Many homeowners need to install fences around their home – whether for safety or just to mark the land. But when you look up your options, you’re faced with a dilemma: wood or vinyl fences?
The thing is, fences do not limit themselves to that painted white wood we see in the movies, in reality you have a variety of different colors to pick from, even a totally different material in this case. Vinyl has become more popular over the years as a viable option, but being more expensive than wooden fences, what are the advantages? And even so, is it worth going for vinyl instead of wood?
Today, we’re discussing what are the differences between wood and vinyl fences, from variety in design to cost and maintenance.
“Believe you can and you're halfway there. – Theodore Roosevelt
Which one costs more?
Despite not looking like it at first, both options cost more or less the same on a long-term plan.
However, the caveat is that vinyl will surely be more expensive upfront. It makes up for this by being highly resistant to the kind of wear and tear fences generally go through, while also being easier to clean and maintain. In fact, maintenance for vinyl fences is pretty minimal.
Wooden fences on the other hand are cheaper to install, but require more attention over time as they will show signs of degradation after a couple of years. That’s where some maintenance should be on the way.
Basically, the cost upfront is definitely cheaper for wooden fences, but keep in mind you need some maintenance along the way (resealing, repainting, cleaning, etc). Vinyl fences are more expensive upfront, but the maintenance after that is pretty minimal.
How do they look?
Wood absolutely looks more natural than vinyl – visually, we tend to immediately identify with wooden fences because we’re used to seeing it everywhere. But the major advantage wood has over vinyl here is that is can be painted, repainted, resealed, and so on. Didn’t love the color you chose at first? You can simply paint it some other color later, no problem.
Vinyl, however, doesn’t have this flexibility. You will choose a design and color before installing and that’s it, you won’t be able to repaint it later.
This doesn’t mean vinyl fences look bad. In fact, there are some options with faux wood texture to simulate that more organic look, and it works well enough.
What about maintenance?
As stated before, vinyl has the advantage of needing little to no maintenance over time, and keeping it clean is much easier than wood. This is because wood is more susceptible to absorbing water, cracking, becoming weak over weather conditions, and so on. Of course, this won’t happen in just a few months, but over a few years the tear is noticeable.
This is also highly dependant on the type of wood you choose, but professionals estimate wooden fences should be fully replaced after 10 years or so – which is a long time, but still, during those years you would need proper maintenance to keep it up.
Meanwhile, vinyl fences are super easy to clean and that’s most of what you’ll have to worry about.
To sum up, wooden fences are cheaper to install and offer a number of flexibility options for customization, even over time, but the maintenance on a long-term plan will be more costly.
Vinyl fences are more expensive to install and more strict, meaning you won’t be able to paint it some other color later, but on the plus side, it’s more resilient and maintenance is minimal work.
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