Two of the most popular fencing materials in the U.S are vinyl and wood. Wood is, of course, the classic fencing material. The so-called white picket fence that many associates with America is generally a wood fence and to this day wood remains one of the most affordable and attractive options.
However, many would argue that vinyl fencing has surpassed its predecessor. After all, vinyl has become more and more attractive and reliable over the years. Vinyl fencing also requires no maintenance and boasts impressive durability.
So, which is right for your home? Ultimately that question will be up to you and your needs. We aren't going to try to tell you what fence is best for your home. However, we're going to compare wood and vinyl fencing across 4 categories so you can make a well-informed decision when you're considering the options.
Wood is a sturdy material, but its durability suffers due to its organic nature. Eventually wood rots and warps as it is exposed to the elements. Wood fencing is also extremely vulnerable to fungus, termites, and other pests that don't generally cause problems for vinyl fencing. Regular staining and sealing helps to counteract some of these problems but can't remove them entirely.
Vinyl fencing is definitely the more durable material. Since vinyl is a plastic, it doesn't require staining or sealing and won't rot or warp due to warm and humid weather. Termites and insects also can't cause damage to vinyl the way they can destroy wood fencing. Ultimately vinyl fencing will hold up far better over time and with less effort.
2. Maintenance & Cleaning
Maintenance and cleaning are both easier with a vinyl fence. Because vinyl doesn't warp or rot it requires no maintenance at all. You will likely need to clean your vinyl fence from time to time but that can easily be done with a hose. In fact, sometimes the rain might do all your cleaning for you!
Wood requires much more maintenance. As mentioned earlier, wood fences need regular staining and sealing in order to maintain their natural beauty and to delay rotting and warping. Wood fences also cannot simply be hosed since they are porous and vulnerable to mold and mildew. Often power washing is required for a safe and thorough clean.
However, there is one unexpected maintenance advantage to wood fencing. Most vinyl fencing consists of single boards designed to look like multiple boards. This means that replacing a broken part of the fence is tricky and may require replacing more of the fence than you'd like. In contrast, most wood fences consist of single boards. This makes it very easy to just replace the problem board. Unfortunately, this small advantage does little to offset the advantages offered by maintenance-free vinyl fences.
Both vinyl and wood fences come in a wide variety of styles and can be further customized to meet your personal preferences. Vinyl comes in a wide range of different colors and wood can be painted nearly any color you might like. Wood actually has a slight advantage in this regard as it can be repainted if you change your mind while vinyl is always going to be the color you first chose.
Ultimately which fence material you find more attractive will be your personal preference. However, wood is often considered slightly more attractive thanks to its unique natural beauty. That said, vinyl has been continually improving and many new designs can even imitate wood to an impressive degree.
The exact cost of a new fence will vary greatly based on the style you choose and the nature of your yard. However, wood is generally more affordable to install. The price of your average wood fence will likely range between $6,000 and $10,000 while the vinyl equivalent ranges from $15,000 to $20,000.
However, vinyl fences are maintenance free while wood fences require regular maintenance including sealing and staining. This continuous sealing and staining can add up over the long term and may ultimately make a wood fence more expensive.
Choose the right fencing material for your needs
Ultimately only you can decide which fence is best for your yard. Vinyl is certainly an attractive option considering its durability and low maintenance, but for some the natural beauty of wood is simply something that can't be beaten, especially when paired with the lower installation cost.
Regardless of which fence type you ultimately decide is better for your home, you can find a wide range of contractors here at HomePro Match that can provide you with the inexpensive and hassle-free installation you need. Find your local fencing experts today!