Composite Vs. Wood Fence


Many people like the look and feel of wood. Many of those same people dislike the work of keeping the look and feel of wood pristine. If you are one of those people then you may want to consider a composite fence. Composite fencing offers the same look and feel of many wood varieties including cedar, pine, walnut and redwood. As with anything, there are pros and cons to both.

Installation Costs

  • Your initial budget will play a major factor in the fence choice you make. You can expect wood fences to cost approximately $15 per foot for a six foot fence. The cost of composite wood fences range from $20 to $25 per foot for the same six foot privacy fence. When it comes to labor, the same amount of time is required for both composite and wood, although composite fencing can be purchased in pre-fabricated sheets which will lessen installation time and labor costs.

Maintaining Wood

  • Wood is taken from a living tree and processed. If you don't take care of the wood, there is no way to stop the natural decomposing process. In order to do this, you should expect to treat the wood for insects, particularly termites. You will also need to replace or repair rotted areas. You must paint and stain wood with a finish that can withstand the elements. This is something that must be done annually (or more frequently in harsher weather climates) to preserve your fence. Expect to pay approximately $20 per foot of wood to maintain it.

Maintaining Composite

  • The great thing about composite is that you don't need to take care of it aside from hosing it down or using a mild detergent on it. Many people like that most composite fences have a warranty for twenty years or more. They are weather resistant and are not afflicted by insect populations. Water or a high powered washer will get most of the dirt off. A cleanser can be used to remove mold or barbecue smoke stains. .

Carbon Imprint

  • Many people like the fact that wood is a renewable resource that can last for years with proper care. This reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to create composite fences. While cutting more trees down is not ideal, neither is using more energy and chemical to create something that is not biodegradable.


  • Composite fences were created because many people like the look and feel of wood but were opting for vinyl that had more durability with less work. Because composite has the ability to mimic many types of wood, you can achieve almost any look you want. However, this does not allow you to alter that look over time. Real wood can be painted or given a different finish that is either lighter or darker. For someone whose tastes may change over time, wood may be the better alternative.

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