So You Want To Learn About Vinyl Fences???
I’m going to break this vinyl fence post down in two different sections. The first is the short version with the information that 80% of people wish to know. The second version is for the other 20% of people that need to know literally everything there is to know before making a decision. Not that is a bad thing mind you, I just know writing to only one type of person only helps that one type.
General Background Of Vinyl Fences:
Vinyl fences are also known as pvc, synthetic, or even plastic. They are typically made from polypropylene, nylon, or polythene (polyethylene). These fences have been around since the 1980s and started becoming popular for residential uses in the 1990s. They provide a great alternative to cedar and pressure treated fences. While some people cannot stand a white vinyl fence, there is no denying that these are one of the most popular fences on the market today. At this point they probably make up 75% of fences in highly developed areas. Like all fences, there are many pros and cons for this style of fence.
Short Version For Vinyl Fences:
The short version about vinyl fences is that they are awesome! They come in a ton of styles and in three main colors: white, tan, and khaki. They do come in more colors than those listed but those are the most popular and are better to stand the test of time.
Pros for vinyl fences:
- Will last an extremely long time.
- Even the early fences from the 1990s are still standing today. The technology today is light years ahead of the original products. Think of the Trex decking when it first came out. They claimed it to be no maintenance, no fading, etc. But the original Trex decking looks like crap. Companies can do all the testing they want but real life conditions will always show the products their true colors. But just like Trex decking, the quality of the materials today actually does what the companies promise.
- Virtually no maintenance.
- This is what truly sets vinyl apart from wood fences. Like Ron Popeil used to say, “Set it and forget it.” If you have no idea who I’m talking about you obviously did not grow up watching infomercials in the 90s! This was his slogan for his Showtime Rotisserie and this thing was awesome! Super juicy foods and super simple to use. Here’s a link to watch the infomercial if you are bored. He also had a lot of other great products that I used to love watching as a 10 year old. I’ve said it before, I am a little odd lol!
- Comes in a variety of heights, styles, and colors.
- Whether you want a privacy or picket fence, vinyl has you covered. Click HERE to see the different vinyl fence styles we have to offer.
- Most are made in USA
- Notice how I said most. When getting quotes please verify that they use USA materials. Not only is it good for our economy, you also can be assured of the quality.
Cons for vinyl fences:
- It is susceptible to algae and mildew if you have a lot of tree cover.
- This is mainly due to the fact that your fence will have moisture on it for longer periods of time that will facilitate this growth. The solution to this is pretty easy. You just need a bucket with water, soap, and some bleach. This will kill the algae while removing the stains. I do not suggest a pressure washer as some people will go overboard with the pressure and using the wrong nozzle. This will eat away at the top layer and instead of a nice shiny flat surface you will be left with a duller appearance with a rough texture. This will make your situation even worse!
- Relatively expensive:
- This is especially true when you start looking into the vinyl fences that resemble wood. You’ll end up spending double the amount and if you pick the wrong manufacturer you will be extremely disappointed. Read the long version to learn about wood grain style vinyl fences.
Long Version For For Vinyl Fences:
- Beware of super low prices!
- You know the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
- I know of a certain company near me that sells vinyl fences for way less than I can even get them for. How could they possibly sell to homeowners for less than a company that buys over a 1000 panels each year? The answer is that their fences are complete junk!
- Home Depot and Lowes Fences:
- This is another example of a company that offers lower prices to homeowners than what a large company can buy their material for.
- The company that manufacturers their fence also manufactures for a ton of other companies that professionals use. What is the difference? The difference is that Lowes and Home Depot will tell this manufacturer that they want to spend a certain amount and the manufacturer will “water down” their product to get to that price. What do they do to “water down” their product?
- Less UV inhibitors: This is what protects your fence against the sun, heat, and other environmental factors.
- Smaller rails: This by itself is not a problem IF they would use a steel or aluminum rail to make sure the panel doesn’t sag. But you know what? They don’t! Remember, they are all all about the profit.
- Product thickness: Another way to lower the cost will be to make the walls of the vinyl thinner. So instead of your panel weighing 50 lbs (just an arbitrary number) it may only weigh 40 lbs.
- They don’t sell gates! This is absolutely my biggest pet peeve. How do you sell fencing but not gates! Instead they sell a gate kit where you build your own gate. It is pure junk and should just go in the trash can.
- Wood grain vinyl fences:
- If your goal is to have a fence that resembles wood but without the maintenance you really only have one option as far as I’m concerned. And that brand is Bufftech. There may be more out there but from the research I did there was just one name that stood out from the rest. If you go with another brand of fence I would highly suggest you do your due diligence. Picking the wrong brand could have horrible consequences. Due to the darker colors and the grain process there is a greater chance for the fence to fail if it is poorly constructed.
- The only issue if you want this vinyl fence is that you will have to have another fence company install it. Unfortunately we had a very bad experience for the first order and we will not be installing this product anymore. Every decision I make is based on the needs of my customers, and I am unwilling to disappoint them. Who knows, they probably are fine 99.9% of the time but I was that .1%.