Choosing a fencing material can be a challenge. There are several categories of material such as wood, metal, stone, and composite, and each category has several types of products within it that you have to make your final selection from. While vinyl fencing has a bit of a bad reputation from its early days, the quality of materials has improved significantly and it is worth investigating as a possible building material.
It's Easy To Maintain
Most fencing materials require at least some maintenance, and low maintenance options like cast iron and stone or often prohibitively expensive. Vinyl bucks this trend by being both budget conscious and simple to maintain. Rather than having to spend a whole weekend cleaning and painting a wood fence, you can have the same look, but all you need to do is wash it down with your garden hose once or twice a year.
If the hose just isn't getting everything off anymore, it is time to break out the soap and water. With no rust or rot to contend with, soap and water are the most intensive cleaning this type of fence ever really needs. If soap and water isn't really your thing, most vinyl fences will stand up well to power washing. Just test on a corner to make sure before you start in earnest.
It's Long Lasting
This is where vinyl's checkered past really comes into play. Early vinyl fencing wasn't designed to stand up under constant sunlight (something that is absolutely necessary for an outdoor product) and failed early. The process has been refined over the years and now only the cheapest products lack the additives necessary to counteract this problem. As with any product, if you only read reviews of the least expensive option or first model you are likely to get a skewed picture of the current reliability of a quality product.
A quality fence should last 20 to 30 years, and may last even longer depending on the product. The manufacturer may even offer a lifetime warranty, but be sure to read the fine print to see if that warranty is transferable before you make it a selling point for the home. The biggest danger to your fence is accidental damage, but because panels are easily replaceable, even this can be easily overcome.
It Looks Great
Since you never need to paint your vinyl fence, it will always look its best. At worst, the gloss may fade a bit over time, but the color won't since it is baked in. You don't have to stick with the basic white either. Many manufacturers have branched out and now offer a variety of colors and styles to fit with any style of home. You can even get a product with a simulated wood grain to help improve the illusion that you have a well-manicured wood fence.
Speaking of color, you don't have to worry if a decade from now you want to do a major makeover. While vinyl fencing isn't designed to be painted, it can be done. You just need to invest in primer that can stick to the surface of the vinyl and you will be good to go. Your fresh new exterior will have a fresh "new" fence to match. You will need to take care of your new paint job, but that is a small cost for not having to replace your fence.
Choosing a fence type is not an easy decision. Getting the material right is the first step in building a fence that you will be happy with as long as you own your home. Vinyl, despite a past that is less than fantastic, is a solid choice in many different types of situations. You can click here for more information on fencing.