Cedar vs. Vinyl Fence Comparison

Which fencing material is best for you?

One of the most common questions we get about fencing is, which material is better, cedar or vinyl?

A lot of people know what they want. Either they love the look of cedar, or they prefer the streamlined visual appeal of vinyl. However, some are still on the fence about which product to choose.

When you’re making this decision, there are several things to consider. First, you will want to think about each product’s price, appearance, longevity, and overall maintenance. Over the past several years, we have found that most people expect vinyl to cost considerably more than cedar. But when it comes to the raw numbers, the prices are very similar in comparison.

When looking at the projects we have completed in the last year, the upfront cost when comparing cedar to vinyl was typically within 5-10 percent of each other. So when considering this, the initial cost difference of materials and installation is only a small factor of the complete cost factor.

With the initial material and installation cost in mind, let’s consider the future expenses of owning a fence.

The majority of the time, fencing contractors will not stain a wood fence immediately after installation. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not understand the reasoning behind this industry practice. Instead, you typically want to wait 1-6 months after installation before staining your fence, allowing the wood to weatherize and cure properly.

To get the maximum life out of a cedar fence, you must restain every 2-4 years.

On the other hand, Vinyl fencing has no subsequential maintenance other than occasional cleaning performed as needed.

With proper maintenance, both fencing materials will look great for several years. So the main factor here is which look and style do you prefer?

The final thing we will consider is the longevity of each material. For example, a cedar fence with a properly installed wood post typically lasts about 10-15 years or longer with consistent maintenance in the Pacific Northwest. However, even with steel posts, cedar will eventually decay to the point of becoming unserviceable.

Vinyl fencing, on the other hand, does not have an expiration date. As a result, the typical product warranty on vinyl fence components is usually longer than wood’s overall life expectancy.

If you have more questions about cedar or vinyl fencing, please feel free to contact us and speak with one of our design specialists.

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