Hello. I'm looking to replace the fence at my home, and have several
options to think about if having it installed by a professional. I prefer
hiring a professional, mostly because I want it done right, plus I have
existing fence material to be removed, and I don't want to deal with having
it hauled off.
The existing fence permeter size is 315', and is 6' tall, with a double-door
gate and a single-door gate. I only need the single-door gate when it's
replaced. My first quote is from a large company, and it amounted to ~$30
per foot for pressure-treated vertical board 6' tall.
My choice (if I had all the money I wanted to spend on this) I think would
be composite, but is that better than vinyl, the same or just different
depending on taste? What are the pros and cons to each of these choices,
including how it stands up with time vs. pressure treated lumber?
First of all, treated fencing would be my last choice for a
fence material. Although one would think that treated would
last longest, it does not make for a pretty fence. Treated
tends to warp and twist much more than other lumber. It may
look good at first, but you will soon see warped and bowed
pickets that will have to be replaced. You can minimize this
by going with 3 or even 4 rails instead of two, but you can
still expect to see a few warps bad enough to need replacing.
The warping tendency is so great that I would also recommend
screws instead of nails for a treated fence. In fact, I
prefer screws for any type of fencing, but you have to pay for
the extra material and labor.
That said, cedar or redwood would be a better material as it
is more stable and lasts a long time. Composite would be
better still, but be prepared for sticker shock. Composite
usually runs from 2 to 3 times as much as cedar. Vinyl would
probably be OK, but it, too is expensive. I just don't really
like the look and feel of vinyl, but that is a matter of taste.
I pretty much concur w/ Mr Allison on the aspects. I'll note that the
vinyl I've seen here in a hot climate have tended to hold color better
than I initially expected (whitew haven't yellowed much) but they all,
I think, have sagged between posts and otherwise shown signs of the
flexibility of vinyl with time. Whether they would hold up
better/longer in a more benign environment I can't say.
I'd caution about not retaining a wide entrance at least somewhere
through the fence, though -- you never know what need might eventually
arise. Even if one side is essentially never used, it's a whole lot
simpler when, say, the A/C or pool or roofing or whatever guys need
something just a little bigger than the one gate opening in/out to have
it able to be opened...
I've not seen any of the other composites as fencing for a long enough
time as yet to judge, but as Bob says, if you price it, be prepared to
make even the vinyl look inexpensive.
We just re-did the one around the church parsonage a weekend or so ago
-- went back w/ the dog-ear cedar pickets. The previous had lasted
probably nearly 40 years. Was even able to reuse a significant
fraction of the stringers which were also cedar except the bottom one
which had more damage from the sprinkler system, apparently, so the
longevity is quite satisfactory imo.
Vinyl around here (NY) goes for around 90 -100 per section. I bought
my own stuff and installed it to save a few bucks. Turned out ok. I
would NOT recommend using the Home Depot or Lowes stuff. Its crap.
The newer vinyl fences have metal supports of the
bottom rail to prevent sagging. So far so good but was a pain in the
*ss to install.
I'm guessing you are simply removing the sections and keeping the
posts. If not, I would suggest cementing the posts. A lot of people do
not cement. Cement helps keep the wood posts from rotting and if you
are in Florida - Hurricane Proof. Kidding about that, but seriously we
had a fence up for 20 years and the sections fell down a couple times,
but the posts that were cemented never did. We put them in about 32
inches for a 4x4x8 post using an auger.
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