Pros and Cons of a Cedar Fence

Cedar is a popular choice for wood fencing materials. It is immediately recognizable due to its reddish color, white accents, and beautiful grain pattern. But is it the right choice for you? Let’s explore the pros and cons of a cedar fence.

AESTHETICS

PROS

Cedar is considered a very beautiful wood choice for fencing. It has a rich color, and while it may fade over time, color can be sustained with pressure washing. Pine, meanwhile, tends to be much lighter in color, ranging from cream to very light brown. Other woods typically need to be stained or painted to boost their visual appeal, but cedar is very beautiful all on its own. Cedar planks feature a tight grain, and fewer knots than many other kinds of wood, adding to their appeal. It is warm and rich-looking wood, adding to your home’s overall aesthetic.

Installing a cedar fence can boost your property value, depending on where you live. Cedar is considered a luxury that many homebuyers are willing to pay for. It may only be a slight increase in cost for you, but it could create a significant increase in the sale price of your home. If you live in an area where cedar fencing is common, not having a cedar fence could actually hurt your home value.

CONS

When it comes to the pros and cons of a cedar fence, aesthetics will largely fall into to “pro” column. However, cedar naturally weathers to a silvery gray, so a fence of this material will require maintenance. For long-lasting color and protection, you must apply a penetrating sealant immediately after installation and annually thereafter.

DURABILITY

PROS

Cedar is among the two types of wood (redwood being the other) that are highly durable. Fences made from this wood last a lot longer than most other types of wood fences. Cedar contains natural oils that help make it resistant to decay and insects. This natural oil increases cedar’s durability and strength without the use of chemical treatments. Cedar is also a highly stable wood, meaning there is minimal shrinkage. When used to build a fence, the wood planks will stay straight and sturdy for the long run.

One of the benefits of a cedar fence, especially in the southeast, is that it can withstand large amounts of rain. If you live in an area that receives lots of rain, a cedar fence will last the longest out of all types of wood. With rain comes bugs, and they can be a nuisance. Cedar secretes the odor of cedar oil, which is a natural insect repellant. After those rains, the cedar fence will help keep the pests out of your yard.

CONS

A cedar fence can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years when properly maintained. But you have to actually do the work! If you don’t stay up on your maintenance, cedar fences, like any wood, will deteriorate. If you attempt to DIY your cedar fence, you may encounter issues sooner than if you go with a professional installation. A professional fencing company will ensure you are getting the best quality cedar, and that each plank is installed properly to avoid unnecessary damage.

Even though cedar is more durable than many kinds of wood, pressure-treated pine actually has a stronger resistance to soil. For this reason, many people choose pine for fence posts and cedar for the fence panels. This can seem confusing, because above ground, cedar is very rot-resistant, but in soil, it is highly susceptible to rot, since it is not chemically treated.

MAINTENANCE

PROS

Cedar does not need to be pressure-treated to withstand the elements. Due to its chemical properties, cedar is naturally weather-resistant and repels most bugs. It requires less maintenance than other woods, but still requires care. Cedar fences should be cleaned annually with a water-and-soap solution and checked regularly for any loose boards or signs of rot. Also, cedar’s color fades over time unless you use a pressure washer on it.

CONS

Over the years, cedar can crack slightly and develop a fuzzy surface texture unless it’s periodically refinished. Cedar accepts sealers and stains very nicely and should be refinished every two to three years. Cedar can darken dramatically when exposed to sunlight. That means if you want to maintain the color, you must be vigilant about applying clear sealers with UV (ultraviolet light) blockers. This high level of maintenance is necessary to keep the rich color of the natural wood.

Like any wood fence, weathering may lead to ongoing maintenance needs. Even without bigger issues like rot, this can still include broken boards as wood is weaker than metal or vinyl.

COST

PROS

Installing a wood fence is generally the most affordable fence type other than the less desirable chain link. The cost of wood varies by type, but cedar is the wood of choice in most cases and the cost per foot is less than PVC, wrought iron, or composite fencing. While it is true that a cedar fence costs more than most other wood fences, it is still one of the most affordable fence materials. And considering how durable and long-lasting cedar can be, it is still a good buy. A cedar fence is a good choice for the homeowner who wants to save money and doesn’t mind a little maintenance in order to keep it in good condition.

CONS

Today the rising cost of redwood and an overall increase in lumber prices have made homeowners consider other manufactured products to replace the traditional wood fence. And as wood fences go, cedar is one of the more expensive wood types.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

If you are curious about the pros and cons of a cedar fence, here are some additional helpful facts. Cedar is one of the most eco-friendly options you can choose for your fence. Since it does not require any chemical treatment, like pine, you do not have to worry about those chemicals seeping into the soil and surrounding environment. With some other wood types, the chemical treatment can affect the local ecosystem.

Additionally, odor is an area where cedar has a clear advantage over its competitors. Pine fences do not have a discernible smell, but cedar is well-known for its pleasing aroma.

Another impressive benefit of a cedar fence is that it can block out as much as 70% of sound. That sound-blocking density is second only to concrete! If you’re looking for privacy or noise reduction, a cedar fence can provide this for you. This is an especially great option for those living in tight neighborhoods.

BOTTOM LINE

Cedar is the most commonly used fence material for residential yards. It looks nice and is by far the most versatile material. It can easily be used for many different styles of fencing, from basic plank panels to bespoke framed creations. On the downside, cedar is relatively high-maintenance, requiring regular finishing to prevent weathering. Cedar posts commonly rot at the ground level and must be replaced, unlike treated woods or metal and vinyl fencing. But if you are set on installing a real wooden fence, you can’t make a better choice than cedar. Have the benefits listed here sparked your interest in cedar fencing? Give Bravo Fence Company a call today to get started on your custom fence!

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