Is Vinyl Fencing Better Than Wood?

Vinyl fence is better than wood fence for several reasons. 

- Durability

- Easy to install

- Low maintenance

- No rot

- Variety

The biggest advantage vinyl fences have over wood is its durability, and its lack of maintenance needed. They stand up to extreme weather like rain and wind exceptionally well, as well as other more minor things like salt near an ocean or UV rays from strong sunlight. The plastic in the fences may bend or warp in areas with temperatures commonly over 100 degrees, but that is not a worry for most consumers. 

Vinyl fencing is so easy to install that many homeowners choose to install it themselves rather than hiring a professional service, something that you certainly cannot get from a wood fence. A vinyl fence comes as a collection of rails and posts, which fit neatly into each other. All you have to do is measure out even intervals between posts and fixing them vertically in the ground. Then you can just snap in the rails like a big lego set. 

And then, once installed, you can pretty much leave it be. Most marks can be washed off with a hose, while some more stubborn stains or moss might require scrubbing with soapy water. You can easily maintain your plastic fence with stuff from around the house, as opposed to wooden fences, which require costly staining year after year. PVC does not rust like chain link or wrought iron fences.

Homeadvisor estimates the 2020 cost to stain a fence at $750-$4,250, with a range for the size of the fence, the quality of the stain, and the cost of professional application. I wouldn’t want to have to spend anywhere in that range to treat my fence, especially if I have to repeat over its lifetime. Vinyl may cost somewhat more to buy initially, but clearly that difference is made up over time.

Vinyl fencing is also much easier to manage, besides staining and installation, because they do not rot or attract pests. Ask anyone who has a fence that rotted or was attacked by termites--it’s an expensive and unpleasant experience. But besides pests like carpenter ants and termites, wood is also susceptible to developing splits and breaks just from standing outside in the elements. Temperature and moisture changes will exacerbate the decay. And these smaller cracks turn larger and larger, still exposed to the elements that made the cracks, which significantly compromises the structural integrity of the fence. You will not have to worry about your PVC fence breaking down just from existing outside without proper care like a wood fence might. 

Vinyl fences offer a huge amount of variety for your yard. They make great privacy fences, or picket fences, or pool fences, and you can get them in any color you could want. There are options for different wood imitations, so you can get a fence that looks like wood and stands up like vinyl. 

So, vinyl can look like wood, stand up better than wood, and cost less to maintain over time. It seems like a no brainer to upgrade to a PVC fence.