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Vinyl Vs. Wood—Which Fencing Material Makes More Sense For Privacy Concerns?

There are many reasons to build a fence around your yard. Fences can add beauty to your landscape, help delineate property lines, and serve as a barrier to keep pets in and unwanted animals out. However, privacy is a particularly common reason for erecting a residential fence. Increasing the privacy of your yard can offer numerous benefits, but which material makes the most sense for this purpose? 

Wood and vinyl are two common choices for homeowners looking to increase the privacy of their yards. The best choice for your needs will depend on your budget and your goals. However, these three questions can help guide you in the correct direction so that you can choose the best fence for your family's needs.

1. What's Your Budget?

A vinyl fence will typically cost more than an equivalent wood fence, at least when looking at upfront installation costs. Fencing costs will vary based on style, height, and other factors, but you can expect to spend at least $5 more per foot to install a vinyl fence instead of a wood fence. More premium vinyl products or taller fences can further widen this gap.

When privacy is your primary concern, a low vinyl fence with relatively widely spaced pickets will likely not be suitable. As a result, you can expect a vinyl privacy fence to be somewhat costlier than a decorative vinyl fence with a lower height and more widely spaced pickets. If staying within a tight budget is an issue, you may be able to get a similar amount of privacy from a lower-cost wood fence.

2. Are You Willing to Perform Maintenance?

A longer-lasting fence will be cheaper in the long run. While vinyl will cost more upfront, it is durable and requires little maintenance. On the other hand, wood is a more maintenance-intensive material that won't last as long if poorly treated.

Of course, a decaying fence doesn't offer much privacy, and constant repairs can eat into your savings from a lower installation cost. When choosing wood for your privacy fence, ensure you are willing to commit the time and effort necessary to maintain it. Vinyl may be a better long-term option if you'd prefer a fence that doesn't require much more than occasional cleanings.

3. How Much Privacy Do You Need?

The good news is that wood and vinyl can both offer as much privacy as you need for your home. Tall, luxury vinyl and wooden fences can block normal sight lines into your yard while providing a classy, upscale appearance. Options such as decorative top rails and lattice designs can also enhance the appearance of these fences without compromising their ability to keep your yard private.

While cost, maintenance, and installation difficulties can be concerns when choosing between wood and vinyl, privacy doesn't need to be. Both materials can be excellent options for keeping your yard beautiful and private.

Contact a local fence installation contractor to learn more.