When considering a new fence either for replacing an existing, or a completely new project, there are a few considerations to take into the decision process.
Lumber is a natural product that has some formidable enemies bent on its destruction. Most everyone thinks of the termite first but mildew is the real culprit to worry about. Poor drainage is the worst for a wood fence. Look to see if you can stagger the post to hop over small creeks or areas that hold water consistently. Modern ACQ treatments are supposed to last as long as the ever popular CCA treated lumber that we had known for decades. ACQ has not been on the market as long so it will be a test of time to see if those claims hold up. ACQ treatment requires that when the lumber is pressurized with the water and treatment the water / treatment solution is left in the lumber. With CCA the pumps were reversed so to vacuum the water out of the lumber leaving the treatment. ACQ is significantly heavier than CCA.
Vinyl comes with a 30 year warranty, and has no insect enemies. Fire will only melt the fence, it will not support a flame (it self extinguishes). UV rays do breakdown unprotected plastics. That is why it is important to get a properly extruded and protected fence like ours does. See our last post.
In the past wood fences always beat the cost of vinyl. Sometimes by 60% or more. Now it is only about 15%. The biggest problem is the quality of the current lumber combined with the now mandaited way it must be pressure treated.. I have spoken to countless installers that all agree, the current availability of clean (few to no knots) lumber is very scarce. Following that is the incredible warpage that the lumber goes through once it is installed. Even the 4×4 post can curl 4+ inches at the top. It’s bad enough replacing boards that warp but digging up a post and replacing it is a major chore.
Variations in Vinyl Fence
Vinyl comes in a finite number of looks called profiles (usually rectangle or square) and colors (white or tan)
Wood Round Rail and Split Rail fence have that more rustic look and appearance.
Now you must consider that since these profiles (shapes of the lumber) they can be as much as 25% more than vinyl.
The final thought on these types of wood fences is the availability to replace damage. Most lumber stores do not have replacements in stock.
Consider what you want to accomplish. Is it just a look you want or will you need durability and long life?