENCING…BUDGET CONSTRAINTS
Choices in fences as in all things comes down to dollars. Whether in the short run (1-5 years) less expensive initial cost of fencing or the long term (10+ years) with an overall lower cost and high ROI
Natural Wood Picket Fencing will vary in costs from about $10 – $16 per linear foot installed, the majority of jobs ranging $11 – $13 per linear foot installed.
Natural Wood Privacy Fencing will vary in costs from about $14 – $24 per linear foot installed, with the majority of jobs ranging $14 – $18 per linear foot installed.
Vinyl Picket Fencing will vary in costs from about $20 – $34 per linear foot installed, with the majority of the jobs ranging $24 – $28 per linear foot installed.
Vinyl Privacy Fencing will vary in costs from about $28 – $52 per linear foot installed with the majority of jobs in the range $30 – $38 with steel post stiffeners per linear foot installed.
Both the Natural Wood Privacy Fence and the Classic Vinyl Privacy Fence will provide strong, beautiful long lasting fences.
Natural Wood fencing features the warmth and beauty of wood grain fencing and is initially less expensive to install. Natural wood fencing will warp, twist, crack, will require a regular maintenance schedule and rapidly looses ROI after 5 years.
Premium Vinyl fencing will out last the wood fencing by years, requires no maintenance upkeep, is impervious to insects, and over the long run VINYL IS LESS EXPENSIVE THAN WOOD! Not only will it be less expensive than wood over a 10 year period, it will also have about 6-1/2 times the Return On Investment over wood.