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Among all the various types of fence, two of the most popular materials are wood and vinyl.  There are a lot of debates as to which is better, and for a homeowner looking to get a new fence, it can be a bit overwhelming to sift through all the information. We’d like to simplify this process, and give you a few key things to consider when deciding between wood and vinyl. 

Let’s first go through the pros of vinyl fencing.  One of the main reasons people will pick vinyl is because it tends to last longer. It is not as susceptible to rot, warping or fading.  Provided you clean and maintain your fence, it should look the same after 10 years as it did when you installed it.  Maintaining the fence is easy, it just needs to be rinsed off or sometimes pressure-washed.  That being said, the most common color for vinyl fencing is white, which shows dirt and grime almost immediately.  However, more and more colors are becoming increasingly available on the market, and there are even vinyl fences that mimic wood texture and color. 

It’s clear to see the appeal of vinyl over wood. However, there are a few drawbacks. Vinyl fences come with their own set of difficulties.  First off, they are considerably more expensive than wood fences. Also, even though they require less maintenance, if they do become damaged they can be a much bigger hassle to repair.  Most vinyl fences come in preset panels, so if there is any damage to a small part of the fence, it’s not uncommon to have to replace the whole panel.  If this occurs after a period of 10 years, there’s also a fair chance that your specific type of fence panel will have been discontinued.  There are also fewer customizing options for vinyl, compared to wood which can be cut to almost any shape desired with ease.  These are just a few of the problems that can arise with vinyl. 

Now let’s go over some of the pros and cons of traditional wood fences.  Obviously, they are more vulnerable to moisture and rotting.  They can require a little more maintenance, but the maintenance they require tends to be simple and easy. If a board becomes damaged, it’s very easy and affordable to purchase one from the hardware store and replace it. Wooden fence boards will never be discontinued, so you can always restore your fence to exactly how you want it.  In addition, wood fences are easy to customize, even after they have already been built. They can be sanded, stained, or painted a different color. There are a lot of benefits to going wood. 

It’s apparent that there are upsides to both materials. To sum it up, vinyl fences tend to be easier to maintain, as long as no serious damage occurs.  Wood fences are more affordable, customizable and simpler to repair, with the downside of repairs being slightly more frequent.  We hope we’ve been able to streamline your journey in making the best decision for your home!

-Written by Jeremiah Oropeza, Crew Lead, PHM

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home improvement tips specific to Pacific Northwest homeowners