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Should I Choose A Vinyl or Cedar Fence?

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For enclosing a backyard or pool area, many homeowners choose wood or vinyl fencing over chain link or wrought iron, for the extra security that solid fences provide. A wood or vinyl fence will not only keep unwanted visitors out of your yard but will also protect you and your family from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors and potential intruders. Slatted fences do not have ready footholds like chain link fences, making them much more difficult to climb, both for people and animals. If you have a large dog, or one that is prone to climbing, a wood or vinyl fence will be more effective in keeping him contained and may help control excessive barking by reducing outside stimuli.

Once you have decided to install a privacy fence, you must decide on the type of fencing material will best suit your needs and budget. Many homeowners choose cedar fencing for its durability and resistance to insects and rotting, Vinyl, however, is an excellent alternative to cedar – here are some factors to consider before making a final decision:


The least expensive type of fencing, of course, is chain link. Chain link fences can keep pets in and neighborhood children out, but they do not offer much privacy. Solid fences made of wood or vinyl offer the best security and privacy, with costs varying according to the type of materials used. They may cost more than chain link but offer many advantages that may make the extra cost worthwhile. Pine fences are less expensive than pressure-treated or hardwood fences but are not as durable. You will have a lower initial cost outlay, but will spend more on repairs, and will have to replace your fence much sooner. Hardwood, pressure treated wood, and vinyl fencing are far superior, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain or snow.

Vinyl fencing does usually cost more to install than pressure-treated or cedar fencing. In some cases, however, the difference in installation costs may be less than you might expect. For example, if the fence is installed on a particularly uneven property, a wood fence may require a lot of onsite custom cutting and fitting. Vinyl fencing can also be custom fitted to an uneven area, but, since the fencing comes in prefabricated sections rather than individual slats, the custom fitting may involve lower labor costs.

While the initial installation cost of your fence is an important factor to consider, remember that you will expect the fence to last for many years. In the long run, vinyl and cedar fencing will end up costing about the same.


While a vinyl fence will often cost more initially, once installed, it is virtually maintenance-free. Cedarwood is resistant to rotting and insects, but not completely impervious. Eventually, all wood fences will succumb to the elements, especially in areas that are prone to hard freezes. Wood that is covered in ice, snow or water for extended periods of time will warp, decay, and become discolored. Sections of your wood fence may need to be replaced periodically, and, eventually, the entire fence may need to be replaced. Vinyl, on the other hand, can withstand even the worst weather conditions and maintain its original strength and beauty. Even before the fence suffers any damage or wear, wood must be painted or stained periodically to keep its appearance. Cedar has a red color that will turn grey over time, as part of its natural aging process. In order to maintain its red color, the wood must be treated with stain. Every few years, or more often if weather conditions are extreme, the fence will need a new coat of stain. Vinyl, on the other hand, requires no paint, stain, or treatment. Impervious to insects and rot, it will also maintain its color indefinitely. You can easily clean your vinyl fence by wiping it down with a cloth or spraying it with water, but regular cleaning is not essential. Dirt does not penetrate the surface and will not lead to decay. Modern durable vinyl resists cracking and can withstand direct impacts without breaking. We are so confident in the ability of our vinyl fences to withstand all weather conditions and to provide decades of maintenance-free service that we offer a lifetime warranty on our materials.


Many people choose wood fencing because they like the appearance. A new cedar fence is beautiful, and the natural red color can be maintained by applying and renewing a coat of stain from time to time. Many homeowners don’t realize that vinyl fencing is also available in a variety of colors and styles, including some that have the same appearance as a wood fence.  A vinyl fence will not fade and will be the same color after 20 years as it was the first day it was installed.


Many people choose wood or vinyl fences over the less expensive chain link because of the extra security those types of fences provide. Both types of fencing are harder to climb, making it more difficult for intruders to enter your yard. Both types also offer the added security of blocking the view of your yard from the street, or from adjoining property. Because wood fences are made up of individual slats, though, it may be easier for intruders to pry several slats loose to gain entry to your property. Vinyl fences look like they are made up of individual slats but are actually made up of larger sections that fit together like puzzle pieces. The slats cannot be removed individually, making it more difficult to penetrate.

Your dog may be able to claw or even chew through a wooden fence over time, but he will not be able to get through a vinyl fence with teeth or claws.

If you have young children playing around your fence, there is no risk of splinters from a vinyl fence.

Finally, vinyl fences are fire-proof, eliminating a possible threat to your house if the fence, a neighbor’s house, or a nearby tree is struck by lightning.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let the higher installation cost of vinyl fencing scare you away. With many financing options available, a Northland vinyl fence can fit in your budget and deliver a lifetime of maintenance-free service to your family. A vinyl fence will add to the value of your home if you decide to sell and will be there for the life of your home if you do not. Contact us for a free estimate today.