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Vinyl vs Wood Fence: Choose the Best Material

Vinyl vs Wood Fence: Choose the Best Material

Vinyl vs wood fence: Which is better for you? This is a very popular question we hear every week from homeowners like you that are looking to beautify their homes while adding an extra layer of safety for their loved ones and pets. Since you want to install a fence that makes sense, financially speaking, today, we’ll settle the wood vs vinyl fence debate once and for all.

Vinyl vs Wood Fence: Which Is the One You Need?

Vinyl vs Wood Fence: 9 Defining Comparisons

  1. Premium vinyl fences will outlast wood by 10 years.
  2. Vinyl costs more upfront, but maintaining wood is pricey.
  3. Vinyl requires little maintenance upkeep.
  4. Termites don’t eat vinyl.
  5. Vinyl panels are water-resistant.
  6. Vinyl is recyclable; thus, eco-friendly.
  7. Wood is more aesthetically pleasing.
  8. Wood can be refinished.
  9. Repairing wood is easier than vinyl.

1. Premium Vinyl Fences Will Outlast Wood By 10 Years

One of the best things about vinyl fences is that they will outlast wood by 10 years. When properly maintained, a premium vinyl fence can last around 30 years.

And you’ll have to do an exceptional upkeep job with a well-built wood fence (replacing individual boards as needed) so that it can reach 20 years. This is ⅔ of the life of vinyl fences.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

2. Vinyl Costs More Upfront, But Maintaining Wood Is Pricey

Installing vinyl as your privacy fence is more expensive than wood.

  • Natural wood fencing will vary in costs from about $14 to $24 per linear foot installed.
  • Vinyl picket fencing will vary in costs from about $20 to $34 per linear foot installed.

A vinyl fence does a great job mimicking wood. And the “fake” version in this case is more expensive than the real thing, wood.

Yep. That’s right.

When comparing the vinyl fence cost vs wood, installing vinyl has a higher upfront price. But in the long run, maintaining wood becomes more expensive than a vinyl fence.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

3. Vinyl Requires Little Maintenance Upkeep

Vinyl Requires Little Maintenance Upkeep

The little maintenance of vinyl is one of the best advantages of this type of fence. So, the higher price tag of a vinyl fence will pay off in the long run because vinyl requires no additional maintenance upkeep other than occasionally hosing off dirt on the fence.

On the other hand, wood fencing requires regular cleaning, staining, and replacement of wood panels to keep it looking appealing. So, in the long run, the cost of maintaining wood is higher than the upfront cost of installing a vinyl fence.

During the first year, a wood fence will need staining, which means an additional cost of $1,200. But in the following years, you will also need to regularly check for insect damage, decay, and rot, especially where your fence posts meet the ground.

So, keep all of these in mind before buying a new wood fence.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

4. Termites Don’t Eat Vinyl

Insects are the main weakness of wood. And guess what??? Termites don’t eat vinyl. Need I say more? Well here in this case, vinyl is the clear winner.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

5. Vinyl Panels Are Water-Resistant

Vinyl Fence Installation in Brooklyn, NY

The second biggest weakness of wood is water. And for these two reasons, as unbelievable as it sounds, the real thing “wood” will never outperform the fake thing “vinyl.”

Being an organic material, wood rots due to water. And if homeowners don’t stay on top of its maintenance, wood will decay at a faster rate, shortening its lifespan and making it hard to last 20 years. In fact, only exceptionally well-maintained fences make it this far.

In the case of vinyl panels, water slides down and it will never penetrate the vinyl planks because they are impermeable. In other words, vinyl is water-resistant, which makes it the ideal fencing material for you.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

6. Vinyl Is Recyclable; Thus, Eco-Friendly

It looks like we are promoting vinyl. But that’s such an unfair assumption.

What happens is that vinyl looks unstoppable, winning all rounds so far against wood. Tell us, what else can we do?

So, in this case, both materials can be recycled. But in not all instances. For instance, when a wood fence is rotted, it is not possible to recycle wood planks or posts.

On the contrary, vinyl panels are recyclable. You may not need to send the scraps to the landfill after you decide to change your fencing.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

7. Wood Is More Aesthetically Pleasing

Wood Grain in Fences Offers Natural Beauty

It may sound mind blowing that a man-made fence material will beat the iconic wood fence.

Is this a knockout?

When it comes to aesthetics, the fake “vinyl” panels will never look as wonderful, pleasing, and classic as a wood picket fence.

Wood is beautiful. It took years and divine touch to achieve the design of wood grains and patterns. So, a man-made material like vinyl is short from matching the natural beauty of wood.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

8. Wood Can Be Refinished

Man Staining a Wood Fence for a Better Look

Are you taking the time to pick the right color of your vinyl fence?

You should!

Vinyl cannot be painted or stained, so once you choose a color and style for your vinyl fence, that’s what it will look like for its life.

If you are not sure about the color of your fence, you’ll be so much better off choosing wood. So, one of the greatest advantages of installing a wood fence is that you can paint it or stain it to suit your taste as time goes on.

If you no longer like the color of your wood fence, you can change it with a snap of your fingers. Well, this is not a Marvel movie. But what I mean is that as your taste changes, you can also change the color of your fence to match your style.

Winner: Vinyl Fence

9. Repairing Wood Is Easier Than Vinyl

Fence Installation in Howard Beach, Queens

Repairing a vinyl fence is harder than fixing a wood fence. When vinyl is damaged by extreme weather, you’ll need to call a pro because it’s intricate to repair. And when the damage is substantial and you need to replace the whole panel, it can be challenging to find the same fence style or impossible to find if the design has been discontinued.

Wood might be susceptible to rotting, termites, warping, etc., but if a wood board breaks, it will be easy to find a replacing piece to match perfectly. And if you are an accomplished DIYer, it will be easier for you to fix the wood fence without calling a fence contractor.

Winner: Vinyl Fence


As much as we love wood fences for their natural beauty, vinyl fences got the upper hand in this dilemma. We compared vinyl vs wood fences in 9 categories, and vinyl won 6 of them. So, it is safe to say that vinyl is a clear winner. Now that you know which fence type is a better option, it’s time to hire the right fence contractor to make a perfect vinyl fence installation to add privacy, beauty, and protection to your house.