Why does the cost of cedar fencing keep rising?

Traditionally wood fencing has been the most affordable Privacy Fence product on the market in British Columbia. However, in recent years the cost of fencing grade lumber has increased substantially, and here’s why:

1. Old growth cedar is rarely available. Second Growth Cedar, Hemlock, and Fir are being used more for fencing, and second growth tends to twist and warp more than the old growth materials. What this means is that fence installers have to be more careful about what materials they use for gates or in highly visible areas, and if they put a Structural Warranty on the install they need to account for at least 1 or 2 return visits to repair any fencing that has been structurally affected by the sun, rain and snow. Here are a few pictures of fences we repaired under warranty:

2. The chemicals used in pressure treating the wood aren’t as effective as they used to be. This is due to environmental restrictions. So generally, pressure treated wood seems to rot quicker than it used to, which also results in increased structural warranty claims. This must be accounted for in a fence installer’s initial quote.

3. There is less fencing grade material available now than in past years, thus The law of supply and demand comes into play. This is due to a variety of factors:

a. BC’s remaining mills are getting more efficient and can cut more large dimension lumber profiles out of a log, which results in less thinner profiles that are required for fence construction.

b. Many mills have shut down as result of a major clampdown on the logging industry.

c. There has been increased demand from other countries for BC cedar, thus making it an attractive proposition for our remaining mills to export.


Wood is still the most popular fence material for those that are after the traditional west coast look, however there are some stiff competitors gaining ground in BC’s lower mainland fence market such as pvc vinyl fencing and wood composite fences.

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