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. Whether you live in a busy city or in the isolated countryside, 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.
Choosing to install a fence is just the beginning. How do you choose what type of fence you want? Here’s a look at one of the most common options: vinyl fencing.
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 more fire-resistant.
2. Low Maintenace
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 doesn’t need.
3. Style Options
As many uses as a fence has, 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.
Vinyl isn’t 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.
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.
Vinyl 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 for 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.
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.
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, it’s a different story.
Vinyl is a high-quality material so it costs more upfront than wood fencing and most metal fencing does. It’s an investment but not all homeowners have the budget for it.
Of course, remember that there is a range of prices for vinyl fencing. Some products are more expensive than others, so 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 does a number on your fence too.
Your fence is out in the sun all day, every day. Over time, this will fade your fence’s color.
This fading isn’t limited to vinyl fencing. It happens to wood fences as well.
The difference is that you can sand and refinish a wood fence to bring it back to vibrant color. With vinyl fencing, your only way to resolve a faded fence is to replace it.
6. Few Repair Options
We mentioned already that when a vinyl fence fades, your only option is to replace it. This goes beyond color fading.
Vinyl fencing comes in large panels. If a single plank in your fence breaks, you don’t have a way to fix that plank alone. You need to replace the entire panel, which can be pricey.
In some cases, you may not be satisfied with that fix either. If your fence has some age on it, the color will be just different enough from the color of the replacement panel that you can tell the difference.
For that reason, homeowners often end up replacing their entire fence. That’s a big expense that not everyone can handle.
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 raises the overall cost if you were hoping to install the fence yourself.
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 it 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.