If you have decided that you would like a wooden fence installed on your property, you may be trying to decide between the two most popular wooden fence materials, pressure-treated pine and cedar. Learn more about the pros and cons of each choice below from our Cape Fear fence contractors.
Pine fences are a very popular fencing choice, primarily because of their affordability. Most of the pine used to build fences is Southern yellow pine that has been treated with chemical preservatives to prevent weather and insect damage and rot. Pressure-treated pine fences typically cost anywhere from about $10 to $25 per linear foot, including fence installation costs. That means that if you need 150 linear feet of fencing–the average for a typical residential backyard–a pine fence will run you anywhere from $1,500 to $3,750.
Pine is also more durable than cedar when it is exposed to soil, making it a better material for fence posts. Because of this, many cedar fences have posts that are made of pressure-treated pine and boards made of cedar.
One minor drawback of pressure-treated pine is its appearance. The chemical process used to enhance pine’s durability causes a greenish tint that is often considered unsightly, though this will fade over time, and can be hidden with paint or stain. Pressure-treated pine is also more susceptible to warping, buckling, twisting, and shrinking, and more susceptible to insect damage than cedar.
Finally, pressure-treated pine can start to look weathered in just a few short years, particularly without proper fence maintenance. Although they are cheaper up-front, pressure-treated pine fences tend to last about 15 years or less — about half the time of cedar fences.
Cedar is a beautiful, high-quality wood that is easily recognizable for its pleasant smell and rich, reddish-brown color. The wood contains natural preservatives, so it does not require any type of chemical treatment. Cedar is popular for its distinct grain pattern and color, as well as its durability. It will usually last longer and hold up better against insects, mold, weather, and rot than pine fencing. With proper fence maintenance, cedar fencing is known to last 30 years or more.
Cedar is significantly more expensive than pressure-treated pine. Cedar fences typically cost about $15 to $30 per linear foot, including installation. For a fence spanning 150 linear feet, that works out to $2,250-$4,500. Small picket fences fall on the low end of that price range, while tall privacy fences fall on the high end.
Also, while cedar fences require less maintenance than those made of pressure-treated pine, they still need to be cleaned, repaired, and inspected every so often. If you want your fence to be as low-maintenance as possible, you might want to investigate getting a vinyl or metal fence.
If you’re considering installing a wooden fence in your Oak Island, Leland, Boiling Springs Lakes, Southport, Holden Beach, or Ocean Isle home, just call Cape Fear Fence to schedule a free project estimate. We’ll be happy to help you decide which wooden fence type is best for you!