Jun 7, 2023

Outdoor Living

Fence Off: Wood vs Vinyl

The great fence debate has begun! Which type of fence is right for you?

Whether you’re trying to keep pets safely in or passersby politely out, your fence has a big job to do. It's also got to look good while doing it.  

There are many fence materials and styles to choose from, but two of the most popular options are wood and vinyl. In Alberta, these options have their own set of pros and cons.  

Selecting the right one for your property can sometimes be a tricky decision. So, let’s explore the differences between wood and vinyl fencing and how to make the right selection for your needs.  

Wooden fencing  

Wood fencing is a classic choice for a lot of homeowners. It's a versatile material that can create a wide variety of fence styles, from traditional picket fences to sturdy privacy fences.  

Wood fencing can also be relatively affordable. With this type of fence, you can customize with stain or paint. Matching the aesthetic of your property, decking and other structures can help boost curb appeal!  

There's a drawback though: Wood fencing needs more maintenance than other materials. In Alberta, our harsh weather conditions can cause wood to warp, rot, and even decay over time. To keep your wood fence looking its best, you'll need to regularly clean and stain or paint it. Additionally, wood fencing is susceptible to insect damage, particularly from termites — pesky little buggers!

Vinyl fencing  

Vinyl fencing is a more contemporary option. It's gained popularity in recent years for several reasons.  

Unlike wood, vinyl doesn't warp, rot, or decay over time.  

This resilience makes it an great choice for homeowners who face adverse weather conditions. Vinyl fencing is super durable and can withstand extreme temperatures. If your property gets harsh winters or high winds, vinyl is an ideal choice.  

Another great benefit of vinyl fencing is that it requires very little maintenance. Unlike wood, vinyl doesn't need to be painted or stained. Instead, you can simply clean it with soap and water to keep it looking its best. Vinyl fencing is also resistant to insects, so you don't have to worry about termite damage.  

Wood vs. vinyl fencing: Which is right for you?  

So by now, you might be thinking that vinyl is a clear winner, but wood has its perks too! When deciding between wood and vinyl fencing, there are a few factors to consider.  

Here are some things our Rümi experts want you to keep in mind:  

1. Cost  

Wood fencing is generally less expensive than vinyl fencing. But with the price of lumber on the rise, the price can range based on the type of wood you choose. For example, cedar is more expensive than pine.  

Vinyl fencing is more expensive upfront, but requires less maintenance over time. Going vinyl can save you money in the long run.  

2. Maintenance  

Wood fencing needs more maintenance than vinyl fencing. If you have a wooden fence, you'll need to do regular cleaning and staining to keep it looking good.  

Don't have the time or inclination to show your wood fencing some TLC? Vinyl may be a better choice for you. If you prefer the look of a stained or painted wood fence, the extra maintenance might be worth the effort. Wood fences may also be easier to fix, as they can usually be repaired plank-by-plank if it gets damaged.  

Different types of fences have different maintenance needs. Consider the amount of time, effort and money you have to invest in your fencing before you go all-in.  

3. Durability  

Vinyl fencing is more durable than wood fencing, particularly in harsh weather conditions. We get a lot of that here in Alberta!  

With extreme temperatures and high winds, vinyl may be a better choice for your property. This is especially true if you’re not located in a dense neighbourhood.  

Our vinyl fences are made of Polyvinyl Chloride, a plastic with the lowest petroleum content available and a 20-year life cycle. And at Rümi, our vinyl products are ribbed rather than hollow for increased durability and reduced bending and breakage. But that doesn’t mean wood isn't up to the task! Most wood fences can also last upwards of 20 years with the right maintenance and care.  

4. Aesthetic  

Both wood and vinyl fencing can be customized to match the look of your property. Wood can be stained or painted to match the colours of your home. Vinyl comes in a variety of colours and textures and finishes.  

Wood fencing offers a natural and rustic charm, giving you a timeless, traditional look. The warm tones and natural grain patterns of wood add a touch of elegance to your property. With wood, you can also re-paint your fence a new colour every summer — if that’s how you roll!  

On the other hand, vinyl fencing provides a clean and contemporary appearance. The disadvantage of vinyl fencing will be felt hardest by those who like to change it up more frequently.  

We recommend you hit your local hardware store and check out some samples. Consider which material will best complement the look and feel of your property.  

5. Privacy & security  

You should also consider fence privacy and security before you buy new fencing for your property.  

Wood fences give you excellent privacy, with solid construction and a lack of gaps. They create a physical barrier, preventing outsiders from easily seeing into your property. They also offer a slight sound buffer from outside noise.  

Vinyl fences, while also providing privacy, sometimes have more gaps between the slats, depending on the style. Remember, you can customize vinyl fencing with lattice panels or decorative inserts to enhance privacy and security. Consider the level of privacy you need to make the right choice for your home and family.

6. Environmental impact  

While wood is a renewable resource, harvesting it can have a negative impact on the environment. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of your fencing materials, vinyl may be a better choice. Vinyl is made from a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is recyclable.  

Selecting the right fencing material for your property in Alberta requires careful consideration of several factors. Wood and vinyl fencing each offer different pros and cons. From aesthetics to durability, maintenance requirements to environmental impact, choose the type of fence that works for you.  

We’ll help you find the right type of fence

Our Rümi experts can help you in the process by assessing your property's specific needs, your preferences, and budget. Find peace of mind in making an informed decision that balances aesthetics, functionality, and long-term value!