Wood vs. Metal Fence Posts

When it comes to building a fence, one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is choosing the type of posts to use. In the Pacific Northwest, where weather conditions can be quite challenging, the two most common options are Pressure Treated Wood posts and Galvanized Steel posts. We have quickly been going away from the wood option, and we will explain why below. 

Wood Posts:

Wood posts are a traditional and popular choice for fencing, offering a natural and rustic aesthetic that blends seamlessly with the environment. In the Pacific Northwest, where forests are abundant, wood posts are often sourced locally, making them a sustainable choice. Unfortunately, they are NOT what they used to be. Due to environmental concerns the solution used to treat the posts has changed significantly and the performance is not the same. We have seen posts completely rotten within 1-2 years on fences we built.


1. Aesthetic Appeal: One of the primary reasons homeowners opt for wood posts is their natural and timeless look. They can be stained or painted to match the fence’s design and surroundings, enhancing the overall curb appeal of your property.

2. Local Sourcing: In an environmentally conscious region like the Pacific Northwest, using locally sourced wood posts can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

3. Cost-Effective: In many cases, wood posts tend to be more budget-friendly compared to their steel counterparts. This can be particularly advantageous for large fence projects.


1. Durability: The most significant drawback of wood posts is their susceptibility to rot and decay. In the damp climate of the Pacific Northwest, untreated wood posts can deteriorate relatively quickly, in some cases even a year or two after install.

2. Maintenance: Wood posts require regular maintenance, including staining, sealing, and occasional repairs. This ongoing upkeep can be time-consuming and costly.

3. Vulnerability to Pests: Wood posts can attract pests like termites and carpenter ants, leading to further deterioration.

Steel Posts:

Steel posts, often galvanized to resist corrosion, are the most durable and long-lasting post on the market. They offer a sleek and modern appearance that can work well with a variety of fence designs. These are the last posts you will set. We prefer working with the “Postmaster” steel post brand. The heavy gauge steel and shape make it the strongest post on the market.


1. Durability: Galvanized steel posts are highly resistant to corrosion, making them ideal for the wet climate of the Pacific Northwest. They are not susceptible to rot or decay and can last for decades without significant maintenance. Even when the fence boards themselves go bad, you will be able to re use the posts in the future.

2. Zero Maintenance: Unlike wood posts, steel posts require no maintenance. Once installed.

3. Strength: Steel posts provide excellent structural support and can withstand significant pressure, making them suitable for taller or heavier fences. High winds don’t stand a chance against steel.


1. Cost: Steel posts are typically more expensive upfront than wood posts, which can be a deterrent for those on a tight budget. Approximately $14 for a wood post and $35 for a steel post.

2. Aesthetic Preferences: These posts can be covered with cedar so you don’t see any posts at all on your entire fence.

3. Environmental Impact: Steel production has a higher carbon footprint compared to wood. However, the long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements of steel posts can offset this over time.


Due to the quality of wood decreasing and the limited lifespan we recommend using steel posts. It is always cheaper in the long run with a steel post as you will never have to replace rotten posts. Try out our Fence Calculator to get an instance fence estimate today!

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