A privacy fence can greatly improve your property and add to its value. There are many reasons to install a privacy fence; secure small children, contain pets, enclose a pool, or make a space more intimate for family gatherings. Privacy fences can also boost your property’s curb appeal, keep out nosey neighbors, or block an unpleasant view. When considering your needs, it’s important to also think about the material you’ll use.
Selecting the post material for your privacy fence is a decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. There are many factors that go into which post material you should choose for your upcoming privacy fence. These factors include:
- The durability of the material
- The longevity of the fence
- The amount of style options available to customize
- The cost of the material
- The ease of installation
- The amount of security provided, and
- The amount of maintenance required
There are two main types of materials that are used for privacy fence posts: wood and metal. Here, we will explore the pros and cons of each.
Metal posts are a good choice for high-quality privacy fences. They are not as common as wooden posts, but have some unique advantages (and disadvantages).
Metal posts last longer
Since metal is impervious to rot, insects, and most weathering your fence will last have a longer lifespan. This also means that you will not have to waste as much time on maintenance or replacements. A fence that lasts longer also adds a more permanent improvement to your property value.
Metal posts are more secure
Being much stronger than wood, metal posts can withstand more damage and weathering than their wooden counterparts. Metal posts are also able to use concrete footers to reinforce strength. Concrete footers allow metal posts to be placed in looser soil conditions and sand that would pose a challenge to wooden posts.
Compared to wood posts, metal posts are completely flame resistant, which is important if you live in a high-fire area. The only major worry with metal privacy fence posts is rust, which can be prevented by a quick application of sealant, and the use of rust resistant metals.
Metal posts are more expensive
Metal posts are more expensive for a reason; they are stronger and last longer. On average, a metal fence post will be about 2-3 times more expensive as a wood post, but will last 4-5 times longer.
Metal posts are versatile
For a privacy fence, metal posts can be used a few different ways. You can attach metal posts to corrugated metal sheets for a completely secure privacy solution. You can also use venetian blind slats on a chain link fence for combination of value and durability. Finally, metal posts can be used with vinyl sheets for an all-weather resistant privacy fence.
Wood posts are a great choice for everyday fences. They are by far the most common type of fence post, providing good quality for a reasonable price.
Wood posts don’t last as long
Compared to metal posts, wooden posts have a 4x shorter lifespan before they require replacement. When working with wood posts, you need to be aware of weathering, rot and wood bugs. Sealing your posts before use can help to prevent any distress to the wood, and choosing a bug resistant wood like Cedar can ward off insect infestations.
Wood posts require more maintenance
To make sure your fence is in the best condition, wood posts need to be checked for bugs, rot, and other forms of weathering on a pretty regular basis. Wooden posts will also have to be replaced on occasion, which can be easy or difficult, depending on your privacy fence design.
Wood posts are less expensive
Wood Posts are much easier to source and cost about 2-3 times less than metal posts. This means that replacement and repair costs are also cheaper compared to metal posts. You can use the money saved from purchasing wood posts to upgrade your choice of wood or finishes.
Wood posts are more visually appealing
When building a privacy fence with wood posts, you have a plethora of design options available. Because of this, you can more closely match the current style of your property to add additional curb appeal. Wood privacy fences can be solid, picket or shadowbox style, and can have vertical or horizontal panels. Wood posts are also easy to paint and a variety of accessories are available to help you personalize the new addition to your home.
Whether you choose wood or metal posts for your next privacy fence, be sure to know the advantages and disadvantages of each material to build the perfect privacy fence for your needs.