Cedar Fence FAQ - Things you need to know

What's the main advantage of choosing a cedar fence?

  • In a word: Familiarity. We've all grown up in a world of wood decks, fences, picnic tables, and furniture, and there's a comfort level in sticking with what we know.

What makes Premium wood fences different?

  • Being BC’s leading fence Installation Company, Premium Fence offers the largest selection of wood fence styles and systems available anywhere, matching different lumbers to different budgets.
  • We design every wood fence we sell so that they will present perfectly balanced at the right sizes and proportions for their surroundings. Ask us about our Unique Cambridge Flow-Thru fence system!
  • We also have a wide variety of choices for gate hardware and fence accessories.

What type of wood is best for my fence?

  • Western Red Cedar has always been our Wood of Choice for fences. With its natural oils it will hold up the longest in our BC climate, and you can’t beat its unique character and beauty.
  • In our wet BC climate, it is best to use Pressure treated hemlock or Fir materials for posts and bottom rails, as Cedar will rot if it is in contact with the ground. A well-built wood fence will last 25-30 years.

Is it best to stain my cedar fence?

  • YES. Although Western Red Cedar will weather over time to a silver gray color that might be appealing for some, we believe that applying some kind of protective oil-based finish provides the best long-term results both from an aesthetic and performance point of view.
  • For Pressure Treated Lumber effective water repellants will retard the impact of moisture in the wood and, thereby, help reduce splitting, cracking and twisting that is common with these types of wood.
  • Premium Fence Company does offer pre-staining options for most of our wood products, ask a Project Consultant for details.

Is staining my fence the only maintenance required?

  • NO. Pollen and pollution are the most common causes of discoloration, even if the wood has been properly stained, and should be removed/cleaned every spring and fall.

How long does a wood fence last?

  • A pre-fabricated panel fence will typically last about 10-15 years, whereas a premium hand-built cedar fence will last 25-30 years. Check out our Cambridge flow thru, ROT FREE fence system.

How often should I stain my cedar fence?

  • If a good quality oil-based stain is used and applied properly, under typical conditions, a cedar fence will need a re-coat every five years. It will fade a little after about 2-3 years, but the stain will still be repelling water - reducing rot.

Do wood fences harm the environment?

  • Wood is the only renewable building material on earth, it's a completely natural building material that's 100% biodegradable, and harvesting wood has been shown to be much less intrusive than the mining of raw materials for steel and concrete such as iron ore, coal and limestone.

Can you tell me more about the new type of Pressure Treating?

  • Alkaline Copper Quaternary Ammonium (ACQ) is a wood preservative - containing copper and quaternary ammonium compound (quat) as active ingredients - that protects against rot, decay and termite attack. It is the most common replacement to the old CCA method. Quat is a product commonly used in commercial disinfectants and cleaners. It acts as a co-biocide. Some copper does leach from ACQ-treated lumber, making it unsafe for garden or marine use.

Can I use non-treated lumbers, other than Cedar for my wood fence?

  • We believe Cedar gives the optimal combination of price and value. We are always happy to explore//experiment with more expensive alternatives, for customers who really have their heart set on a particular dream look, but we do not offer lower costing wood types that are not really meant to be used outdoors.

Does it matter if a wood fence touches the ground?

  • Wood fences are best installed at least 2" above ground level. Wood that is touching the ground will rot at an accelerated rate and may cause the entire fence to heave with frost or tree roots. We recommend Pressure treated posts and bottom rails which greatly reduces rot.

Do wood fence posts have to be set in concrete?

  • Although there are times when an alternative might work better, the most cost effective and sturdiest method of installing wood fences is to set them in concrete.

Can I let vines grow on my new wood fence?

  • Sure, but never use Pressure Treated Lumber around edible products.

Do post caps help to deter rot in wood fence posts?

  • The choice of cap and the height to cut off posts is purely an aesthetic choice. Posts will rot at ground level much faster than way up at the top.

Why do knots sometimes fall out of the fence boards?

  • Knots and the surrounding wood have different densities. Since knots are more dense, they expand and contract less than the surrounding wood, loosening the bond. For customers concerned about this, we recommend our #1 Western Red Cedar, or Select Grade Cedar. The knots will be smaller and tighter. The cost is slightly more, but your fence will have a longer serviceable life.

What causes black marks around the nails in a wood fence?

  • Black stains are caused by natural wood extracts interacting with the metal. Moist wood increases the likelihood of this interaction. To help avoid this, Premium Fence uses only hot-dipped galvanized ring shank nails and stainless steel fasteners.

What do you recommend for helping the wood posts last longer?

  • Many homeowners try to plan ahead and ask if we have a solution for posts that will last longer. Stone dust, Steel Posts, Sono Tubes, & doming the concrete pier are all options that have been greatly explored but none really make a difference. The reason your old fence posts rotted out quickly is likely due to using untreated wood. A pressure treated Hemlock or Fir fence post will last 25-30 years regardless of how it is mounted or set in the ground.

Why do wood fences rot?

  • Cellulose and lignin, the main components of wood, ensure the rigidity of the cells which make up the trunk of a tree. Certain types of fungi are very fond of cellulose and lignin. With the help of enzymes, these fungi dissolve the cellular walls of the wood and consume the dissolved materials as food. Thus the wood weakens and rots.
  • Some species of wood are more resistant to decay than others. Cedar, for instance, gives fungi a tough time. A cedar fence can last over 25 years without any special treatment while a maple or spruce fence will last only 5 years without preservatives. Cedar's ability to resist decay is a result of the resin and chemicals it produces naturally: they keep insects away and inhibit fungi growth.
  • It takes favourable conditions for fungi to grow: water and air are needed and the temperature must be neither too cold nor too hot. (BC weather is perfect for this) Dry wood will keep well for many years, as will the furniture and staircase inside your home. Wood submerged under water won't rot either because the decaying process needs air. Wood exposed to both air and humidity, like a picnic table or a fence post, is much more vulnerable. A fence post will rot faster at ground level than underground because air is present to speed up the decaying process. 

What can you do about big changes of grade?

  • Extra posts at the top and bottom of any hills and/or custom cutting the boards are the most common ways to handle slopes and other changes in the grade of the land. Fillers can be added under the fence, or the panels can be sloped as well – it really comes down to your personal preference.

Do you offer larger diameter posts and/or options to make the fence stronger?

  • YES. We offer options for all our Fence Systems to make them stronger than typical for particular applications (e.g. grade differences or high winds). These include such things as larger posts, tighter post spacing, and extra rails.

Do you sell to homeowners?

  • YES. Give us a call (604-576-9910) or come on down to our showroom.
6 Year Structural WarrantyHandbuilt Cedar Fence Warranty
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Cedar Fence FAQCedar Fence FAQ
How much does a cedar fence cost?Fence Cost Calculator

Don't just take our word for it....

"Thanks for the excellent workmanship your company provided! The fence looks great!.“
"Wow awesome, very impressive. Much appreciated by the speedy response. Once again, thank you.“
-Ella Sharp
"The strata council is very impressed with the quality of these fences your company is building.“
-David Stolk, Associate Broker, RCM
"I am happy with the job of the installation crew, they looked after a couple of my minor concerns quickly and pleasantly.“
"I wanted to thank the Premium Fence team for a great job in replacing our fence from quotation to completion.“
-Rick and Lisa

Service Areas in British Columbia

Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, East Vancouver, Kerrisdale, Dunbar, Kitsilano, Oakridge, Shaughnessy, UBC, West End, Downtown, East Vancouver, Point Grey, Southlands, Steveston, Terra Nova, Lynn Valley, Deep Cove, Capilano, Dundarave, British Properties, Horseshoe Bay, Lions Bay, Burnaby, Richmond, Delta, Ladner, Tsawwassen, Anmore, Belcarra, New Westminster, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Newton, Cloverdale, White Rock, Langley, Abbotsford, Mission, Hope, Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, Saanich, Sidney, Parksville, Campbell River, Comox Valley, Courtenay, Penticton, Vernon, Westbank, Kamloops, Kelowna, Squamish, Whistler, Gibsons, Sechelt, Lake Country, Okanagan

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Premium Fence Company

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