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Composite vs Wood Fencing: Which Material is Better?

3 April 2024

If you're weighing up composite vs wood fencing, you’ve come to the right place. Composite fencing offers many benefits over traditional wood fencing, which generally makes it the better option for modern gardens. It doesn’t need staining or painting, it is strong and durable, and it can last for well over 25 years.

 

Continue reading as we look deeper into composite vs wood fencing to help you decide.

What we'll cover:

What is Composite Fencing?

Composite is a man-made material. Reclaimed wood fibres and plastic composites are combined in an extrusion or moulding process and the outcome is strong, consistent and durable fence panels. It takes the properties of both wood and plastic to form a superior material.

Your composite fence can mimic the appearance of natural wood and is available in a range of colours including brown, grey or black – a good option if you want maximum impact, and a modern sleek aesthetic.

Which fence type is best?

When it comes to investing in a new fence, consider the following:

 

  • Does it offer you privacy and security?
  • Does it look nice?
  • Can it increase your home's value?
  • Is it wind (and weather) resistant?
  • Does it offer improved curb appeal?
  • How long will it last?

 

With that in mind, the material of your fencing plays a huge role. Traditional wooden fencing is a great option if you want a low up-front cost, a natural aesthetic and quick installation. Composite fencing, on the other hand, will last for decades, is versatile and has long-term cost saving benefits.

 

Remember that wooden fencing will need to be stained, sealed and painted to maintain it, so you may find yourself needing to do this every two to three years. Composite fencing is low maintenance and doesn’t require specialist products to keep it looking fresh.

 

Some wooden fencing may also be susceptible to issues like rotting, insects and mould, which are inevitable if you live in a wet climate, and it could also crack or splinter. That means you may find yourself needing to replace the wooden fence panels often.

 

However, composite fencing is protected by a PVC cap which makes it resistant to moisture, scratches, fading, and general wear and tear.

The Pros of Composite Fencing

Hassle-free: Composite fencing is incredibly low maintenance. It only needs to be washed once or twice a year with household detergents and it doesn’t require staining, painting or sealing. Once installed, it’s good to go.

 

Long lasting: Composite fencing is durable and Eurocell’s comes with a 20-year warranty. It’s resistant to rotting, splintering, insects, warping, chipping, cracking, stains and moisture.

 

Weather resistant: Because of its high tensile strength, it can withstand wind and even storms. It’s also resistant to moisture unlike a timber fence which can rot, crack or warp when exposed to changing weather conditions.

 

Eco-friendly: The boards are manufactured using recycled materials and don’t need harsh chemicals for upkeep. It also has a longer lifespan, so it doesn’t need to be replaced as often.

 

Versatile: It can fit any garden design or shape because it’s lightweight and easy to cut. That means you can install it to fit your own specification.

 

Colour options: It’s available in a range of stunning shades which can transform your outdoor space and give you greater flexibility with the look and design of your garden.

 

Increases value: Because it looks great and lasts for decades, it can appeal to new home buyers and increase your curb appeal and potentially the value of your home.

The Pros of Wood Fencing

Natural-wood look: Wooden fencing has a classic and traditional look. It can also be stained to maintain its colour and it blends in with its surroundings.

 

Low upfront cost: Wooden fencing has a lower upfront cost, but keep in mind you will need to pay for maintenance and possibly replacements.

 

Eco-friendly: If you buy from an FSC-certified supplier or manufacturer, you can get sustainably-sourced fence panels.

 

Quick installation: Wooden fencing is quick to install because it’s lightweight, easy to cut and doesn’t need any special tools or techniques.

The Cons of Wood Fencing

 

Maintenance: Wooden fencing requires staining, sealing and painting to maintain it, which can become costly and time-consuming over the years.

 

Rotting: Wood absorbs moisture which means the fence panels can rot and crumble. This can lead to the fence collapsing or visible degradation which doesn’t look the best.

 

Warping: With exposure to the sun and different weather conditions, wooden fencing can warp which can lead to the fence panels splitting.

 

Insect damage: Wooden fencing is susceptible to termite damage and ants, which can both weaken its structure and lead to fungal decay or rotting.

 

Limited lifespan: Compared to composite decking, wooden fencing has a limited lifespan. It tends to last for around 10-20 years depending on how well it’s maintained.

Is Composite Fencing Better Than Wood?

So, if you are looking for a fence with a low upfront cost, that you're happy to maintain, you may want to go for a wooden fence. However, if you’d prefer a high-quality, durable and strong fence for your home, composite fencing is likely to suit you better.

 

Both offer great security and privacy, but composite fencing pushes ahead because of its long lifespan and the fact that it’s low maintenance.

Find out more about Eurocell’s range of composite fencing.

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