What is the best fence: Vinyl, Cedar, or Aluminum?

By now, you are probably already aware of BC’s most commonly used residential and strata fence materials: Cedar, Vinyl, and Aluminum. Many of our strata customers ask us questions about each option. In this article, we have listed out the pros and cons of each option so you can make an informed decision that best fits your strata needs.

Vinyl Fence Advantages

Vinyl Fence Advantages

Pro: Low Maintenance
Does a vinyl fence cost a lot to maintain? No. A quality vinyl fence requires little to no maintenance. They will never need to be stained or painted. Since vinyl is a non-porous material, dirt and grime won’t embed; however, we recommend a power wash every 1-3 years, depending on where you live.

Pro: Durability
Why are Vinyl fences so durable? VMA-certified vinyl fences are incredibly durable; They are the perfect choice for our BC climate as they are resistant to rotting, rusting and insects. They are also immune to splitting, cracking and warping. In addition, vinyl fences are perfect for a family that enjoys backyard activities and sports as they can withstand scratching and strong impacts such as a baseball throw.

Pro: Long Life Expectancy
How long do vinyl fences last? A lifetime. Vinyl fences are one of the longest-lasting fences. In most cases, they will last between 30-40 years which is twice as long as the lifetime of a cedar fence. Interesting fact: Our vinyl fence manufacturer’s original fence, built in 1970, is still standing strong 52 years later.

Vinyl Fence Disadvantages

Con: Limited colour options
Can I paint my vinyl fence? Unfortunately, vinyl fences are limited to fewer colour options because the manufacturers set the colour and they cannot be painted or stained. Often these are limited to natural colours such as white, beige, brown, and grey.

Con: Consumer Preference
For some buyers, a modern or traditional-looking vinyl fence doesn’t suit their personal choice. But, even with all the perks of a vinyl fence, a strong cedar fence may be your final choice if you love natural wood.

Con: Cost is higher
Yes, the initial installation of a vinyl fence cost is about the same as a cedar fence installation. However, if you look at the cost comparison of vinyl vs wood fence over time, the vinyl fence is a more cost-effective choice as it costs less to maintain.

Vinyl vs Wood Long Term Costs

Cedar Fence Advantages

Cedar Fence Advantages

Pro: Beautiful Natural Look
It’s true; the original cedar fence has a unique, beautiful look. A strong cedar fence has a nostalgic look and feels for all wood lovers. A cedar fence always looks fantastic all year round against the green grass and evergreen trees.

Pro: Customizable
A cedar fence is the most customizable fence material option. Especially if you are looking for curved edges, matching gates, a deck, or other outdoor set-ups. Cedar fences can also be stained in many colours, giving you more options than fence materials that cannot be stained or painted.

Pro: Naturally Insulated Yard
Can a fence help keep your yard warmer? Yes, all cedars have natural air pockets within the actual wood. As a result, the cedar acts as a natural insulation like a built-in temperature control resulting in your yard being warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter.

Cedar Fence Disadvantages

Con: High Maintenance
Cedar fences require the most maintenance; all cedar fences need to be re-stained every 3-5 years. This will cost the owner approximately $150 per panel every 3-5 years.

Con: Short Lifetime
Cedar fences in BC weather have a shorter lifetime than other fence materials because cedar wood is prone to rotting and warping over time, especially if the cedar fence is not maintained correctly.

Aluminum Fence Advantages

Aluminum Fence Advantages

Pro: Modern Look
The aluminum fence is by far the most modern, clean, sleek-looking option. Over the past few years, it has become a highly anticipated product as it substantially increases the property value and overall visual aesthetic.

Pro: Low-Maintenance
Aluminum fencing is an excellent choice for the strata who want lasting aesthetic appeal with very little maintenance, saving you money in your yearly operations budget.

Pro: Keep pests out
Aluminum privacy fence panels will be one of your best options if you’re attempting to keep animals out of your yard and away from your children. This smooth powder-coated aluminum surface has no creases for feet to slide into.

Aluminum Fence Disadvantages

Con: Expensive
Aluminum fences are more expensive than vinyl and wood. That being said, if you compare the initial cost between a cedar and aluminum vs the cost of maintenance you will find that a cedar fence costs more over time.

Con: Limited Stock Options
What colour are aluminum fences? Traditionally, aluminum fences are only available in matte black. However, often offered in different heights and glossy or matte finishes. If you want more colour options, these would be available as a custom order, thus being more expensive.

Con: Retains Heat
Will an aluminum fence get hot in summer? Yes, an aluminum fence will get hot in higher temperatures. Similar to an asphalt driveway it will retain the heat and be hot to the touch on hot summer days. However not to worry about warping as it take a lot more heat than that other materials.

Want to learn more? Check out our fence comparison chart.

We hope you found this article comparing the pros and cons of vinyl, cedar or aluminum fence materials to be helpful. Feel free to call or email us with any questions you may have about fence replacement for your strata, and a member of our support team will be happy to assist you. We pride ourselves on having the best customer service in the industry. We care about our clients and are genuinely grateful for their business. Thank you for reading this.

Specialists. Trusted by over 5200 stratas since 1985.

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