Wood Vs. Vinyl Fencing: A Head-To-Head Comparison

Aug 23, 2018 | Vinyl Fence

Wood fencing

Wood fences have a long history of popularity. Natural wood is widely available, relatively cheap, and a traditional option for landscape fencing. But the white picket fences of yesteryear are slowly being replaced by a new, competitive material: vinyl.

As technology has evolved, fencing suppliers have discovered a way to give customers a classic look, but with added years of durability and decreased maintenance compared to wood fencing.

There are definitely pro’s and con’s to both wood and vinyl fence options. Let’s do a quick spotlight of each to see which is the better option for homeowners.

Durability: Vinyl Fencing Stands The Test Of Time

Since vinyl fencing first hit the market in the 1980’s, it has become one of the most popular fence options. Contractors have experienced a significant shift in the fencing materials they provide for homeowners with the growing demand for vinyl. But why?

Wood fences soak up moisture, which can cause warping and rotting. Wood also expands and contracts with the changing temperature, making the material weaker. Termites, pests, fungus, and harsh weather penetrate wood surfaces. This leads to rotting, decay, and weathering—meaning in order for wood fences to look new, they’ll need regular repair and maintenance. They will also likely need to be completely replaced after a lifespan of about 20 years.

On the other hand, vinyl fencing can withstand the elements. It is fire resistant and safer than wood fencing. The non-porous surface of vinyl fencing act like a shield against corrosion, decay, and UV rays. In fact, vinyl fencing can last a century with very minimal maintenance.

Maintenance: Wood Fencing Requires A Lot

Wood fencing must be chemically treated with a preserving sealant. And once isn’t enough— the sealant must be reapplied annually to prevent decay. Wood fences also have to be repeatedly cleaned, painted, and stained at least once a year. Because wood breaks down over time, pieces of the fence may need to be repaired or replaced regularly, and the fence as a whole will only last for a maximum of about 20 years.

Vinyl fencing requires virtually no maintenance at all.

Wood fences can be better at camouflaging dirt compared to shiny vinyl surfaces. However, it’s as easy as spraying down the fence periodically with vinyl, while wood can be more challenging to clean.

Cost: An Upfront Investment Vs. An Ongoing Expense

It’s true that vinyl fencing may be more expensive initially. However, the price gap has narrowed as vinyl fencing has grown in popularity. Depending on the specific material used, vinyl fencing can actually be very comparable to wood.

Vinyl fencing is an investment with a higher upfront cost. But when considering the ongoing maintenance required over the years for a wood fence and its shorter life span, it may be worth it to go with the longer-lasting option.

Wood fences will be cheaper upfront, but require yearly treatments, cleaning, and staining. A wood fence will also need to be replaced entirely after 10-15 years. If a homeowner has a large yard and a small budget, and they don’t plan on staying in their home for long, a wood fence may be a good cost-saving option. But a wood fence will leave more work for whoever owns the home next, and can deter potential buyers.

Vinyl is an investment with an upfront cost. Wood is more of an ongoing expense.

Appearance: A Matter Of Opinion

Some people prefer a wood fence for its character and charm. Wood looks more natural and blends in with most landscapes. However, the appearance may only last for a few years before the fence starts to look worn down and lose its appeal. Wood fences can be beautiful, but quickly become discolored, rotten, pest-infested, and chipped.

Vinyl will stay clean and beautiful for significantly longer than wood fencing. You can choose from several classic vinyl fence options, and even textured vinyl fencing that mimics real wood.

The Overall Winner: Vinyl Fencing

Unless someone has a large yard, a small budget, and doesn’t plan to live in their home for long, vinyl is the clear choice.

Vinyl fencing is a reasonable investment that saves time and money long-term. Homeowners will be pleased with beautiful fencing that maintains its appeal as the years go by, requires almost no maintenance, and is cost-effective in the long run.

PrivacyLink in Smithfield, Utah is Cache Valley’s leading supplier of vinyl fence solutions.

Dealers across the United States enjoy the ease of installation and customer satisfaction that comes with PrivacyLink fencing. Request your free price quote today—we look forward to helping out with your next project!

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