Whether you want one for privacy, to keep a pet in the yard, or to prevent young children from leaving the yard, fences are important. They can also beautify your home and add curb appeal. Of course, you have plenty of options when it comes to fencing material – there’s wrought iron, PVC and wood to name just a few. Wood is the traditional choice, certainly, but is it the best? You’ll need to know more about the pros and cons of wood fencing before you make your decision.
Affordability of Wood Fencing
One of the hallmarks of wood fencing is its affordability. However, understand that this is relative and depends greatly on a very wide variety of factors, including:
- The type of wood being used
- The type of fence being build (privacy fence vs. spit rail, for example)
- The length of the fence
- The height of the fence
- The need for gates
In addition to those factors, you need to understand that wood is more affordable than wrought iron, but not PVC (plastic). In most cases, plastic is definitely the cheaper option.
Durability of Wood Fencing
Wood fencing is actually pretty durable, particularly for the price. While it doesn’t have the century-long lifespan of wrought iron, it also doesn’t have the same price tag. It’s also longer lived than plastic. With care (and the right wood selection), a wood fence can last for decades with only minor maintenance.
Maintaining a Wood Fence
One of the drawbacks to wood fencing is that it does require maintenance to remain in good shape for as long as possible. If you have a painted fence, you’ll need to sand, prime and repaint it regularly. If your fence is stained, it will need to be re-stained every now and then. Maintenance should be done at least once per year, and you’ll need to factor that cost into the overall price of the fencing.
Wood fencing is actually very easy to install, and it is versatile, meaning that it can be used for just about any needs. With the right preparation and shaping, it can be everything from rustic to charming to elegant in order to suit the design and aesthetics of your home.
Wood fencing is an ideal option if you want to affix accessories to it, such as planters, lights, or other decorative elements. All it really requires is a handful of screws and a drill, and you’re done. The same cannot be said for wrought iron or plastic.
Potential for Rot
Another drawback to wood fencing is that it is prone to rotting, particularly in very moist environments. Regular staining can help to provide a longer lifespan, and the right wood choice also makes a big difference here. Moisture can also cause fencing to warp, particularly taller panels used on privacy fences.
Wood fencing is relatively strong, but it can be damaged, particularly by impacts with objects of vehicles. It’s not quite as damage resistant as wrought iron. With that being said, it’s not as easily damaged as PVC fencing, either. Moreover, any damage can usually be repaired pretty easily, and often requires nothing more than replacing one or two pieces (along with painting and/or staining the replacement pieces if necessary). Damage from termites is also generally easy to repair (or replace), although you will definitely need to eradicate the pests if you want to prevent this sort of damage from occurring again.
All in all, wood fencing holds up very well. It’s not the most expensive option on the market, but does provide good durability and customization options.