A wood fence is a great addition to any property. A fence provides security, increases curb appeal, deters trespassers, adds privacy, outlines boundaries, and more. There are numerous reasons why you should construct a fence. There are equally important reasons why you should build a fence with a certain material.
Before putting up a fence, get to know the different types of wood fencing. Each kind of wood offers specific benefits and drawbacks. You don’t want to waste your time, money, and energy on a fence that will not meet your expectations.
Common kinds of wood used to build fences include:
Of those, cedar wood and pinewood are among the most popular selections, so let’s compare these two options.
Strength/Durability: Cedar is considered a strong and durable wood. Come rain or shine, cedar holds up well against all sorts of weather conditions. Comparatively, pinewood is less durable. It is known to deteriorate and will not last as long as cedar. It is susceptible to warping, buckling, and shrinking too.
Chemicals/Preservatives: Cedar wood is not pressure-treated, and pinewood typically is pressure-treated. Wood-eating fungus thrives on damp lumber, and cedar wood produces oils that create a barrier to repel water from entering the pores of the wood. Therefore, cedar has the natural ability to resist decay and rot, while pinewood is chemically treated to do so.
Bugs/Insects: Those natural cedar oils serve a dual purpose. The smell of cedar oil also works to repel harmful bugs that cause wood to decay. You do not want moths, beetles, or termites getting to your fence.
Smell/Scent: While the scent of cedar oil deters bugs, it is that same smell that attracts homeowners to cedar wood. Many homeowners like the distinct aroma of cedar wood and purposely want a fence made of it. Pine fences do not have a particular or strong smell.
Maintenance/Upkeep: Since pinewood is not rot-resistant, regular maintenance is needed to keep a pinewood fence from breaking down. To prevent it from rotting, a pine fence should be stained, painted, or sealed regularly. Cedar wood can go without, but if you choose to refinish a cedar fence, stain is a better fit than paint. It is also worth noting that untreated cedar will change colors over time to a silvery gray color.
Lifespan: While many cedar fences last for decades, you should plan on replacing a pine fence much more often, especially in harsh climates like Colorado.
Cost: It is true that a pinewood fence usually costs less to build than a cedar wood fence. When comparing the two options, it is important to calculate the initial upfront costs and the long-term expenses. A pinewood fence requires regular maintenance, and even then, it will most likely still not last as long as a cedar wood fence. In the end, a cedar fence can be less expensive.
Look/Appearance: The aesthetic qualities differ between cedar and pinewood. Cedar wood has a recognizable appearance because of its color and beautiful grain patterns. Since pinewood is pressure-treated, it is known to have a less natural look. Most cedar wood has a reddish tone and is a warm, rich-looking type of wood. Pinewood is light in color and can have a cream, brown, or even green hue to it.
Workability: Both cedar and pinewood are a variety of softwood. They are lightweight, making them user-friendly and nice to work with and handle. You can easily saw, nail, or cut both types of wood.
Eco-Friendly: Cedar is considered more environmentally-friendly than pinewood. Pressure-treated pinewood contains chemicals that can soak into the ground, taint the surrounding soil, and impact the local ecosystem.
When constructing a fence, there are many factors to consider to ensure you are building a quality fence that withstands the elements and remains strong over time. You want a fence you can enjoy. You want a fence that looks beautiful. You want a fence that serves its purpose without falling apart.
- Before breaking ground, ask yourself these questions:
- What look do I hope to achieve with my fence?
- How long do I want my fence to last?
- What is my current budget, and what is my future budget?
- Do I have the time and money required to upkeep a fence?
- Do I need a strong, sturdy fence to contain large animals?
- Am I worried about the soil surrounding my fence?
The answers to these questions can help you determine the right kind of fence for your personal circumstances. The best option for one homeowner may not be the preferred choice for another. Educate yourself about the different types of wood available, then go for it.