It’s that time again time for spring cleaning, lawn maintenance, and home improvement projects. There are a variety of materials available for fencing residential properties. There are pros and cons associated with every material option. Once you are passed the Homeowners’ Association, should you have one, requirements regarding the aesthetics and the design specifications, you’ll likely have the liberty of selecting which type of material you want that fence to be constructed from.
One popular option for fencing is vinyl. But what is it exactly, and why might it be a good choice? For inspiration, check out the gallery of the many vinyl options at Illinois Fence.
Vinyl fencing is made from vinyl, which is polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC. It’s made from the same materials used to make the plumbing pipes present in your home. It’s a highly durable type of plastic. For this reason, vinyl and PVC fencing are often descriptors that are used interchangeably.
The vinyl planks come in varying measures of thickness through the internal is often hollow. This allows the material to be both light, since it’s not a solid post, yet strong. The vinyl panels are frequently pre-constructed in a standard 8-foot section though it is possible to find six or 4-foot sections. They are generally similar in height to traditional fencing standards: 4, 6, 8-feet tall.
The color of the fencing is often applied in one of two ways. Either it is blended into the plastic form or added to the top layers of the outside surface. Both options prevent the fencing from showing obvious knicks or scratches that you might expect to see from lawnmower bumps, thrown rocks, or other such expected wear and tear that a fence might anticipate. The embedded color essentially causes the knack to disappear.
Another type of product that mimics the look of feel of vinyl is composite lumber. Be careful not to confuse the two. Composite lumber is similar because it is made of plastics, but it also includes wood components in the blend. The wood elements and the plastic elements are held together with a bonding agent. While it’s important to note that these two materials are not the same, you will often find that decks and patios constructed with composite lumber will frequently use vinyl sheathings over wooden posts to create the railing.
One of the very best advantages for choosing vinyl is that it is very forgiving on required maintenance. A wooden or metal fence will degrade over time unless regular attention is paid to it. A wooden fence will likely require sanding and staining or repainting every few years to keep the fence in good condition and to prevent such damage to prevent the structure from deteriorating. A metal fence will require the same types of treatments to fight off the accumulation of rust. A vinyl fence will need neither of these treatments…ever. The most maintenance you can expect to have to give to a vinyl fence is to hose it off from time to time. Vinyl is even resistant to fungus growth and impenetrable to pests.
Initially, this will not seem like a true attribute of vinyl fencing because a vinyl fence typically costs more initially. Compared to a wood or metal fence, the up-front cost of the project could be higher. However, the life-span of a vinyl fence is much longer in comparison to wood and metal alternatives. The economic advantage that is realized over time with no additional expenses is required to provide up-keep. The fence does not need to be replaced as might be anticipated with other materials. Many vinyl manufacturers offer lifetime warranty coverage on their products. And it’s recyclable. So, if ever you want to remove the fencing, some materials can be re-purposed or recycled, making it still an eco-friendly option even though it’s not biodegradable like wood.
Thanks to some other commonly-known products around the home made of vinyl, many people have a false perception that vinyl is thin, bends easily, and not very durable. That is just not the case with vinyl fencing. In fact, vinyl is several times stronger than wood. The strength of vinyl prepares the fence to withstand inclement weather that can wreak havoc on other materials. Vinyl will not warp, splinter, or rot.
Given that vinyl requires little to no maintenance, the overall look will last longer as well. The material can be formed into a variety of textures. Still, the material’s overall ability to withstand weathering means that the fence will remain vibrant and new for many years to come. The vinyl will not rust, peel, or fade. Many homes already have vinyl siding. Adding a fence with a similar color and texture can create harmony between the fence and the home’s siding.
Interestingly, vinyl is also one of the easiest types of fencing to install. Most vinyl fencing consists of panels that are interlocking and forego the use of nails and screws. The panels are pre-constructed with a tongue and groove design that allows the sectioned pieces to be quickly and easily locked in place, one large segment of fencing after another. Given that the material is lighter than wood or wrought iron, the transport and delivery of materials are often easier than other materials options.
If you’re installing a vinyl fence, the ultimate presentation and design can look like any preference of aesthetic. A chain-length or wrought-iron fence will have a look and design unique to those materials. Vinyl fencing can be built to accommodate typical heights, kinds of fencing, and patterns. For example, a vinyl fence can be constructed as a picket fence, privacy fence, shadowbox, or standard yard fence. Whatever design or aesthetic options you would expect in using wood or composite lumber, those same options would be available with vinyl.
Armed with this information, your next step is to contemplate whether to make a Do-It-Yourself project or contract with a professional.