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horizontal red cedar fence

Choosing fence materials, colors and designs are just a part of finding the perfect fence to suit your security and aesthetic requirements. Two of the most important factors during your search for your perfect fence should be durability and longevity.

Although the style of your home, climate of your area and purpose of the fence play a large role in selecting the right fence material, it’s best to understand what differentiates one fence material from another so you can pick the highest quality fence for your needs.

Wood Fences

Horizontal Wooden Fence

The most commonly used wood types for fences are spruce, cedar and pine, so the longevity of your fence naturally depends on the type of wood it’s made from. Cedar may last for 15-30 years, spruce may last for 4-7 years and pine may last for 5-12 years.

Treated wood, however, increases this longevity: pine and spruce may last for 20 years and cedar may last up to 40 years. Keep in mind that one of the biggest culprits to diminishing your fence’s longevity is moisture. If one of your fence panels or pickets touches the ground, they’ll be affected by moisture, which can reduce the life by up to three years. You can avoid this by ensuring that the posts are treated or stained and have concrete or gravel filler in their post holes to keep out moisture.

Another thing to keep in mind with wood fences is the maintenance—you need to regularly maintain your fence to keep it from aging. Stain and paint your fence, then re-stain every two years and paint every four years.

Metal Fences

chain link park fence

Metal fences are the sturdy option that comes in three types: chain link, wrought iron or aluminum. Chain-link is the most inexpensive and long-lasting, although it does provide a more industrial look (not the best for those who want a more decorative aesthetic).

If you do seek a more decorative look and want a metal fence, opt for wrought iron. Wrought iron and aluminum fences combine beauty and strength and can be shaped into unique designs. You can also odd ornamental applications and other fence accessories for artistic embellishments while still enjoying the durability of a metal fence.

As far as maintenance goes, wrought-iron requires a rust-resistant finish every few years to avoid corrosion.

Vinyl Fences

White Vinyl Fences

Vinyl fences or PVC fences are quickly growing in popularity. They are durable and relatively maintenance-free—just hose it off with some water. While color options are limited, vinyl fences are available in a wide range of styles including picket, lattice, privacy, and even split-rail.

How Long Does a Vinyl Fence Last?

Vinyl fences require little maintenance and are highly durable which allows them to last for 20 or more years with proper care.

What Type of Fence Lasts the Longest?

Chain-link fences with a galvanized finish that doesn’t rust are the longest lasting fences. All other components of the fence are made of steel and are also galvanized, so there is relatively no maintenance. Even the American Fence Association agrees, finding that chain-link fences are economical and secure.

Chain link comes in a variety of vinyl-coated options aside from durability, chain-link fences can also be customizable without losing the homeowner’s visibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a fence last?
A well built and maintained fence should last for 15 to 20 years with proper care.

Does staining a fence make it last longer?
Yes. Staining a fence protects it against water damage, rot, insects and day to day wear and tear.

How long do fence posts last?
Fence posts, like your fence, should last for 15 to 20 years if properly installed and maintained.

When trying to decide the type of materials you want to use to build your fence, do your research or consult our professionals at Buzz Custom Fence to help you find the right fence for you!

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