Two types of fences were once the dominant fencing materials in the United States: wood and iron. As time progressed, iron started to fall out of favor and was effectively replaced by aluminum in fencing. Wood, on the other hand, has remained a popular fencing material despite a few drawbacks. Though wood is a wonderful fencing material, vinyl is often used as an alternative. Is a wood fence right for you? Here are three details to keep in mind when deciding on a wood fence in Somerset County, NJ.
Related: 5 Mishaps to Avoid When Installing a Wood Fence in Union County and Somerset County, NJ
Wood Fencing Basics
1. Wood Is Versatile
With few exceptions, wood can satisfy the requirements of practically any fence. Whether you’re looking for a simple ranch style post and rail fence to contain your horses, a charming white picket fence to define a garden, or a contemporary privacy fence, wood would bring practicality and character to your landscape.
2. Wood Is Gorgeous, But It Needs Maintenance
Wood helps to provide a natural feeling in a landscape. A large part of the beauty of wood comes from the random natural wood grain. When painted, much of the wood grain and texture will remain visible beneath the colors. Staining the wood into a darker color will sometimes make the beauty even more striking. Sealing the wood with a mix of turpentine and linseed oil is a practice that preserves the wood without significantly altering its color, and lets you enjoy the characteristics—and quirks—of wood. Or you could opt to leave the fence as is, and let it weather to a silvery gray over the years.
3. Wood Is Vulnerable
When you install a fence, you’re looking for it to last for a long time. Of all the fencing materials available today, wood is usually considered the most vulnerable. Even with how strong wood can be in various applications, wood fences can be damaged by weather, including UV exposure. Wood can have a tendency to warp and splinter, which can mean having to replace sections that come loose.
To offset the natural deterioration of wood over time, it will need to be treated about every three years. Whichever method you choose, this protective layer will repel water, pests, and mold. With regular staining or painting, the wood fence will last for many years. However, this can be a laborious and potentially expensive process. Even regular treatments may not do anything to prevent warping as the wood dries.
Why Wood Is Being Replaced By Vinyl
Even for purists who insist on a natural product, wood is becoming prohibitively expensive. This is due to the decreasing availability, post-pandemic supply chain disruptions, as well as the cost of transporting such a heavy material.
Vinyl has been taking up the mantle of gorgeous fences for a few decades now and has become the fencing material of choice for countless homeowners. Vinyl has proven to be even more versatile than wood, taking on all the forms of wood fences and even some types of metal fences. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and virtually maintenance-free. Once it’s installed, a vinyl fence will stay in the same condition for many years.
Most notably, vinyl is attractive. Vinyl fencing is inspired by the beautiful hues and grain texture of wood during the molding process. Vinyl has also been stress tested and proven to be five times stronger than typical fencing wood. With a straightforward installation, you’ll see why vinyl is becoming the fence of choice for many homeowners.
Related: Wood Fence or Vinyl Fence? Which Material Is Best for a Union County, NJ, Backyard?