Vinyl Picket Fencing Cost and Durability

Answered by Brett ~ August 30, 2010 ~ Comments

What is the long-term comparative cost of vinyl picket fencing versus wood fencing for our Worcester, Massachusetts, front yard? Which will be more durable?

Summer ~ Worcester, Massachusetts

Brett Kulina

Thanks for the question Summer. Undoubtedly, a vinyl fence is going to last longer than one made from wood, because vinyl does not rot, nor does it need to be repainted or maintained. Of course, a vinyl fence will cost more than a wood fence initially, but if you figure the long term maintenance costs of wood fencing then the comparison gets closer.

The material cost for a 6-foot section of 48"-high vinyl fencing, which would include 2 posts, 2 horizontal supports, and the pickets, would be approximately $85-$100. A similar section of cedar wood fencing would be about $50-$65. When installing vinyl fencing, the fence posts should be set into concrete filled holes, and this does add to the cost of the installation. When installing pressure treated wood posts, opinions vary greatly on whether or not to use concrete. Many contractors opt to use longer posts and dig deeper holes, in order to avoid setting the fence posts in concrete, which can facilitate rot. I like to to dig deep holes and set the posts on precast concrete blocks with metal connecting brackets. This way I know the posts won't settle, and I don't have to worry about the concrete rotting the bottom of the fence post.

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