As George would say on Seinfeld, “You know, we’re living in a society!” That doesn’t mean you have to let everyone and anyone traipse onto your lawn whenever they please, though. Introducing vinyl fencing.
Whether you live in a busy city like St. Louis or in the isolated countryside of Farmington, there are plenty of reasons to have a fence. They offer privacy and security, all while keeping your kids or pets on your own property.
Plus, choosing the right fence can actually add massive curbside appeal to your home and even boost your property value.
Choosing to install a fence is just the beginning, though. How do you choose what type of fence you want?
This article is going to take a look at one of the most common fencing options: vinyl fencing.
We’re going to dive into the most notable pros and cons of this fencing type to give you the facts you need to make an informed decision about your new fence.
Table of Contents
Pros of Vinyl Fencing
- Low Maintenance
- Style Options
- Easy to Clean
- Durable Against Water Damage
- No Termite Problems
- Easy Installation
Cons of Vinyl Fencing
- Vulnerability to Temperature Changes
- Less Natural Look
- Up-Front Cost
- Fading Color
- Few Repair Options
- Importance of Skillful Installation
Pros of Vinyl Fencing
There’s a reason vinyl fencing has become so popular among homeowners. Here’s a peek into the many benefits it has to offer.
You think of a fence as a safety measure for your home, but it can pose its own safety risks too.
Wood fences splinter over time, especially if you have kids who tend to play against your fence, you could find yourself pulling out one splinter after another.
On top of the splinters, wood fences can catch on fire easily. Vinyl fencing is significantly more fire-resistant.
Plus, a vinyl privacy fence can turn your out-in-the-open backyard into your own private sanctuary.
2. Low Maintenance
You’re a busy homeowner, and you already have the responsibility of a house and a yard. You don’t want to have to maintain a fence as well.
Vinyl fences are as low-maintenance as it gets. Unlike wood, you never need to refinish or restain them.
This not only saves you time but money as well. Over the life of a fence, you’ll end up paying more for a wood fence because it needs regular maintenance that a vinyl fence simply doesn’t require.
3. Style Options
As many uses as a fence can have, it’s also a part of your home’s design. If you choose the right style, it can add to your curb appeal and give your home a more finished, manicured look.
With a vinyl fence, you have a wide range of options for colors, styles, finishes, and more. Some vinyl fencing even has simulated wood grain to provide a more rustic look.
While you’re limited to the fencing that manufacturers produce, there are enough options that you can find something to fit almost anyone’s style.
4. Easy to Clean
When people call vinyl fencing low-maintenance, they aren’t just talking about major maintenance. It’s also known for not adding to your cleaning to-do list.
Unsurprisingly, a white vinyl fence isn’t completely immune to the mold, mildew, and algae stains that sometimes happen to wood fences. However, it’s far easier to clean them off of vinyl than to get them out of wood.
To clean your vinyl fence, start by rinsing it with your hose to get off the bulk of the staining. Next, use a simple solution of warm water and dish soap.
Make sure you scrub the fence with something gentle like a sponge or rag. Avoid abrasive scrubbers like steel wool so you won’t scratch your fence.
In the end, cleaning your vinyl fencing only takes a fraction of the amount of time it takes to clean wood.
5. Durable Against Water Damage
Wood fences may have stains and sealants on them to protect them from water damage. That only goes so far, though, and it breaks down over time. When those protectants wear away, you can get rot in your wood fence in a hurry.
That’s why it’s necessary to clean and paint or stain your wood fence every 2 to 3 years, according to experts.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is naturally water-resistant. Its ability to withstand moisture doesn’t decrease over time either, so you can expect it to have a long and efficient life.
Vinyl also holds up against water better than metal fences like chain link fencing. Vinyl isn’t susceptible to the rust problem metal fences tend to have.
6. No Termite Problems
Termites are a major problem in Missouri, and they can be particularly troublesome for fences.
The termites we have in Missouri are subterranean termites. This means that they live in the ground and look for sources of wood to eat.
Any time you have wood that touches your lawn, it’s at high risk for termite damage. Guess what wooden fences are? Wooden boards that go into the ground.
Vinyl, on the other hand, does not have this risk.
7. Easy Installation
For any home improvement project, you need to consider the installation. With vinyl fencing, that installation is simple and quick.
Don’t get us wrong: we don’t recommend fencing as a DIY project. Still, a more efficient installation process means less installation time, which costs you less money.
Cons of Vinyl Fencing
Not many things in life are slam-dunks, and that includes vinyl fencing. There are always downsides to consider.
As we mentioned above, manufacturers produce a large variety of designs, colors, and finishes for vinyl fencing. Still, you’re limited to the fencing options those manufacturers have decided to make.
A wood fence is completely customizable. You can build it in any way you want, and you have a nearly endless selection of stain colors to choose from. This isn’t the case with vinyl fences.
2. Vulnerability to Temperature Changes
Vinyl fencing might be moisture-resistant, but it isn’t weather-proof.
Vinyl material doesn’t expand and contract naturally with changes in temperature. When it’s cold, your fence is at risk of getting cracks in the finishing.
The summer can present issues as well. Extreme heat may warp vinyl fencing, changing its look in an unrepairable way.
However, both of these problems depend largely on the quality of the vinyl and its installation. With higher-quality materials and installation from an experienced partner, you’re far less likely to have to deal with these frustrating outcomes.
3. Less Natural Look
Everyone has their own personal style, and some homeowners love a rustic look. This means a lot of wood and other natural materials.
Some manufacturers offer vinyl fencing that has simulated wood grain. From a distance, it looks like real wood. When you get up close, though, it becomes obvious that the fence is made of vinyl.
If you prefer a modern aesthetic, this may not be a problem. For those who want a particularly natural look, they may have a hard time finding vinyl that lives up to their expectations when standing a few inches away.
4. Up-Front Cost
We explained above that in the long term, vinyl is often more cost-effective than wood because it requires less maintenance. When you look at the initial cost, however, it can be a different story.
Vinyl is a high-quality material, so it costs more upfront than some wood fencing and metal fencing.
Of course, remember that there is a range of prices for vinyl fencing. Some products are more expensive than others, while some are much more affordable. It’s important to know what you can afford before you start shopping.
5. Fading Color
The sun’s power isn’t limited to heating our entire planet. It can do a number on your fence too.
Your fence is out in the sun all day, every day. Over time, if you’ve invested in a cheap, subpar vinyl fence, it can fade over time.
This fading isn’t limited to cheap vinyl fencing, of course. It happens even greater on wooden fences.
Of course, wood can sand and refinish a wood fence to bring it back to vibrant color, however, that comes with cost and labor.
That being said, most high-quality modern vinyl fencing is enhanced with special ingredients to boost durability and coated with anti-fading compounds like titanium dioxide. This makes fading far less common compared to other low-quality options.
6. Few Repair Options
If planks or pickets in your fence breaks, it will require a professional to repair it.
That being said, vinyl fencing is especially durable. Rather than brittle wood, this fencing type is made of polyvinyl chloride, the preeminent material in PVC piping. That’s why a vinyl fence is sometimes referred to as a PVC fence.
This compound is used in construction specifically because it can withstand an enormous amount of pressure.
So while a vinyl plastic fence may cost more to repair than wood, its likelihood of breaking in the first place tends to be far lower.
7. Importance of Skillful Installation
DIY home improvement is popular for today’s homeowners. It gives you an added sense of satisfaction, and it can save you money too.
When it comes to installing a vinyl fence, though, it isn’t a great choice. Many types of vinyl are lightweight. If you don’t install them right and secure them in the ground well enough, they’re susceptible to wind damage.
As a result, professional installation is a better bet for your vinyl fence. This would raise the overall cost if you were hoping to install the fence yourself.
FAQs About Vinyl Fencing
Now that you have a better understanding of the basic pros and cons of vinyl fencing let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this fence type.
Are Vinyl Fences Any Good?
They certainly are.
Vinyl fencing is more and more becoming a superior home fencing choice because of its low-maintenance properties. Added to that, manufacturers are adding more styles to their vinyl fencing options by the day.
Vinyl fencing is also particularly durable, can withstand inclement weather better than other fencing options, and tends not to fade over the course of its 30-year lifetime (with the right material quality).
What Is the Best Vinyl Fence to Buy?
It’s worth remembering that not all vinyl fencing manufacturers are the same.
And while some may offer suspiciously low material prices, spending your money on cheap vinyl fencing can lead to cracking, fading, and a significantly reduced lifespan.
CertainTeed vinyl products, however, are consistently highly rated due to their material quality and long-lasting performance.
Their Bufftech PVC fence is made with carefully selected ingredients that boost the durability and lifespan of their fencing. They also incorporate titanium dioxide to protect the vinyl from yellowing or fading due to sun exposure.
Added to that, they also use steel reinforced railings, heavyweight pickets, and routed rails and fence posts to ensure the construction is solid in even the most inclement weather.
Is Vinyl Fencing Cheaper Than Wood?
On average, vinyl fencing is actually more expensive than wood.
The premium materials generally cost more to manufacture. As a result, a vinyl fence will likely be more expensive than a wood one of equal size.
However, a vinyl fence will usually end up being less expensive over time. That’s because there’s little to no maintenance involved (no cleaning and staining every 2 to 3 years) and a vinyl fence typically lasts up to 30 years—about twice as long as a wood fence.
How Much Does It Cost to Put Up a Vinyl Fence?
According to HomeAdvisor, putting up a vinyl fence usually costs between $2,000 and $5,000 and averages out to about $20 to $25 per foot.
However, installation is generally easier than installing a wood fence as the interlocking pieces are simple to assemble. This helps cut down on unexpected costs during installation.
Added to that, it’s important to remember that the high upfront cost of installation is balanced out by the fact that it’s incredibly easy to maintain. Plus, it has a lifespan of about twice as long as a wood fence.
Vinyl fencing, then, is an upfront investment that pays off for years to come.
The Finishing Touch for Curb Appeal
Your fence is an important part of your property. It keeps your family safe, gives you privacy from your neighbors, and dampens noise. It can also be the perfect detail that sends your curb appeal (and your home value) soaring high.
Not all fences will have the same impact on your property. A vinyl fence often raises home values and brings a long list of benefits. Still, to make an informed decision about whether it’s the right fit, you need to look at both the advantages and disadvantages above.
If you want an expert opinion about your home’s fence or if you’re to find that perfect fit, call our fencing experts for a free estimate.Download Our Ebook Free Estimate