Even with the introduction of vinyl and polymer fencing, wood fencing still remains the most popular choice among homeowners. Wood is classic, traditional, durable and attractive. It is also available in a variety of woods and finishes, making it incredibly versatile.
Wood fencing is typically constructed of the following materials:
· Cedar – Cedar is a popular choice for wood fencing, as it is both attractive and practical. It is naturally insect and rot resistant, and comes in a variety of shades.
Western Red Cedar is a beautiful, reddish color, while Northern White Cedar boasts a lovely shade of pale yellow.
Although cedar doesn’t require any care, treating it will make it last longer and maintain its appearance. If cedar is left to weather, it turns a nice shade of silvery gray than many people like.
Cedar takes oil very well, and stains can offer UV protection.
· Redwood – Redwood boasts a gorgeous, natural color that remains a very popular choice for fencing and other outdoor, wood furniture. It is naturally insect resistant, as it contains certain compounds which kill or repel many types of insects. It is those same compounds that also reduce the growth of mildew and fungi.
Redwood is typically not stained because of its beautiful color, although a couple coats of shellac or oil will make it last longer and maintain its appearance.
· Composites – Composites have grown in popularity over the last few years as homeowners search for more durable, longer-lasting alternatives to standard wood fencing.
Composites consist of wood shavings and resins which are constructed to resemble natural wood. They offer many more years of life than standard wood fences, and they also better maintain their appearance.
Composite fencing requires less maintenance than standard, wood fencing and rarely needs treatment. It may be painted or stained, although it is not necessary.
Composite fencing is generally more expensive than standard, pressure-treated wood, although it remains popular because of its longer life and maintenance-free qualities.
· Pressure-treated – Pressure treated fencing undergoes a pressure treatment (which involves forcing a chemical solution into the wood), which increases its resistance to decay and insects. The most common, pressure-treated woods include the whitewoods – pine, spruce and fir. These woods are found throughout the United States and Canada.
Additional insights in choosing the right wood fencing
· Most people choose either Western Red Cedar or pressure-treated pine as their fencing of choice.
· Allow at least 2 inches of clearance between the ground and the fence when installing cedar fencing to prevent rot.
· Do not set cedar fencing in concrete. It is important to set it directly into the ground to improve drainage around the posts and to ensure the integrity of the fence.
· Use concrete to ensure the stability of the fence when installing pressure-treated fencing.
· Steel or metal posts can also be used for fencing, as they ensure the stability of the fence, yet remain out of sight.
If in doubt, call in a fencing professional who can ensure that your fence is properly – and safely – installed.
In addition, don’t forget to check your municipality’s local code ordinances, as well as the location of your property line and any underground cables or wires, before installing your wood fence.