Pressure treated privacy fencing question

My wife and I are going to have about 160 ft. of privacy fencing installed. We are aware that the PVC fencing will last a lifetime, but the cost is about $109 for a 6ft. length compared to $32 for an 8ft length of pressure treated wood. We don't want to spend the extra $ for the PVC. The PVC is tempting, since neither my wife or myself are handy with home improvements. So my question is, if we do not paint the pressure treated wood fencing, or urethane coat it, or put any type of coating on it, how long can I expect it to remain decent looking? Or without some type of coating, will it deteriorate rapidly?
-Thanks
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No paint, stain. It can hold up for many years, but will start looking crappy in just a couple with no stain on it. I agree that $3000 more for the PVC is a chunk of change, but how long do you plan to live there? How important is good appearance to you? How much will it cost to have the PT fence stained every few years?
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Also, expect a lot of cracks in PT wood that you won't get with PVC. Doesn't affect durability but will affect looks.
Red
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somebody wrote:

If you must use PT fencing, then I have a few recommendations for you. Instead of the standard 2 rail system, use at least 3 rails and preferably 4. This is because PT fence pickets will warp and twist so badly that the fence will look horrible after six months or so, unless you take steps to restrain the twisting and warping with the extra rails. Even then, there will be some pickets that become so bad that they must be replaced, so order some extra and keep them in the expectation of having to replace a few. Use screws for the installation instead of nails if you can afford it.
Having said that, penetrating stain is the only way to go. Leaving the PT pickets natural, they will turn gray after about 6 months. With a penetrating stain, they will retain the stained coloring much longer, but will have to be restained every 2 years or so.
My recommendation would be to use cedar, redwood, or even cypress pickets. (You would have to make the cypress pickets out of stock lumber.) The cedar is naturally resistant to natural forces, looks better and does not warp or twist as the PT pickets will. The extra cost of the cedar can be offset by the reduced cost of the extra rails for the PT.
The cedar will also turn gray, unless you use a sealer on it. If you use a clear penetrating sealer or an opaque sealer, it will maintain its color for far longer. You will also not have to replace any warped/twisted pickets.
Redwood will be more expensive, and has the same discoloration (graying) as cedar, so treat it as the cedar above.
Cypress makes a very pretty fence, but warps and twists more than the cedar or redwood. It also must be sealed to prevent graying. Cypress, lasts a VERY long time and would significantly increase the life of the fence.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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somebody wrote:

It will look decent, with no coating at all, for at least a decade - probably longer. In about a year the fence will develop a pleasing grey cast.
Hints: 1. Use screws, not nails. If you MUST use nails, use stainless. 2. If you're doing it yourself, buy the pickets and store them in a well-ventilated area, with plenty of air circulation, for a least a month. If put up "wet" when they dry they shrink showing gaps of up to 3/8" 3. Buy extra pickets (about 10%). Some will warp unbelievably during the drying process. These crooked boards can be returned (at least to HD) for full credit.
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