When building any material, one of the first things that come to mind is budget. Our goal, in most cases, is to purchase a product and material that is a mix of both quality and affordability.
We have written articles on the advantages of composite fencing, but another big purchasing factor is cost. “How much is a composite fence vs wood fence?”. We know the pros and cons of installing composite fencing panels, but how does a composite fence compare to a wood fence in terms of cost?
The aim of this article is to support homeowners that are at a crossroads and don’t know which to choose between a composite fence or a wood fence.
Composite Fencing and Wood Fence Prices
Composite fencing does cost more upfront than a wood fence but is by far a better investment due to its durability and extended lifespan. To break this down in simple form, we will look at the replacement of panels using existing concrete posts and the cost of a full replacement of posts and panels based on the most used fence (6ft by 5ft).
Using existing concrete posts and replacing the current panels with wood will cost an average of 6ft by 5ft pressure-treated fence panels upwards of £39.99.
Replacing fence panels with composite fencing panels using existing concrete posts can be purchased from £99.99 and sum up to £199.99
Replacing posts and panels using timber costs upwards of £75
Using composite fencing with aluminium posts and a steel base ensures durability and longevity for decades. Add the composite fence panels, and an average 6ft by 5ft fence will cost upwards of £199.99, some going for £300.
Therefore, composite fencing may have a higher initial upfront cost. But like anything performance-related, composite fence panels pay their way over time.
So, how about the installation of fencing?
Fencing costs, on average, over £1800 for a landscape gardener to fit and install in your garden. However, in our opinion, you would only need a professional landscaper when installing a full replacement of your fencing.
If you are replacing just your composite fence panels, this can easily be done by yourself; apart from fixing the U channels in place, no tools are required, and the panels can be conveniently slid into place. Many customers don’t fit the U shape channels in place. We advise when doing this to keep a close eye on the movement over time. Therefore, this means installing composite fence panels can be done with no experience and no tools in most cases.
This reduces the overall cost of the product, and along with its long-term advantages, you can’t get a better solution than composite fence panels for your garden.
Is Composite Fencing Worth It?
Yes, if you are looking for a product that is low in maintenance and will stand the test of time, composite fencing is the right choice. As mentioned above, composite fence panels using an existing concrete post is an outstanding option because of their great value for money and low maintenance.
The one and only time we would recommend not using composite fencing are if you’re after a short-term solution, where wood fencing would be the best choice in this case. Composite fencing is an investment that offers long-term advantages that save you money over time.
Therefore, a composite fence is worth every penny you spend on it. This is due to the natural esthetic it can provide to your space without the maintenance required, like wood material. Additionally, composite fencing saves you money in the long run, as its durability and resilience ensure it can withstand any weather and therefore extend its lifespan, meaning less money spent on repairs or replacement.
Using Composite fence panels Saves Money
Research shows that most homeowners are increasing their interest in low-maintenance garden solutions. As we tend to work more hours, we are looking at ways to save both money and time and ensure our valuable time is spent relaxing in our garden with family and friends rather than consistently maintaining it.
When it comes to the maintenance of your garden, composite ensures less time spent staining or painting your fencing and, therefore, more time enjoying your outdoor space. Consumers often look for garden products that not only enhance the appearance of their space but will require low maintenance.
Composite fencing is just that.
By installing composite fence panels, you will benefit from the time-saving features, a modern appearance in your exterior space and a lower overall cost.
Composite fences don’t require annual painting, oiling, staining, or sealing as a wood fence does. This makes composite an ideal investment choice for homeowners as it only requires minimal cleaning to maintain its appearance and lifespan.
Is a Composite Fence Better than a Wood Fence?
Homeowners used wood fences for decades before the recent introduction of composite fence panels was developed. While some homeowners are familiar with the benefits of plastic or composite fencing, some are not. Therefore, the question arises: is composite fencing better than a wood fence?
To best answer this, we will take a brief look at what each fencing option is and compare the advantages and disadvantages.
What Is a Wood Fence?
A traditional timber fence is a fence that is made of 100% wood. There are different types of wood fences. The most popular wood fences in the UK are pine and cedar wood. There are many other types of fencing options, including larch, fir and spruce, all of which are softwood fencing options.
Most of the fencing sold in the UK is treated. We highly recommend opting for pressure-treated fence panels as they offer increased strength and durability.
Over the years of use, you will need this as it will play a role in the longevity of your fence if you are opting for a natural wood solution.
Pressure-treated wood should only be used for outdoor fittings or projects. These woods are treated with chemicals that penetrate deep into the timber. This enables them to better withstand the outdoor elements and retain resistance against moisture damage, rot and insects.
On the other hand, hardwood doesn’t require the need for chemical treatment. Hardwood fencing is naturally strong, offering resistance to moisture, insect attacks and rotting. Despite this, hardwood fencing still requires regular maintenance to ensure a long life span.
The drawbacks to wood fencing not only include regular cleaning but also time-consuming annual maintenance needed to preserve the wood.
Another drawback is the cracking and splitting of your wooden fence. If your new fence is exposed to the sun, it will dry out. Applying pressure to the wood fibres, along with natural moisture, will cause cracking of your fence over time.
What Is Composite Fencing?
Composite fencing is a synthetic eco-friendly fence option made with recycled wood fibres, HDPE plastic and bonding agents. The wood fibres and plastic are mixed together and heated, then they are pressed through a mould, cooled, and surface treated. The finished products are cut into composite fencing panels.
Composite fencing was produced to provide an improved alternative to traditional timber fencing without the setbacks that we are very familiar with in timber fencing. These improvements include low moisture absorption, stability of colour and no splintering or rotting.
Unlike a wood fence that needs regular, time-consuming maintenance, a composite fence doesn’t need extensive maintenance. Making composite fencing an ideal choice for homeowners as it not only looks natural and modern but never needs to be sanded, sealed, stained, or painted.
Composite fencing improvements, in particular colour stability, will ensure its colour stays consistent over the years, with only minimal fading over time. Another thing about composite fencing colour is that you can choose the exact colour you want to best suit your garden. Composite fence panels come in a variety of colours such as black, grey, anthracite grey, brown, light brown, and dark brown.
Composite Fence Is Easy to Clean
Cleaning your fence is crucial for its survival. When you maintain or clean your fence, you will reduce the chance of mould and mildew growing on its surface. The difference between cleaning your composite fence panels and wood fences is clear.
As mentioned above, timber fences are difficult to maintain. You will need to paint or stain your fence to ensure its survival. In order to prolong the lifespan of your wooden fence, it will need consistent cleaning, sanding and sealing to prevent moisture infiltration.
Maintaining composite fence panels is much easier. You just have to give the composite fence a regular clean, which can be done with simple hot soapy water and a soft brush.
Generally keeping your composite decking clean is easy and convenient. Take a look at our articles on removing stains from composite decks.
Fixing/ Installing Composite Fencing Is Easy
When it comes to installation, for most of us, this can be a daunting task. However, installing composite fencing consists of mainly sliding and slotting fence panels into place. This is more so with existing concrete posts that simply require connecting only a U-shaped channel on either side and then sliding the fence panels and rails into place.
Replacing and removing posts can increase labour but once removed, you will need a concrete base to connect the steel base and also slide the post and panels into place. If you are good with DIY projects, there is no need for professional installers.
Composite Fence Wood Will Last Long
For a long-term solution and easy installation process, composite fencing is a perfect choice, paying its upfront cost back year after year.
Composite fencing, with its low water absorption and increased stability in colour and strength, gives composite fence panels a longer life span of that compared to wood. Not only outperforming but outlasting its predecessor by decades in most cases.
Composite Fence Panels Are Attractive
Composite fencing is not only growing as the most popular choice for garden fencing due to its improvements versus wood but for its appearance too. Composite fence panels are produced in a wide variety of colours and surface textures. This supplies consumers with various options in terms of design, from natural appearance to contrast and breaks in colours.
Composite fencing also has a panel design too, with unique screen panels that can be slid into U shape channels or posts to provide a modern and vibrant appeal. This can be done during installation or even added further years on. This also means a change in design or colour can easily be slid into place if you fancy a change at any point.
Composite Fencing Is Lightweight
This is yet another reason for installing plastic wood fences. Its lightweight nature aids the easy installation process, as you can quickly and easily carry the panels from one place to another.
Composite fencing is more expensive than wood but pays its upfront cost back over the years after installation. It is the perfect choice for any home or family that is looking for a low-maintenance solution. Composite fencing has been produced to provide increased durability and longevity in comparison to wood.