Classic Wood Or Modern Vinyl? Pros And Cons Of 2 Picket Fence Options
Even before Tom Sawyer famously conned his friend into completing his chore of whitewashing a picket fence, white picket fences were a classic symbol of Americana. In fact, the picket fence has been used to mark property lines in the United States ever since colonial times. The concept of the picket fence has become a metaphor for one of the most important parts of the American Dream: homeownership. It's no surprise that, even with all of the different fencing options today, many homeowners still choose the traditional picket fence to keep people from crossing their freshly mowed lawns or to prevent the dog from getting out of the yard. Wooden picket fences remain a popular choice, but vinyl offers a newer and more modern picket fence choice for today's homeowners. Check out the pros and cons of these two picket fence options to find out which one is right for your home.
It's hard to go wrong with a wooden picket fence. It's guaranteed to look good with your landscaping, and with almost any style of home. The traditional wooden picket fence is whitewashed, but wood is easy to paint, so you'll have no trouble giving yours a splash of color to make unique, if that's what you want to do.
If you're hoping to save a little money on installation, it's also worth remembering that the least expensive wooden fences will cost you less than the least expensive vinyl fences, with wood starting at about $3 a foot compared to $9 a foot for vinyl. Wood is also a natural material, and may be considered more environmentally friendly than vinyl.
The major drawback when it comes to wooden picket fences is the maintenance. Painting once a year may not sound like much, but for today's busy homeowners, it's easy to let that chore slide until it is eventually forgotten – at least until the paint begins to peel and the wood begins to rot. Yearly painting is necessary to keep away fungus that will harm the wood. Also, your wooden fence is susceptible to termites and can warp in response to rain, humidity, and other changes in the weather.
Vinyl is the answer for homeowners worried about the maintenance and upkeep of a wooden fence. Once it's installed, it's difficult to harm vinyl. The material is impervious to fungus, rot, termites, and fire. Water, heat, and temperature fluctuations won't warp it. There's no need to paint, because the color of the vinyl used to create the fence is part of the material – you'll never have to worry about it fading or peeling.
If you want, you can find vinyl picket fences that look just like wooden picket fences. However, vinyl also offers other styles to choose from. And while wood may be a more natural material, vinyl is longer lasting and doesn't require any deforestation to create, so some may consider it a more environmentally sustainable choice.
Vinyl fencing materials do start out at a higher price than wood, and that may make the initial costs of installing the fence higher than you would prefer. Vinyl is also vulnerable to mildew, especially if water from your sprinklers hits it on a regular basis. You can clean the mildew off easily enough, thanks to the material's impermeable surface. However, if you don't get around to cleaning it quickly enough, the mildew can stain the surface of the vinyl, and you can't just paint over it to be rid of it.
Also, in the event that your vinyl fence needs to be repaired, you'll probably have to replace a whole section of the fence, whereas with a wood fence, you could replace individual damaged boards.
Both fencing styles have plenty of advantages, and the choice really comes down to your needs and preferences. Talk to a fence installation professional in your area to find out about your wooden and vinyl fencing options.