Fences need to be constructed from sturdy materials as they are not only an integral part of garden structures, but they also need to be able to stand the test of time. Wooden fences have been a traditional favourite of homeowners for years, due to their easy availability and durability for a number of years. However, plastic fencing is soon becoming a firm favourite for homeowners across the country.
If you are planning to install a fence in your property, chances are that you will end up choosing between wood and plastic. Here we’ve put together a comparison guide to help you get a better idea of which material to choose.
It goes without saying that a fence needs to be durable, and also capable of withstanding the elements without showing too much strain. In terms of durability, both wood and plastic are worthy contenders, but plastic has the slight edge over wood.
Wood is of course capable of lasting for decades, however that’s only possible if you maintain it properly. Wooden fences will require a fresh coat of paint, sealant and other treatments in order to protect it from rot and other conditions that can affect wooden products.
Plastic however does not require any chemicals or products to protect it from the elements as it is naturally durable. Plastic fences can last for years, even if you put little effort into its maintenance.
The cost is one of the first things you will look into when selecting an appropriate garden fence. Despite the wide range in plastic and wooden fences, wood is generally cheaper than plastic – but that is just the upfront and initial costs.
Since plastic fences require less maintenance, you will spend next to nothing on them in the long run. Wooden fences however will require a regular application of products every few years which will increase the overall cost.
As such, although plastic is more expensive to begin with, it will be a cost-effective choice down the line.
It’s no secret that wooden fences require a lot of maintenance. They need to be sealed, painted and treated every few years to protect them from rot, pests and other conditions. Insects can easily destroy wooden fence panels if the wood is left untreated, so maintaining wood fences is labour-intensive and expensive.
Plastic fences require very little maintenance. In fact, the most you will need to do is invest in a pressure hose. As plastic fences have a completely smooth surface, any dirt, grime or moss that accumulates can easily be washed off with water and a good scrub.
Wooden fences and plastic fences will require repairs from time to time. A wooden fence with damaged planks or is suffering from warp will need to have the boards replaced. This will ensure that the fence retains its structure.
Plastic fencing however can be more difficult to repair. Usually an entire section will need to be replaced, and this can cause an issue.
This is one aspect where plastic falls behind wood. It is extremely easy to paint wooden fences, as they can be left with just a coat of sealant which gives your fence a completely natural appearance. Wooden fences can also be given makeovers as and when you feel like it with a simple coat of paint.
This was not possible with plastic fencing until recently. Plastic used to come in a more limited range of colours and patterns, compared to wood.
In a nutshell, plastic fences are a better choice for the majority of households. Plastic is more durable, requires less maintenance and has a lower long-term cost. Although it fails in terms of repair and appearance, they are not major issues to overcome.