Vinyl or Wood Fence? A Comparison of Price and Maintenance

May 18, 2020

Wood has always been a very popular fencing material. One of the main reasons is because wood is typically readily available. Other common fencing materials include chain link, aluminum, and steel. However, with new types of advanced materials coming on the market (including long-lasting and stylish vinyl), traditional fencing is facing some serious competition. 

Comparison Between a Vinyl or Wood Fence

While aesthetics definitely play a part in picking a fence, how else do you choose between a vinyl or wood fence? The answers lie in the comparisons of cost, maintenance needs, and longevity.

How Much Do They Cost?

A few things need to be taken into account when determining how much vinyl or wood fencing costs. First, there’s the initial cost of the materials. Then, there’s the cost of installation. Finally, there’s the cost of maintaining and repairing the fence. 

Here’s an estimate of costs you’re looking at for each type of fence.

Wood Fencing Costs:

  • Materials = About $12 per linear foot
  • Installation = About $12 per linear foot
  • Maintenance (stain/paint) = About $1-5 per linear foot
  • Repairs = About $561 on average

Vinyl Fencing Costs:

  • Materials = About $17 per linear foot
  • Installation = About $7 per linear foot
  • Maintenance = $0
  • Repairs = About $513, though repairs are rarely required

If you want a more definitive answer to how much a fence will cost you, it’s a good idea to get a free estimate before committing to a purchase.

What Maintenance Is Required?

There is a big difference between the maintenance requirements of wood and vinyl fencing. Wood requires a lot of consistent attention to keep a pleasing appearance. It needs restaining or repainting at least every couple of years and since the weather and pests play a toll, a wood fence will need regular repairs to keep it from completely falling apart. 

On the other hand, vinyl requires no maintenance other than an occasional spray down with a garden hose to keep it clean. Harsh weather and pests don’t affect vinyl so there is no upkeep either.

How Long Do They Last?

You’ll want to place heavy emphasis on the longevity of materials before choosing between wood and vinyl. Wood can last up to 20 years, but keep in mind that this is the best-case scenario which includes constant refinishing, repainting, restaining, repairing, and replacing. 

Vinyl, however, is durable enough to last up to 100 years, even with very little maintenance. 

The Main Differences in Wood vs. Vinyl Fencing

As a quick reference when deciding if you should choose a vinyl or wood fence, we’ve listed some pros and cons of each.

Pros of vinyl fencing:

  • Lots of style and color options
  • Stays standing in harsh weather
  • Resists pests
  • Doesn’t decay
  • Cleans down with a garden hose
  • Very little maintenance is required
  • Adds value to your property
  • Lasts for a very long time

Cons of vinyl fencing:

  • Higher material costs
  • Shows dirt more readily
  • Might stand out in some environments
  • Can be susceptible to damage in high winds

Pros of wood fencing:

  • Classic in style
  • Wood is a renewable resource (when sourced responsibly)
  • Lower upfront costs

Cons of wood fencing:

  • Requires frequent treatments to protect it from sun and moisture 
  • Needs to be painted or stained regularly for it to keep a good appearance
  • Subject to rot and decay
  • Not pest proof (termites, wood borers, carpenter ants, etc.)
  • Reduces curb appeal if not properly maintained
  • Lasts 20 years or less

Conclusion: Choosing Between a Vinyl or Wood Fence

Now that we’ve gone over the details, you are armed with the knowledge that vinyl fencing is a long-lasting, no maintenance, cost-effective choice for your new fence. Now all you need to do is contact Best Vinyl today to get started on your vinyl fencing project!


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