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Leading factors people consider when choosing fence materials include aesthetics, durability and cost. Each type of material will have its advantages and, of course, downsides, too. Let’s look at three leading fence materials to see which might be best for your new fence.
Cedar
Cedar is the top choice of many of our customers. And no wonder! It’s beautiful, durable and contains inherent acids and natural oils that repulse insects. Cedar warps less than many other types of wood. The University of Minnesota Extension rates Western and Eastern red cedar as highly durable. An untreated fence made from Eastern red cedar could last 30 years. Northern white cedar might last half that long.

cedar deck stain fence materials
Cedar deck stain (Wikimedia Commons/Opwdecks)

Cedar’s main drawback is cost: It’s more expensive than spruce or composite. But if you can afford the cost of cedar, you’ll have a beautiful and long-lasting fence.
Like other woods, you can expect cedar to change color with age. It may start out a deep red and slowly fade to silvery gray.
Spruce
Spruce is a good choice if you want a wood fence but are on a budget. This wood starts out light gray and darkens with age. Since it starts out so light, it takes paint well if you prefer a painted fence.
However, spruce is less durable than cedar, and tends to warp. This is especially a concern for people living in damp climates. Insects find spruce more alluring than cedar, which means the owner of a spruce fence may face an infestation.
If you choose spruce, be sure to treat it with a good sealant. This will increase the longevity of your fence.
Composites

The world of composite fencing may bewilder you. This engineered wood product comes in a huge number of variations.
Composite is not strictly wood. It’s made of recycled plastics, fibers, wood products and binding agents. When you think about it, composite is the most environmentally friendly option. Since up to 95 percent of the materials in composite fencing are recycled, you’re helping to keep them out of the landfill.
Composite looks more like wood than vinyl fencing does. Like vinyl, it is low maintenance. No need to stain or paint composite. Just apply a mild detergent and spray it with the hose every now and then. Composite comes in a variety of colors and textures. It’s durable and backed up with a warranty.
All this durability and low maintenance doesn’t come cheap. But when you figure that a composite fence can stand up to high winds and rain – in fact, this fence might outlast you — you might decide it’s worth the investment.
At Buzz Custom Fence, we like happy customers. Stop by and we’ll show you the difference between spruce, composite and cedar. We can also refer you to projects around Dallas and Fort Worth so you can see for yourself how these materials look on a finished fence. Call us today and together we’ll unravel the cedar-spruce-composite quandary.