By Ron Wooden
When choosing between whether to install a wood fence or a vinyl fence there are several differences you need to consider. In our opinion from a cost standpoint, vinyl comes out far superior than a wood fence. When you consider long-term costs of installation, maintenance and replacement it seems a vinyl fence is the clear winner every time - despite allegations out there that indicate vinyl is more expensive.
Vinyl fence materials are engineered which give them superior features over wood fence materials, and therefore they can initially be a bit more expensive then wood products. However as a result of recent economic times, good quality wood is getting more and more costly. As these price increases in wood continue to occur, and there is no doubt that they will, the initial cost of wood and vinyl fence are becoming virtually the same.
Cost of Installation
The installation process for both wood and vinyl is almost the same. They both require the same prep work for post holes and concrete, as well as proper attention to detail with measurements and utilizing clean, sharp tools. However, vinyl fence panels come with posts that are predrilled for proper hardware placement with pre-cut rails and pickets, or if you like the entire panel can even come totally preassembled. Vinyl saves you time, eliminates excess wasted material and the need to buy costly extra tools. Vinyl is by far the more cost (and time) effective choice here.
Cost of Maintenance
Anyone who has owned a wood fence is well aware of the great lengths required to maintain aesthetics and preserve the longevity of the fence. Pressure washing, sealing, scraping, stripping, staining and painting - it's exhausting just thinking about it. The costs to maintain a wood fence are quite substantial. Now compare that to a vinyl fence which simply needs to be hosed off and wiped down on occasion. Vinyl materials come in a variety of colors with no fade guarantees*; hence staying clean, vibrant and easy to maintain.
*Bufftech Vinyl is the only manufacturer we recommend, which is the industry leader in producing superior quality vinyl fence materials, including no fade colors.
The state-of-the-art vinyl fence technology is engineered to last! Quality vinyl products come with a minimum 20 years and sometimes lifetime warranties. Other than maybe a one-year installation warranty offered by a contractor, wood fence warranties do not really exist. Wood is a naturally decaying material, that rots and bows, and although treating the wood may delay this process, it still is an inevitable result with wood. Wood just cannot withstand the harsh outdoor environments and last a lifetime like vinyl can. So the costly expense of replacing wood fences makes a vinyl fence by far the more cost effective choice yet again.
While initially it may seem that a wood fence is less expensive, once taking a closer look it is quickly realized that any monies saved in the beginning with wood are quickly lost after just one or two years. Over the long run, the costs between vinyl and wood cannot even compete - a vinyl fence is undoubtedly less expensive than wood.
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