Vinyl fencing presents an easier-to-maintain alternative to wood fencing

You’ve heard that wood fences are great for looks and vinyl fences are great for maintenance. Both are similar in your wallet, with vinyl coming in a bit lower than cheap wood. So how do you choose?

Wooden fences, no matter how well treated, will tend to deteriorate. If left in its natural state it will need cleaning and if painted it will need touch-ups every few years. If you don’t have a Tom Sawyer gang to launder, you’ll need to factor this into your total cost of ownership. Vinyl fences have a longer lifespan without the need for maintenance. This is especially good if you are installing a vinyl picket fence. Pickets make a fence difficult to paint or clean! You have multiple colors to choose from in vinyl. Vinyl fences can usually be pressure washed and won’t succumb to the elements or bugs. There are no termites that have developed a taste for vinyl!

Installing vinyl fences is also a bit easier than installing wood fences. Both wood and vinyl fences can be made by yourself or installed by a contractor. Vinyl fences are lighter and also softer. It has a straight design, so getting a flush installation is easier than when dealing with the natural variations found in wood.

Before installing any fence, be sure to check the local building code. Do you need a permit? Are there any special requirements for fencing? Are there any underground utilities that I should avoid? Do you want the posts to be concrete? Once those questions are answered, you can continue with the installation checklist. Do you have the right tool to dig the holes? Do you have a plumb line to ensure a straight fence and a level to ensure the height is consistent?

Once you get started on your vinyl fence, have a timeline for completing it. Good fences make good neighbors and no one likes living with or next to a constant construction zone. Unless you live in the south, you’ll install during the spring to fall period (the ground isn’t frozen), so you’ll have more daylight hours for your work. Try to pick some days when the weather is nice. Digging holes in the pouring rain is difficult and getting a straight/level fence is next to impossible. First mark the outline of the fence and the holes for the posts. Next, dig post holes and test a few sections to see if they line up. You’ll want to do this especially if you plan on setting the posts with concrete!

Take pictures along the way. They’re a good way to document your compliance with local ordinances and an easy way to share your home improvements with out-of-town friends and family. Your new vinyl fence is an investment, but it will pay off in looks and functionality. You will enjoy a fenced yard for you, the kids and your pets and it will be a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.

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