Naturally durable and decay resistant, cedar wood has long been a popular choice for building long-lasting fence that looks great. But vinyl fence has come a long way since the 1980s, with technologically advanced materials that can now look like wood with fewer of wood’s drawbacks.
So which should you choose if you’re planning to build a new fence: cedar wood or vinyl? A lot depends on the situation and application of your fence. We hope to help make that decision easier by showing side-by-side comparisons of cedar wood vs. vinyl fence in 3 categories: Price, Maintenance & Durability, and Aesthetics & Product features.
Fence installation is an investment, and for many homeowners price will play a primary role in their decision. When comparing cedar and vinyl fencing it is important to consider the up-front costs as well as additional costs for long-term maintenance and care.
|Materials cost||Average $14-$18 /linear foot||Average $25-$30/ linear foot|
|Installation cost||Average $11 -15/linear foot||Average $15-20/linear foot|
|Repair complexity & cost||Easy to repair; most homeowners will spend between $277-$733 on wood fence repairs||Inexpensive to replace panels; replacing a panel does not alter the integrity of the fence; most homeowners will spend between $249-$696 on vinyl fence repairs|
Conclusion: Vinyl fence costs more up-front, but cedar wood fence will likely require more repairs and maintenance. If lifetime cost is a primary factor, vinyl fence is more cost competitive than cedar wood fence.
No matter what the climate, every fence will be tested by Mother Nature and your backyard. Vinyl and cedar wood each have different properties that make them best in their class for high durability and low maintenance.
|Durability/Hardness||Rigid, can withstand moderate impact without damage||Flexible, subject to splitting or cracking from moderate impact|
|Longevity||Can last 15 -25 years with repairs||With adequate care can last over 25 years|
|Maintenance & Care||Has the lowest maintenance of any wood fence; does not require paint or stain||Very little maintenance needed; can be hosed off or washed with a simple soap solution|
Conclusion: If you’re set on having a wood fence, cedar is the best choice for its durability (natural rot and insect resistance) and low-maintenance (no need to paint or stain). If overall maintenance and durability is a primary factor, vinyl fence may be a better choice.
Fencing sets the stage for backyard work and play. Depending on your landscape and application you may discover one material suits your needs better than the other.
|Aesthetic||Ages naturally to a soft, silvery-gray color and will last for many years, without staining or painting||Comes in innovative styles, colors and textures that mimic the look of natural wood|
|Fire resistance||Susceptible to open fire||PVC has a flashpoint of approximately 250 degrees fahrenheit and does not easily ignite. Vinyl is classified as“self-extinguishing”|
|Impact resistance||Good resistance to impact||Fair resistance to impact|
|Insect resistance||Natural resistance to insects||Impervious to insects|
|Rot resistance||Good resistance to rot||Vinyl does not rot|
Conclusion: Many people love the look of cedar wood and can’t imagine having anything else in their backyard. If aesthetic beauty is a primary factor, don’t settle for anything less! If product features such as fire, insect and rot resistance rank higher on your list, vinyl may be a better choice.
Ready to install vinyl or cedar wood fencing? Looking for vinyl fence parts? Are you a homeowner interested in list of approved vinyl fence contractors? We’ve been helping homeowners and contractors create beautiful borders that last since 1975. Contact us.
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