When people travel to the US, they are often surprised to see so many neighborhoods without fences. Europeans, in particular, are shocked that most yards are wide open, with nothing to reign in pets or children.
In the Midwest and the Eastern United States, many homes are fence-free. And while it’s cheaper to not install a fence, and it promotes community among neighbors, the benefit of a fence is clear; privacy.
Vinyl vs wood fence, which one is better as a privacy fence, helping you to enjoy our yard even more than you do now? They each have their pros and cons. Read on below to learn which one is best before you start building.
Vinyl vs Wood Fence; Aesthetic
When it comes to how wood or vinyl looks, wood will almost always come out on top. Natural wood is desired in many parts of the home construction process. From wood floors to shiplap wood walls, beams on the ceiling, and fences, wood adds charm and character.
A high-quality wood fence will enhance the aesthetic of your home and yard. Vinyl fencing tried to replicate the look of wood, and for a good reason, too since homeowners want the look of wood.
However, once you get closer to a vinyl fence, it’s easy to tell that it’s not wood. It has a plastic-looking sheen to it. It feels more manufactured and less natural.
So if purchasing a fence purely for how it looks, wood is usually the better option, particularly if it matches the color and style of your home. Vinyl looks pretty good from a distance but looks and feels cheap when you get close to it.
Vinyl Fence vs Wood Fence Durability
Wood fencing can last for a long time if maintained and protected from the elements. However, it will eventually deteriorate. With excess exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and moisture from the ground, wood can rot and become weak over time.
Wood fencing won’t last forever, though if maintained, it should last over a decade.
Vinyl, on the other hand, should last almost forever. Thanks to its design, it can withstand the elements much better than wood can. It will experience almost no color fading in the sunlight. It will shed moisture from rain and snow and will never rot or deteriorate.
If long-term durability is a key factor, then vinyl fencing is the better investment as it won’t need replacement or repairs.
Cost of Vinyl Fencing vs Wood
Under normal circumstances, wood is cheap. If you were to build a fence from scratch, then purchasing basic wood materials would be the cheaper route. But the rising cost of lumber across North America is quickly changing the viability of wood.
Most homeowners purchase prebuilt fence panels and posts. When doing this, vinyl is generally cheaper than wooden fence panels. Vinyl is also lighter and easy to transport. And since it’s easier to install, it would be cheaper to have a professional fence installer put up a vinyl fence.
Wood can be much more expensive if you choose a more complex fence panel design, which may be desired if you live in a higher-end neighborhood.
Regardless of which material you choose, fences are an investment in your home. A fence in your yard can boost the value of your home.
When you go to sell, you may enjoy a nice boost in equity. Plus, more homeowners will be drawn to the house with a fence, particularly if they have young children or pets. So you’ll have more buying competition and will sell your home faster.
When it comes to vinyl fence vs wood home value, both can provide equal value. It just depends on which material looks best with your yard, home, and neighborhood. You want the fence to blend in as much as possible, not stick out like a sore thumb.
Wood Fence vs Vinyl Fence; Maintenance Required
Lots of people prefer a vinyl fence because it’s maintenance-free. Once it’s installed, there’s very little you’ll need to do to the fence to ensure it lasts. Maybe once in a while, you can spray it down to remove dirt.
But there’s no paint or seal required, as it naturally repels moisture. Wood, on the other hand, requires almost annual maintenance. You’ll need to add a water-resistant coat to the fence.
This generally required the use of a paint roller or paint sprayer. It should be done every year, particularly if you live somewhere with snow.
If you live in a drier climate, wood becomes more viable. But those in the Midwest or Northeast, dealing with snow for months on end, would benefit more from a vinyl fence.
Wooden fences have the flexibility of being painted any time you want to change the color. So if you no longer want it to be brown, you can paint it white if you so choose.
Vinyl is not meant to be painted. Once installed, it should be left alone. The color choice of vinyl is permanent, so make sure to choose the right color upon purchase.
Ease of Installation on Vinyl or Wood Fence
Planning to install the fence yourself? Wood is heavy. If you have a big yard to fence in, you’re going to be lifting a lot of weight, moving posts and panels around the yard.
And because the posts are much heavier than vinyl posts, you’ll need to dig deeper and wider holes and use more cement to secure the posts in the ground. It’s best o have multiple people helping with the project.
But vinyl fencing materials are much lighter. So there’s less chance of injuring your back when putting up a vinyl fence. It’s easier to move materials by yourself and can be done by one person if necessary, though two is always better.
Choosing the Better Fence
So vinyl vs wood fence, which should you choose for your one and only yard? They both have their merits. And since it’s quite an investment in time and money, you should take your time to make the decision.
Drive around your neighborhood and see what types of fences other homeowners have. Compare how they look. Then remember that one type of fencing requires annual maintenance, while the other is maintenance-free.
Now, which do you prefer?
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