Vinyl or Wood Fence and Patio Cover

lovetoshopJune 24, 2011

We currently have a 20 year old wood fence. We are about to gut our backyard and redo it and need to either have the fence repaired or get a new one. We will be sharing the cost with the neighbor on each side of us.


One of the fence guys we had out for a quote told us that the wood is in good condition and he could repair the fence for us. Currently the fence is only 5' which is really low so if we replaced it we would put in a 6' fence. Repairing would save a lot of money, but realistically how much longer will this fence last and with our brand new yard will the 5' wooden fence look dated? Also, we plan to put in hedges which will cover about half of the fence, so down the road when we do need to replace the fence will it wreck the hedges? Our share of the cost for repair and fresh paint: $1230 (total cost $2220)


Putting in a new 6' wood fence. Our share of the cost for a new wood fence including having it painted $2695 (total cost $4670)


Putting in a new tan colored vinyl 6' privacy fance. Our share would be $2960 (total cost $5049)

While I do like the look of both vinyl and painted wood, the vinyl looks really fresh and clean and had zero upkeep. For either new wood or vinyl the initial cost is really close so it then comes down to which we think would look better. My only worry with vinly is that when you knock on it, it has a plastic feel, but really how often do I knock on my fence :)

What do you all think and what is your experience with vinyl fencing?


The initial cost is about the same for both. Would you match the materials used for the fence?

Thank you!!

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My experience with vinyl fence is that it looks great for about 6 months. Then it starts to turn green and you have to pressure wash it every year. However, I'm in New England where humidity and rain are frequent occurences - probably not an issue in So Cal :)

I love wood b/c I love the way it ages. Ant the fact that if my wood fence gets damaged in 5 years I can get new wood the same size to fix it. After a couple years, it will look similar to the old wood. I'm not sure if vinyl fence parts will continue to be available and you can't really rip some vinyl down to the right width to fix a fence.

My last concern with vinyl is that it often gets brittle after it's been in the sun for a couple years. So if your yard (or your neighbor's yard) has kids who play ball, a vinyl fence will likely be chipped or have some chunks banged out of it over time.

On the plus side - termites & ants do not like Vinyl. If you want a white fence (not a wood fence that ages to gray/silver over time) then vinyl is a lot less work than wood. Pressure washing once a year is easier than scraping and painting every 4 years.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 8:01AM
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My personal opinion? If I'm gardening in the real world, I want a real wood fence, not fake vinyl, naturally coloured with stain, not paint. Furthermore, I would build it new rather than throw good money after bad by repairing something that isn't meeting your needs even now - sounds too much like false economy. If your new fence lasts 20 years like this one has, and your share of the cost of construction is $2695, that's less than $135/year. And I would try and see if I could re-purpose the good wood taken from the old fence, maybe as trellising for the top of your other new garden patio structure.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 2:36PM
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