Installing a fence on your property is one of the best ways to make your house feel more secure and enhance your sense of privacy. Unfortunately, installing that fence isn’t cheap. In fact, average costs range from $1,000 to over $5,000
depending on the type of materials you use.
If you’re going to spend money on a major home improvement, you need to choose the best material for the job. For most homeowners, this means choosing between wood fence vs vinyl fence materials.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, but you need to understand what you can expect from each option before you schedule an installation appointment. Here’s what you need to know so you can make the right choice for your property.
Understand the Maintenance Costs
One of the most important things to keep in mind when deciding between vinyl fencing and natural wood is the average cost of maintenance throughout the year. Though the exact amount you’ll pay will largely depend on the size of the fence and the types of conditions it’s exposed to, wood almost always costs more than vinyl.
Though high-quality wood fencing gets sealed against the elements, that sealant will eventually wear down. Once it does, you’ll need to sand away the remaining sealant and spread a new coat on each part of the fence.
Most homeowners have to do this every few years if they want to keep their fence looking like new at all times. You’ll have to spend the time sealing the wood, cover the cost of the materials, or hire an experienced pro to handle the maintenance tasks for you. Over the life of the fence, this can add thousands of dollars to the total cost.
Vinyl, on the other hand, requires minimal maintenance. Once installed, all you need to do is clean it with water and a gentle detergent. You won’t have to worry about sealing the materials against the elements even years down the line.
Consider Your Upfront Budget
Contrary to popular belief, it’s almost always cheaper to install a wood fence than it is to install a vinyl one. This is because the vinyl planks cost more to produce than wood upfront.
If you’re worried about your budget or can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a new fence, installing a wood fence will be the better choice. You’ll save on your upfront costs and will be able to work with a professional fence installation
team to make sure it can stand up to heavy winds.
However, if have the money to spare, investing in a vinyl fence is still a better choice. They’re more durable and, while they cost more upfront, you’ll end up saving on maintenance and upkeep costs over the life of the fence.
Pay Attention to Neighborhood Regulations
If you’re trying to decide between a vinyl and wood fence, it’s worth checking with your HOA before you schedule the installation appointment. Some homeowners’ associations have restrictions on the types of materials you can use and the design you’re allowed to have for your home’s fence.
If you install the wrong one, you’ll have to remove it and face the risk of a costly fine from the HOA itself.
Find out if they have any restrictions in place before you make your decision. If your HOA requires that you install a wood fence, do so. If they don’t care about the types of materials you use, install whatever type of fence makes the most sense for your needs.
Think About Future Repairs
If you live in an area where vandalism is common, think about how much you’re willing to spend on repairs. In most cases, it’s cheaper and easier to repair a damaged wood fence than it is to fix vinyl fencing.
With a wood fence, you’re able to remove the damaged planks and replace them with new planks as needed. With vinyl, you’re forced to remove the entire damaged panel and install a new one.
Further, you can’t easily paint over a vinyl fence without changing the way the material looks. If you need to clean up spray paint or other types of damage, you’ll find wood fences to be easier to work with.
Look at How Each Impacts Your Property Value
Believe it or not, vinyl fencing holds more value over time. This is because it’s easier to maintain and all you have to do throughout the year is spray it down with water to restore its original look.
Wood ages and changes color when exposed to the elements for years on end. Vinyl, on the other hand, looks like new even when it’s exposed to sunlight for years.
Since vinyl looks great for longer periods of time with less maintenance, it adds more to your home’s value than a similar wooden fence. This means you’ll be able to get more for your home with a vinyl fence than you would with a wood fence.
Know How Long You Plan to Stay in the House
Before you decide on the right fence for your home, think about how long you’ll stay in your home. If you’re planning on selling your house in the next year or two, it may be best to install a wood fence. You’ll spend less on the installation while still making your home’s exterior look nicer.
However, if you’re planning on staying in your house for years to come, a vinyl fence may be a better choice. The materials last longer and though you’ll spend more upfront, you’ll save money in the long run.
Now You’re Ready to Decide Between a Wood Fence vs Vinyl Fence
Now that you understand the pros and cons of a wood fence vs vinyl fence, you’re ready to choose the right option for your home. Both types of fencing materials will make your yards safer and improve the look of your home’s exterior.
Just think about how long you plan on staying in the house and how much money you can afford on the installation and materials when you make your decision.
Looking for more tips and tricks to help you transform the look of your house without breaking the bank? Check out our latest posts.