Residential Fencing - Vinyl Versus Wood

While wood fencing has been in use for centuries, it has a fierce competitor in the newer vinyl fencing. Many homeowners are now opting for this newer alternative. If you're unsure which type of fencing would be best for your purposes, it can help to compare these two options so you better understand the pros and cons of each.


This is one of the factors that homeowners are typically most concerned with when purchasing fencing. The initial cost for wood fencing ranges from about $10 per foot to about $30 per foot installed. Adding special decorative features increases the cost, as does the need to remove any old fencing that might already be in place. Residential vinyl fencing is a bit more expensive, typically running between $25 and $40 per foot installed. People who know what they're doing can save up to half of the cost by installing the fence themselves. Vinyl fencing is more difficult to do this with than wood, however, as it usually uses special crimping tools and brackets and the posts need to be reinforced with stiffeners made of metal or concrete. Wood fencing can be installed using more commonly available tools and brackets, making it easier for a skilled do-it-yourselfer to handle. Don't attempt this type of project if you're not very handy, however, as you may wind up with a fence that isn't sturdy and have to spend even more money having it fixed.


Keep in mind that it may be worth the extra cost of installing residential vinyl fencing because it's more durable than wood fencing. It lasts longer and isn't affected by rot, pests, mold or fungus. Wood fencing usually only lasts about 20 years, but vinyl fencing may last twice this long. Pressure treating the wood will help it last longer, but it will still need to be repainted or stained every few years. Vinyl fencing doesn't require repainting.


There are quite a few different styles available in vinyl fencing, and it comes in a variety of colors. However, many people prefer the look of wood rather than plastic. Wood fencing can also be painted many more colors than those that residential vinyl fencing is available in.

Environmental Effect

Those concerned with being environmentally-friendly will most likely want to opt for either a wood or a composite fence, as vinyl fencing isn't considered environmentally-friendly. It isn't usually possible to recycle this type of fence, and, like all plastics, some toxins are produced during the process of manufacturing the fence.

For more information, contact Alpine Fencing & Supplies or a similar company.